2018-19 NBA Playoffs Predictions

Note: These predictions were made prior to the results of Saturday’s games.

Here are my complete predictions for the 2018-19 NBA Playoffs from Round 1 to the NBA Finals.

Round 1

East:

#8 Detroit Pistons vs #1 Milwaukee Bucks

Prediction: Bucks in 5 games

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(Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

#7 Orlando Magic vs #2 Toronto Raptors

Prediction: Raptors in 6 games

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(Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

#6 Brooklyn Nets vs #3 Philadelphia 76ers

Prediction: 76ers in 6 games

embiid
(NBAE/Getty Images)

#5 Indiana Pacers vs #4 Boston Celtics

Prediction: Celtics in 6 games

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(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

 

 

West:

#8 Los Angeles Clippers vs #1 Golden State Warriors

Prediction: Warriors in 4 games

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(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

 

#7 San Antonio Spurs vs #2 Denver Nuggets

Prediction: Nuggets in 6 games

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(Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

#6 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #3 Portland Trail Blazers

Prediction: Thunder in 6 games

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(Photo via SI)

#5 Utah Jazz vs #4 Houston Rockets

Prediction: Rockets in 6 games

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 (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

 

Conference Semifinals

East:

#4 Boston Celtics vs #1 Milwaukee Bucks

Prediction: Celtics in 7 games

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(Photo via Getty Images)

 

#3 Philadephia 76ers vs #2 Toronto Raptors

Prediction: Raptors in 6 games

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(John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

West:

#4 Houston Rockets vs #1 Golden State Warriors

Prediction: Warriors in 6 games

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(Photo via Getty Images)

#6 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #2 Denver Nuggets

Prediction: Thunder in 7 games

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(Tyler Kaufman/AP)

 

Conference Finals

East:

#4 Boston Celtics vs #2 Toronto Raptors

Prediction: Celtics in 7 games

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(Photo via SI)

 

West:

#6 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #1 Golden State Warriors

Prediction: Warriors in 5 games

 

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(Photo via AP)

 

NBA Finals

#4 Boston Celtics vs #1 Golden State Warriors

Prediction: Warriors in 5 games

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(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

New’s Roundup: Kyrie/Murray, Rozier’s future & more!

Here are some recent headlines in the world of the Celtics.

1. Kyrie stands by his actions in Denver

During the ending of Monday’s loss in Denver, Nuggets guard Jamal Murray launched a last second 3-pointer in hopes of accumulating 50 points, which did not sit well with Kyrie Irving, who proceeded to recover the ball and toss it into the stands.

Irving was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his actions, and when he was asked by reporters about the fine, he remarked that it was “well-deserved”. Murray’s last second heave did violate an unwritten rule in the NBA, which is to simply dribble out the clock when victory is guaranteed in the final seconds. 

As Kyrie said, the Celtics will see Jamal Murray and the Nuggets again, so it will be interesting to see the dynamic between the two guards. 

2. Rozier and Ainge squash trade rumors

Over the last few days, it had been reported that at least 7 teams were interested in trading for a reportedly disgruntled Terry Rozier. Earlier today, Danny Ainge spoke out to squash any rumors on Rozier’s unhappiness and the possibility of him being traded. 

Rozier also came out to refute the rumors, as he remarked that he was happy in his current situation. With this being a contract year for the young point guard, it will be an interesting situation to watch as the season progresses.

3. Hayward’s homecoming

Tomorrow night, Gordon Hayward will make his long-awaited return to Salt Lake City, as the Celtics take on the Utah Jazz. Hayward left the Jazz during free agency in 2017, but he ended up missing the entire 2017 season due to an injury suffered in the opener at Cleveland. The Jazz did not really miss a beat with Hayward’s departure, as they filled in his absence with sensational rookie, Donovan Mitchell, who has been able to lead Utah to be one of the best teams in the West so far this season. 

Expect an emotional return to Utah for Gordon Hayward, as he will likely have to deal with disgruntled and upset Jazz fans.

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(Rick Scuteri/AP)

4. Peyton Manning joins the Celtics in the film room

During the Celtics’ visit to Denver, they welcomed former NFL QB Peyton Manning to one of their practices. Brad Stevens and Manning know each other from their respective stints in the state of Indiana, so Stevens brought him in to help with watching film (which was one of Manning’s hallmarks as a competitor during his career in the NFL). Both Stevens and Kyrie Irving credited Manning’s influence during the practice, as they felt that having a proven champion help them break down film improved the efficiency and enthusiasm of the practice. 

Hopefully Manning’s influence will help the Celtics remedy some of their miscues with the use of more efficient film work.

News Roundup: Kyrie’s style, Hayward’s bounce-back and more!

Here are some of the recent headlines in the world of the Celtics.

1. The effect of getting a haircut

Kyrie Irving made headlines over the off-season due to the afro and headband he debuted during 2018’s Media Day. Irving did not have the greatest start to this season, as he was heavily inconsistent and struggled to make shots, with Jayson Tatum being the C’s main weapon. This came to a head when he scored only 3 points during the Celtics’ win in Detroit.

Prior to the Celtics welcoming the Pistons on October 30th, Kyrie got a haircut and ditched the headband, and proceeded to score a team-high 31 points to lead the C’s to another win over Detroit. He followed this performance with a 28 point outing during a victory over the previously undefeated Milwaukee Bucks.

Let’s hope that Kyrie’s new haircut continues to fuel great performances.

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(Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

2. Nike and Kyrie debut the Kyrie 5’s

Earlier this week, Nike debuted Kyrie Irving’s latest signature model, the Kyrie 5. This shoe takes inspiration from earlier Kyrie models, and also continues to innovate forward. Interestingly enough, the quarter of the shoe features the Illuminati symbol, as a reference to Kyrie’s strong belief in conspiracy theories.

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(Photo via Nike)

Check out this article from SLAM, which details the inspiration behind this shoe.

3. Hayward continues to propel forward

Celtics’ fans have been maintaining a keen interest in Gordon Hayward’s performance, due to his return from the horrifying ankle injury he suffered last year. Similarly to Kyrie, Hayward has been inconsistent since the season started, which has caused several pundits to question whether he was worth the investment Boston paid for him. Hence, it was encouraging to see his outing against the Bucks on November 1st, when he scored 18 points, and had a good defensive performance. Also, there was a sequence in the game when Hayward came down hard on the left ankle he fractured last season, but he was able to shake it off and continue playing. When asked about that incident, Hayward mentioned that his left foot was sore, but that he would be fine.

Hayward has a big game coming up on November 9th, when the Celtics visit his former team, the Utah Jazz.

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(Winslow Townson/ USA TODAY Sports)

4. City Edition

Last season, the Celtics wore a mediocre grey uniform, which was dubbed the ‘City Edition’ by Nike.

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(Photo via Nike)

Recently, the 2018-19 iteration of the City Edition uniform was leaked on Twitter, and it appears that Nike took inspiration from the old St. Patrick’s Day alternate, as this uniform is white with green and gold trim, and I have to say that this is a marked improvement.

Expect the Celtics to officially unveil this uniform sometime in the next week.

5. Looking ahead

The Celtics have a tough slate coming up, as they travel west to take on teams such as the Jazz, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets.