With Round 1 of the NBA playoffs in the books, the postseason is just heating up. In Round 2, these teams will ramp up the intensity which may lead to more chippiness and physical play. All teams will rely on the official’s whistle to keep games under control, but don’t let this fool you. The best basketball of the year is upon us. This is the time where legends are made.
We all know what LeBron James and Steph Curry are made of. What player will emerge next? Will it be Isaiah Thomas, John Wall or James Harden? Here are my predictions.
Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards
There is some bad blood between these two teams and this series is only going to get more intense. The Wizards once dressed in all black to symbolize the funeral of the Boston Celtics. It is going to take more than a two-man game from John Wall and Bradley Beal of the Wizards to knock out the Isaiah Thomas-led Celtics. The Wizards are going to have to be more consistent and mature as a team because Boston is a tough, disciplined group.
Prediction: Boston Celtics in Game 7
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors had to regroup after they got a scare from the Milwaukee Bucks. In Round 2, the real monster, James, is ready to destroy everything in his way to get back to the NBA finals to add another ring to his legacy. As a team, the Raptors are going to have to capitalize on all of Cleveland’s mistake while being nearly perfect themselves. That is an extremely tall task for Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and company.
Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz
The Jazz got by the Clippers with Gordon Hayward not having a strong series. It is going to take more than just Joe Johnson to get past the Golden State Warriors, Rudy Gobert is going to have to control the middle to be able to control the tempo and limit the number of shots that Golden State will be able to put up. In the end, Utah just does not have enough guns to match shots against Stephen Curry, KD, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors in Game 5
San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets
This matchup comes down to the classic battle of offense versus defense. The Rockets can put up numbers with James Harden, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams. The question is: Will San Antonio be able to shut them down for four games so it they can move on to the Western Conference Finals? Khawi Leonard is going to carry the load for the Spurs on both ends of the floor, but they are going to need LaMarcus Aldridge to play well throughout the series along with Pau Gasol and especially Tony Parker. The Spurs will have to rely on their championship experience to get past this one.
Prediction: Spurs in Game 7