Final 8 NBA Playoff Preview


Austin Boynes, Editor

Now that the first round of the NBA playoffs has come to an end, and the second round has just begun, we are now one step closer to crowning an NBA champion. But which teams will prevail and live up to the hype?

Each of the matchups in the second round is interesting in its own right, but I believe that the Bucks vs. Celtics series is the best out of them all. This is because of how the teams have played this entire season.

Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been very productive for Boston, and Giannis Antetokounmpo has been dominant for Milwaukee. Tatum this season has averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, while Brown averaged 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Giannis, on the other hand, is averaging 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists per game this season. I believe that the Celtics will win this series because Giannis is missing his right=hand man in Khris Middleton, who averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists this season. The Celtics also have too many weapons and I do not believe that the Bucks have what it takes to stop that.

The next series is the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat. This will be an interesting series as well because we will be able to see how the 76ers are without Joel Embiid because he will miss some of the games. Embiid has been on a tear this season as he has averaged 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists per game and has every right to be in the MVP conversation, as well. But the Heat have had injury troubles, too, losing Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, and many others to injuries this season, but hopefully they’ll all be healthy in time for this series. The Heat will win in my opinion because of the leadership value that Butler brings to the team.

Now out in the west, the top seeded Phoenix Suns will face off against the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas got their first playoff series win in the Luka Doncic era when they beat Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, but now they are met with a bigger test. Luka has shined this season, averaging 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists per game. But Doncic has had some help in the form of Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

But the Suns are looking to go back to the Finals, and they are looking as strong now as they were last season. They have, surprisingly, kept their roster together and their two superstars are playing just as well. Devin Booker averaged 27 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists this season while Chris Paul averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 11 assists. I believe that the Suns can win this series because they have been here before. Also, Dallas has not made it this far in a while and I don’t know if they have the playoff experience needed to win.

The last series is between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors have become one of the best teams in the league with the return of the Splash Brothers in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, along with the help of Jordan Poole. The Warriors have the pieces to make a Finals push, but without a true big man do they have what it takes to win it all?

The Grizzlies on the other hand have quickly taken the league by storm as Ja Morant produces highlight clips every single night. But Ja has a lot of help with Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Dillon Brooks. I think that the Warriors can win this series because of their shooting ability, but it would not surprise me if the Grizzlies found a way to pull it out.