The playoffs are just around the corner and while a lot can still happen from now until the end of the regular season, we just can’t stop wondering how things are going to fare when we hit basketball’s ultimate stage.
For the first time in 8 years, we’re not going to see LeBron James in the Finals. Hell, we’re not going to even see him in the playoffs, and that’s something that says a lot about how things have changed in the league.
Even though there are teams that are most favored to make it to the NBA Finals, we feel like anything can happen for the first time in years. That’s why today, we’re going to break down the top 6 playoff series we definitely need to see.
6. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors
The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors went back and forth throughout the regular season to try and see who was primed to rule the East, with the Bucks eventually having the last laugh as the 1st seed in the Conference.
Those teams look a couple of steps ahead of the rest of the playoff teams in the East, even ahead of Boston and Philadelphia. They’re both stacked with a lot of talent and can play lockdown defense as well as putting a lot of points in the scoreboard.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors
We just know Russell Westbrook and Paul George are determined and desperate to have a chance to dethrone the Golden State Warriors. It’s something that’s in the air every time they face each other.
A Durant-George matchup is mouth-watering for NBA fans, let alone Westbrook trying to put Curry on skates and get back at Durant for bailing on him. Both teams love to run, and we may see record-setting offenses here.
4. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have completely dominated the Philadelphia 76ers for two years straight, but now that they’ve landed Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, we expect this to be one of the most exciting playoff series in the East.
Embiid and Simmons are desperate to prove they’re better than the Celtics and make a run at the Finals, but Brad Stevens’ defense has completely owned them so far. Hopefully, they make it a series.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Toronto Raptors
Both of the Thunder-Raptors matchups we saw were incredibly exciting, and we feel like this is a playoff series that could easily go the distance and be decided on a double-overtime thriller in 7 games.
George and Leonard have gone toe-to-toe this season as the best two-way players in the league and we’d love to see Westbrook and George having a shot at their first ring, a chance the Raptors haven’t had as a franchise either.
2. Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets
Last year’s Rockets-Warriors series was way better than the actual NBA Finals, as the Rockets were 12 minutes away from knocking out the defending Champions before eventually falling short late in the 4th.
The Rockets are built to match up with Golden State and there’s been a lot of trash talking between the two. This series might as well go to 7 again, and a healthy Chris Paul may be a turning point this time.
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs Golden State Warriors
David West stated he thinks the Bucks may mean a lot of trouble for Golden State because of the way their hard-working role guys are playing. They’re quite a deep team, and they have nothing to lose as they’ve been underdogs for most of the season.
This matchup would feature the two best teams in basketball, and it would be interesting to see if the Bucks’ top-tier defense can contain the Warriors’ high-octane offense. Also, Giannis vs. Durant in the Finals? Yes, please.