Details for how the new NBA bubble would look have just come out. This means the NBA is right around the corner. These playoff predictions are based off of what we know now in terms of who is playing and who isn't. There is no game schedule out yet so I am going to assume the current standings as the playoff seeds. These seeds will definitely change, but with no schedule it is too hard to predict. In the Eastern Conference, the top 8 seeds will be: 1. Milwaukee, 2. Toronto, 3. Boston, 4. Miami, 5 Indianapolis, 6. Philadelphia, 7. Brooklyn, 8. Orlando, with Washington missing the cut. In the Western Conference, the top 8 seeds will be: 1. Los Angeles Lakers, 2. Los Angeles Clippers, 3. Denver, 4. Utah, 5. Oklahoma City, 6. Houston, 7. Dallas, 8. Memphis, with Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio, and Phoenix missing the cut.
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs 8. Orlando Magic
These 2 teams have played each other 4 times this season, with Milwaukee taking all 4 by an average of 17 points per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 26.3 points and 15.7 rebounds in these 4 games. The Magic will try to use a more balanced attack than the Bucks with Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, and Aaron Gordon. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton will help the Bucks have no troubles getting past the Magic.
Prediction: Bucks 4 Magic 0
4. Miami Heat vs. 5 Indianapolis Pacers
This should be a very interesting series. Two teams who are very underrated and weren't expected to be here. Miami and Indianapolis matched up twice last year, with Miami taking both games. The frontcourt matchup of Domantas Sabonis and Bam Adebayo should be a very interesting one to watch. The star power of Jimmy Butler will be enough for the Heat to pull away from the Pacers in a close series.
Prediction: Heat 4 Pacers 2
3. Boston Celtics vs. 6. Philadelphia 76ers
This series will be a very back and forth series, like it always is when these two teams play. The 76ers led the regular season battle 3 games to 1. Look for Joel Embiid to have a field day during the series with Daniel Theis guarding him. For the Boston Celtics, I would expect all of their shooters stepping up. To beat the 76ers, you have to offset the height with more threes. I think the series will go down to the wire, with the 76ers' struggles from deep haunting them.
Prediction: Celtics 4 76ers 3
2. Toronto Raptors vs. 7. Brooklyn Nets
The outcome of this series all depends on if star point guard Kyrie Irving will play. The Raptors will win regardless but Kyrie would help keep it close. The Nets were 1-3 against the Raptors in the regular season. The Raptors play a very team-oriented style of basketball. Every game it will be a different player leading them. If Irving doesn't play, expect Spencer Dinwiddie to step up. The Nets will put up a good fight, but will be no match for the Toronto Raptors.
Prediction: Raptors 4 Nets 1
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 8. Memphis Grizzlies
Playoff LeBron is a different animal than regular season LeBron and the young Grizzlies are going to find this out the hard way. The Lakers led the regular season 3-1. The Grizzlies will struggle to stop the duo of Lebron James and Anthony Davis. The Memphis Grizzlies will rely on the trio of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Jonas Valanciunas, but will ultimately come up short of the much better Lakers.
Prediction: Lakers 4 Grizzlies 0
4. Utah Jazz vs. 5. Oklahoma City Thunder
This will be a very back and forth series. The Jazz are a very good defensive team. The two teams split the regular season 1-1 in two close games. The Thunder were a surprisingly good team this year, led by the quartet of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams. The Jazz are led by Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gobert. In a very tight series, the veteran presence of Chris Paul will help the Thunder pull away.
Prediction: Jazz 3 Thunder 4
3. Denver Nuggets vs. 6. Houston Rockets
Like the Jazz and Thunder, this will be another highly competitive, back and forth series. The Nuggets and Rockets split their 4 regular season matchups. The Rockets are going to have a lot of trouble stopping Nikola Jokic in the post, but the Nuggets will have trouble stopping the Rockets' versatility. Look for a high-scoring, fun series with the Rockets coming on top of mostly close games.
Prediction: Nuggets 3 Rockets 4
2. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 7. Dallas Mavericks
The outcome of this series depends on how healthy the Clippers are. When the Clippers are 100%, they are one of the best teams in the NBA. The Clippers swept the Mavericks in the two games they played this year. The Clippers are one of the deepest teams in the NBA with 2 sixth man of the year candidates in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. The Mavericks are going to have to be carried by Luka Doncic if they want a chance. While I do think a couple games will be close, the Clippers should have no problem.
Prediction: Clippers 4 Mavericks 1
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 4. Miami Heat
This will be a very entertaining series. The Heat swept the Bucks in the two games they played. Bam Adebayo does a great job defending Giannis as he has only shot 46.1% in the games they played, which is below his 54.7% on the season. The series is going to be wire to wire. The two players this series will come down to are Jimmy Butler and Khris Middleton. The Bucks will figure out how to get Giannis involved efficiently in the offense and squeak out a great series.
Prediction: Bucks 4 Heat 3
2. Toronto Raptors vs. 3. Boston Celtics
Expect another series that will have you on the edge of your seat. The Celtics led the regular season 1-2. Both teams are very well coached and in this series we should be seeing some great basketball. Pascal Siakam should go off with the Celtics not really having anyone to guard him. Besides not having Kawhi Leonard, the rotation is pretty much the same for the Toronto Raptors. This team already has veteran, finals experience which gives them the edge in the series.
Prediction: Raptors 4 Celtics 3
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 5. Oklahoma City Thunder
This series should not be as close as the two series in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers swept the Thunder in their 3 meetings. One of those games, the Lakers won by 15 without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This speaks to the depth of the Los Angeles Lakers as Kyle Kuzma had 36 points. Chris Paul will do everything he can, but the Thunder will ultimately come up short.
Prediction: Lakers 4 Thunder 1
2. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 6. Houston Rockets
This will be another high scoring series. Every series the Rockets play in will be high scoring because of their height and the pace they play. The Clippers and Rockets split their 4 regular season games. The Clippers won the only game they played during the small ball experiment. A healthy Kawhi and Paul George will be too much for the Rockets' small ball lineup and the Clippers will prevail in a close series.
Prediction: Clippers 4 Rockets 2
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 2. Toronto Raptors
This should be the first of 2 extremely entertaining conference finals series. The Bucks' high powered offense against the Raptors' great defense. The Bucks beat the Raptors in both games they played. The Raptors will have to contain Giannis to have a shot. Giannis shot 70% the first game and 35.7% the second game. This series will come down to Giannis and how the Raptors will guard him. Giannis will have more good games than bad games and will get their revenge.
Prediction: Bucks 4 Raptors 2
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 2 Los Angeles Clippers
This is the matchup everyone's been waiting for. LeBron James and Anthony Davis vs. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers hold the regular season advantage 2-1. This series will likely be determined by who has the healthiest team. I would have my money on the Lakers being healthier because it seemed the Clippers would play without Kawhi or Paul George. In an extremely close back and forth series, the Lakers will squeak out the victory.
Prediction: Lakers 4 Clippers 3
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Bucks and Lakers have made my Fantasy NBA Finals. Both teams took similar paths to get there as the Bucks have gone 12-5 and the Lakers went 12-4. The two teams split the regular season 1-1. The Bucks do not have as good as a second star as the Lakers do. The Lakers also have a much better bench and have a much older team. The Lakers will win the NBA Finals but the Bucks will get a game or two off of them due to the stellar play from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Prediction: Lakers 4 Bucks 2
I hope you enjoyed this article. It took me a very long time to make. Fantasy Team Previews Part 7: Cincinnati Bengals will come soon. Comment what you would've changed.