Breaking down the 2020 NBA Playoff Bracket predictions
The NBA playoffs have arrived and hoop fans and sports betting champions are ready to make their 2020 NBA playoff bracket predictions. This is a different year in the NBA playoffs that has a play-in series and no real home-court advantage as all of the games will be played in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. (get your printable 2020 bracket)
The 2021 NBA playoff bracket predictions are here
The playoffs start Saturday with the play-in series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers. This is a unique start to the playoffs and the schedule is posted, so all that is left to do is pick a winner. This is a very interesting NBA match up. The Trail Blazers play some really bad defense and that will allow the Grizzlies to steal a game, but in the end, the Blazers will advance. The Blazers advance in two games.
Update: The Blazers only needed one game to advance, thanks to the stellar play of center Jusuf Nurkic. They now will play the Lakers.
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NBA Playoff Bracket predictions
Before we make the picks, here are the NBA first-round series prices:
(1) Milwaukee Bucks (-10000) vs. (8) Orlando Magic (+1300)
(2) Toronto Raptors (-3330) vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets (+1100)
(3) Boston Celtics (-375) vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers (+275)
(4/5) Miami Heat vs. (4/5) Indiana Pacers
(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) TBD
(2) Los Angeles Clippers (-550) vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks (+375)
(3) Denver Nuggets (+160) vs. (6) Utah Jazz (+160)
(4/5) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (4/5) Houston Rockets
Western Conference NBA playoff predictions
The West is all about the Lakers, the top seed. Although it could be argued that the Rockets vs Thunder is the best game in the first round, all eyes will be on LeBron James. The Lakers outlast advance past a tired Blazers team. In fact, in the first round, all of the favorites will advance.
Westbrook is hurt, Harden is inconsistent and the Rockets don’t have the size. They can’t stop Anthony Davis and the Lakers advance. The upset comes in the other matchup.
The Denver Nuggets will beat the LA Clippers. The Nuggets are as deep as the Clippers and they have the size to dominate up front. Nikola Jokic is the star, but the emergence of Michael Porter Jr. in the restart has been fun to watch. Your first upset in the West is when the Nuggets advance in seven games.
Western Conference Finals
I really want to pick the Nuggets to beat the Lakers. They can score and run with LA and have enough depth to match up with the Lakers. But it’s LeBron James playing with motivation to return to the Finals and honor Kobe Bryant. The NBA loves its stars. Lakers advance in 7 games.
Eastern Conference NBA playoff predictions
The favorites are the Milwaukee Bucks followed by the Toronto Raptors, but the best first-round series is the Celtics vs Sixers. Although, it could be argued that the Miami vs. Indiana series will be equally as intriguing. I am not looking for major upsets in the first round as every favorite will advance except for the Heat who loses to the Pacers in seven games.
This is where things get interesting. The Bucks will beat the Pacers in 5 games. They have an incredible defense and they are better than the Pacers.
The Raptors and the Celtics will be the series to watch. The defending champions against the team many predict will win it all this year. The Raptors are stout and play tough defense, but the offensive inconsistency, especially in the half-court will be too much to overcome. The Celtics lack size, but Robert Williams emerges as a quality big man and they advance in seven games.
Eastern Conference Finals
The Celtics have always struggled against Giannis Antetokounmpo and that is unlikely to change in the Finals. The Celtics can beat this team by shooting the 3-ball. The Bucks gave up the most 3’s made and attempted in league history. That is a strong point of this Celtics team. They can get points from more than one player and can spread the floor.
The Celtics are the first Eastern Conference team to finish with 3 20-point scorers since 1984… 👀
(per @SeanGrandePBP) pic.twitter.com/8IiOBEVpfv
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) August 13, 2020
In a back and forth series, the Celtics win and advance in seven games.
Does it get any better than this? The Celtics against the Lakers for another championship as the legend of this rivalry lives on. Kyle Kuzma has given the Lakers and extra boost offensively with his play in the bubble averaging 15.4 points on 44.4% shooting from 3. The Celtics have young talent and they are well-coached but will it be enough to hold off arguably the best player in the world? Yes.
NBA Finals Prediction: Celtics in 6
2020 World Champions: Boston Celtics (+1200)
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