Playoff Predictions Revisited

Stanley Dufour ’25 in Sports | April 28, 2023

At the time of writing, The Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets is the only completed best of seven series following a dominant sweep by Philly, in spite of Embiid’s struggles. Tobias Harris was key for the 76ers throughout the series, and he will need to continue his hot shooting and aggression if Philadelphia wants to make a deep playoff push. In the East’s 1v8 matchup, The Milwaukee Bucks lost Giannis Antetokounmpo early in the first Game to a back injury, and his team now trails 1-3. The Bucks will have to find a way to stop Jimmy Butler and use their big three more effectively if they want any chance of a comeback. In the West’s 4v5 series, the Phoenix Suns hold a commanding 3-1 lead over the LA Clippers. While they are still learning to play off each other, their offense is near unstoppable when they are clicking, and the absences of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have given Phoenix ample time to figure things out. On the Eastern side, the Knicks have got Madison Square Garden roaring as New York is set to win its second playoff series since 2000. The Knicks have suffocated Cleveland’s offense, limiting them to as few as 79 points in the third game. Donovan Mitchell hasn’t been living up to his standards as a playoff veteran, and the Knicks have been getting their way on the glass all series long. Kings vs Warriors has looked like an all-time classic series through the first 4 games, with the home team winning every game so far. De’aaron Fox’s clutch-time heroics and Malik Monk’s overperformance so far have put to rest the doubt that the young Kings may be too inexperienced for a playoff environment. Meanwhile, The Warriors have gotten themselves back in the series after being down 2-0. The question remains of whether Golden State can scrape together a win on the road. The LA Lakers look poised to upset the disorganized young Memphis Grizzlies, and the Lakers’ new-look roster has turned their season around, successfully playing off its stars. The number one seed Denver Nuggets have been silencing their doubters, nearly sweeping the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anthony Edwards is playing at a superstar level, but the rest of that team leaves a lot to be desired, with the Rudy Gobert trade looking worse by the day. Finally, the Boston Celtics have taken care of business so far, as they seek to return to the finals. Trae Young’s inconsistency won’t get this Atlanta Hawks roster very far in the playoffs, and when you can expect at least 30 points each from Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown every night, it is hard to see a team stopping these Celtics.