NBA Playoffs 2018 are finally here. Regular season wrapped up on Wednesday and now we know who made it to the postseason, and who will spend their time planning vacations.
We decided to use this small window between the end of the regular season and start of the first round of the playoffs on April 14th to think hard about everything we have seen in the past 82 games and enter the “predictions business.” We made our picks for the winners of all the NBA Playoffs 2018 first-round series and we shall stick with them until the very end. This time we are predicting Eastern Conference. (You can check out our Western Conference predictions here.)
Although Eastern Conference is often considered weak and not quite interesting as the West, this year’s first round of the playoffs might be something else. Due to various injuries and other factors, we have some big matchups in the first round that no one expected before the season started. So who will make it out?
(1) Toronto Raptors vs. (8) Washington Wizards
Toronto Raptors win 4-1
It’s fairly simple. Toronto Raptors entered the NBA Playoffs 2018 with a second-best record in the league, have a great coach in Dwane Casey, and have an awesome depth on the roster. Washington Wizards, on the other hands, entered this season with great expectations but eventually had a disappointing season so far. That won’t change against the Raptors, especially since we don’t even know how healthy John Wall is. Presume some games will be close, but Raptors will own this series.
(2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks win 3-4
This one was really tough. While Boston Celtics’ roster is destroyed by injuries, Brad Stevens has shown us that he can keep winning just with a couple of promising youngsters and handful of veterans. But, Milwaukee Bucks have too much talent to throw away this opportunity. It will be a close series, but Giannis Antetokounmpo will take over the last game and will the Buck into the second round.
(3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers win 4-2
Miami Heat will give Philadelphia 76ers run for their money that’s for sure. There will be multiple games that will come down to last possession, where Miami Heat will see the opportunity to use their experience and steal a game they usually wouldn’t win. But the young 76ers team will never lose control over the series and won’t allow an elimination game.
(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Indiana Pacers
Cleveland Cavaliers win 4-0
LeBron James, that’s why. Don’t get us wrong, we respect what Indiana Pacers and Victor Oladipo did this season. After Paul George left Indiana, Oladipo became a new hero and brought hope to a desperate team. But, despite their problems, Cleveland Cavaliers will still have the best player on the planet who will create havoc even with an average supporting cast.