The NBA hasn’t ruled anything out when it comes to finishing the regular season and playoffs to crown a Champion for the 2019/2020 season. They have even thought about a single elimination playoff format. Here’s a preview of how that would play out based on how the teams have matched up against each other in the regular season.
Grizzlies – Lakers – Lakers would take this one, they are 3-1 on the season against the Grizzlies and the one loss came in game two of a cross country road trip. The Lakers three wins against the Grizz came by an average of 14 points per game. The Lakers are just too much and move on.
Nuggets – Rockets – These two have split the season series 2-2 but the Rocket wins were absolute blowouts. In a PLAYOFF game, I would roll with the Rockets because of the star power and the two big wins that they already had over the Nuggets this season. Westbrook had 28 in one of those wins and Harden had 35 in the other. Give me the star power, Rockets advance.
Jazz – Thunder – They split the two games they played this season with the Jazz winning the first one 100-95 and the Thunder taking the second one 104-90. They match up well against each other but the Thunder were on quite the run before the season was suspended, they went 17-5 over their final 22 games. The long layoff could have cooled them off but I would take the Thunder in this one game matchup.
Clippers – Mavericks – I feel like this one would be one of the best first round matchups and you wouldn’t typically expect that out of a 2 vs 7 matchup. The most recent head to head matchup between these two was on Jan 21 and the Clippers won by 3. This one could go either way but I would go with the Clippers, especially with Kawhi as the closer. Kawhi has been on a nice run himself scoring 30+ in nine straight games. Clippers advance on their quest to prove themselves as the best team in L.A.
Bucks – Magic – It wouldn’t matter if this was a one game, three game, five game, seven game, or ten game series, I think the Bucks would sweep the Magic. They could play 100 games and the Bucks would probably win all 100. The 1 vs 8 matchup in the Eastern Conference is usually a joke because historically speaking, the East has been JV to the West and far less competitive. I mean, the Magic would get in the playoffs based on the current standings and they are 30 and 35. The Bucks are poised to make a deep run no matter what format the league decides on this year and I don’t see anyway they drop the first round matchup to the 30 and 35 Magic. The Bucks are 4-0 against the Magic this season and they won those four games by an average of 17 points. Bucks roll and cover the spread, whatever it is.
Celtics – Sixers – The Boston/Philly rivalry gets sparked up again. The Celtics had a dominant run over the Sixers before this season winning 17 of their last 20 head to head regular season matchups dating back to the 2014-2015 season. However, the Sixers have won 3 out of 4 this season. The Sixers dominated in those wins. Will the long layoff be enough for Embiid to get back to full health? That’s a big question. His presence has been a big impact, especially when he dropped 38 points against the Celtics on Dec 12. I feel like the long layoff is benefiting the Celtics more than any other team in the league. They have seemed to have one of their stars dealing with some sort of injury all season long. They have also shown that they can compete with anyone. I think this one would be a battle but I’ll take the C’s at full strength.
Heat – Pacers – The Heat are up 2-0 on the season series with 113-112 and 122-108 victories. I look at this one as a true coin flip 4 vs 5 matchup and I’d give the edge to the Heat if this game was being played in Miami and giving their fans some playoff basketball which they have only experienced 2 out of the last 5 years since LeBron left town. I’m taking the Pacers with the upset in this matchup. They won 8 of their final 11 games before the season was suspended and I see them picking up right where they left off.
Raptors – Nets – The Nets organization would just simulate the rest of the season and pick up next year with w healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie if they could. But, they can’t do that so they have to play this season out and lose to the defending Champions in the first round of the playoffs. The Raptors have won 3 of 4 against the Nets this season and they will take care of business in this single game format. WeTheNorth!
Be sure to check in for Round 2 tomorrow.
Also, this is just a quick reminder that Corona Beer is still a refreshing beer and I can confirm that none of the contents will infect you with the “Corona Virus.” Go buy a 12 pack and don’t forget the lime.