Yes, I am fully aware that the play-in tournament has not been completed yet, but it's time to make some predictions. And when you're a fan of the winningest franchise in NBA history, winning one playoff series means jack Lakers.
So here are my predictions for the four conference finalists. Feel free to make your own predictions down below in the comment section (or over in the SHOUT BOX) and you can brag about your correct picks in about a month.
Eastern Conference: Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. Boston actually has the toughest path for a top 2 seed in that they have to play the Nets in Round 1. They were a 7th seed for the sole reason that Kevin Durant was injured for a good portion of the season and James Harden was in one of his dgaf moods trying to get traded while he was there. Also the previously overrated, but now rather criminally underrated Ben Simmons has yet to play a game for them. He's expected back by Game 4 of round 1.
And as much as we fairly critique Kyrie Irving and he's proven that he can't win games as a team's #1 guy, he is a fantastic talent when engaged and playing with a top 5 player in the NBA (LeBron in Cleveland. Durant in Brooklyn). The Nets with Durant, Irving, and even have a Simmons are no 7th seed. Boston still will get their revenge this year, in true Celtics fashion, where the best team wins the series.
The Celtics come into the playoffs with the league's best chemistry. And when you also have some top shelf talent, that means something. The defending champs Bucks won't be easy in Round 2 either, by any stretch for that matter. But Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Time Lord, Al Horford and companywill have home court advantage and I believe they will win in 7 games.
I have Philly making it past the Raptors and Heat. The 76ers are still in the honeymoon stage of the James Harden experience and Joel Embiid is a perfect compliment to him. Embiid could very well win this year's NBA regular season MVP award. He's a beast.
Out West I have the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors making it to their conference finals. Love the Grizzlies, but the Warriors have the experience advantage ten fold and I think the team winning so much without Morant the stretch will throw a wrench into team roles as they reacclimate Ja back into his proper centerpiece role.
So there you have it. Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Golden State. Who do you have?