Underdogs may surprise in first round of NBA playoffs

This NBA season has been nothing short of exciting, and with the playoffs starting, every game is very competitive. Here are the predictions for the first round matchups.

Warriors Vs. Trail Blazers

The Warriors claimed the number one seed in the West again this year, so they are matched up with the eight seed, Portland. The Warriors have been to the finals two years in a row, and they have another great opportunity to do so again this season. The only team this year in the West that has caused them problems is the Spurs. With Kevin Durant returning from injury, the Trail Blazers aren’t fast enough to run with Golden State.

Clippers Vs. Jazz

Both of these teams are having great seasons. Gordon Hayward of the Jazz has led them all season and has been a tough guard for any team. They are heating up at the right time, and the struggles for the Clippers have continued. The Jazz have never won an NBA title, but they could make a run at it this year.

Rockets Vs. Thunder

This series should be a great one to watch. The two MVP candidates of Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be putting their teams of their backs throughout these games. The Thunder haven’t had the best of seasons claiming just the sixth seed, but Westbrook has single handedly put them in a position to win games. This series should be close.

Spurs Vs. Grizzlies

The Spurs came up just short of getting the first seed in the West. They are a well coached, well-disciplined team. They succeed in the playoffs because of their great defense and ball pressure. They have leaned heavily on Kawhi Leonard, who has taken that role well. The Spurs jumped out to a fast start in games one and two. They are a lock to make a run this season.

Celtics Vs. Bulls 

The Celtics made a late run at the end of the regular season to grab the first seed from the Cavaliers. People have called them one of the worst one seeds of all time, but they have a lot of potential to win, and that’s why they finished in first. They could have a tough time with the Cavs if they end up playing them, but they have to get past Chicago first. They struggled with them if the first two games, but if people continue to doubt the Celtics, they could wind up in the finals.

Wizards Vs. Hawks

The Wizards just missed out on a playoff bid last year, but came back strong this season. John Wall leads the scoring, but they also have good post play. They took game one at home by 7 points in a back and forth game. These teams are evenly matched. Look for a good series to six or seven games.

Raptors Vs. Bucks 

The Raptors bounced back after losing Kyle Lowry to injury for most of the second half of the season. They finished third, and they find themselves matched up with Milwaukee. They will struggle with guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo but should be able to put up enough points to put them away.

Cavaliers Vs. Pacers

The Cavs have struggled late in the season and brought that to the playoffs. The reigning champions have a tougher road to the finals this year, but are more than capable of getting there with the way LeBron James plays when it matters most. The Pacers will put up a fight, but they can’t hang with LeBron and Kyrie.

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