Updated: May 31
Round One of the NBA Playoffs
Written by: Andrew Felton
With the NBA play-offs underway and teams already taking a 2-0 lead, let's take a look at the match-ups for round one and the scores so far.
Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers (PHI Leads 1-0)
After the Washington Wizards were able to secure a place in the playoffs first round, by beating the Indiana Pacers in the play-in tournament, it set up a tasty affair against the 76ers, where we could see Russell Westbrook go up against Joel Embiid in a well anticipated match up. The 76ers currently lead the series 1-0 which will set the tone, where the 76ers should win the series, as the best ranked team in the Eastern Conference look to brush off any challenge the Wizards will put up.
Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers win the series 4-1
Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks (ATL Leads 1-0)
In the first game of this series Trae Young was getting a lot of heat from the Knicks fans being booed throughout the game. However, this did not bode well for the home team as Young turned it on for 32 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds to lead the series after game one. Nonetheless, this should be a close encounter between two very even teams and is anyone's call, especially if Julius Randle hits the heights he did in the regular season being crowned the NBA’s most improved player. Predictions for this one is the Atlanta Hawks will win the series which will go the distance.
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks win the series 4-3
Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks (MIL Leads 2-0)
With last year's finalist, the Miami Heat, looking to go one better this season, it is the Milwaukee Bucks who currently stand in their way, with a 2-0 lead and a Giannis Antetokounmpo who is looking to win his first championship to go alongside his two league MVP’s. This series could already be over with the Bucks looking to dominate and go on to sweep the Heat, with a 4-0 victory.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks win the series 4-0
Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets (BKN Leads 2-0)
This is probably the best match up of round one in the Eastern Conference, with the current super team of the NBA going up against one of the NBA’s most successful franchises. With the Nets destined to reach the finals this year with their star men Durant, Irving, Harden and Griffin leading the line, this could be another series that ends 4-0, with the Nets looking to give their players the biggest rest possible between games to go all the way.
Prediction: Brooklyn Nets win the series 4-0
Memphis Grizzlies vs Utah Jazz (MEM Leads 1-0)
The Memphis Grizzlies are another team who advanced through the play-in tournament and are facing the NBA’s best team this season, the Utah Jazz. With many tipping the Utah Jazz to have a deep play-off run and have a great shot of reaching the conference finals, the first game did not go to plan, with a shock defeat to the Grizzlies 112-109. With only one loss and lots of games still to be played, the Jazz will be looking for redemption and should advance into the next round, without too many hiccups.
Prediction: Utah Jazz win the series 4-2
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers (DAL Leads 2-0)
The Clippers and Mavericks are no strangers to facing each other in the play-offs as they did so in round one last season, which saw the Clippers win 4-2. This game provided classic moments, with a Luka Doncic clutch three-point shot to win the game, which will forever be etched into play-off history. With the Mavericks currently 2-0 up against the Clippers, who have had no injury issues, this series could be over with consistent Mavericks basketball taking them through to round two.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks win the series 4-2
Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers (Series tied 1-1)
With this match up very balanced as both teams have superstars, that when they play to their best ability can win a game by themselves. With both teams winning games by a similar margin, it will take something special to decide who will take the series, whether that is a Triple Double from Nikola Jokic or a game winning buzzer beater from Dame Lillard. One thing for sure is the next games of these series will be ones not to miss.
Prediction: Denver Nuggets 4-3
Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns (Series tied 1-1)
This is easily the match up of the Western Conference with Chris Paul and Devin Bookers Suns taking on the current NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers. With the series tied 1-1 after the Lakers not really turning up in game one and it getting heated between the teams, many of the pundits believe this will be the downfall of the Lakers, not having enough to get past the in-form Suns. However, with Lebron and AD turning up in game two showing how good the Lakers can be, they will look to continue proving doubters wrong and go on to advance through this round of the play-offs, in what will be a very good series to watch.
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers win the series 4-2