The NBA playoffs are almost here, and we cannot wait to see who will make their way through each conference’s tournament to the NBA finals. Here are some of the matchups that we are dying to see during the playoffs.
Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder
I mean did you really think there was going to be a list of playoff match-ups we want to see and this match-up not being on there. I mean it has everything you could possibly look for in a playoff series. Star power (half of GSW’s roster, Russell Westbrook and Paul George), skill, and an engaging story line that has been brewing since Kevin Durant abandoned the Thunder for the Warriors. These teams just flat out do not like each other, a nice change of pace in today’s NBA where it seems like all superstars are friends with each other. There’s absolutely bad blood, and you could see that when the two teams played in the regular season. Not only that but either team has an equal shot at winning the series. Don’t forget, the Thunder won the season series, so will that be enough to finally dethrone the Warriors. The games they’ve played have been incredibly close and extremely entertaining. It’s safe to say we don’t know what may happen if these two meet in the playoffs. This is one of those series that basically every NBA fan wants to see.
Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors
Another GSW matchup here because everybody wants to see them lose. This time it’s the Houston Rockets who come in with the best offense in NBA history. It should be very interesting to see this match-up especially with questions regarding who the best team in the NBA is. The Rockets swept the season series with ease after getting demolished by the Warriors in years past. This game also has as much star power as you could possibly ask for. The Warriors boast Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green while the Rockets are led by presumable MVP James Harden and Chris Paul. We as fans have been waiting for a team like this to come and compete against this Warriors team that has been looked upon as invincible. It should be really fun to watch.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics
We NBA fans want to see LeBron vs Kyrie go at it on separate teams damn it! The two superstars seemed to be getting along pretty well during the All-Star break. LeBron didn’t spite Kyrie and picked him to be a starter on his team. Can Kyrie win without James backing him up? Will the new-look Cavs be able to get things together after moving half of the team at the trade deadline? Answers to these questions will only come with a playoff series for us fans to enjoy. If we are lucky enough to get it, look for the match-up between Al Horford and Kevin Love (when he comes back healthy) to be an important factor in deciding the winner of the series.
Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics
The Toronto Raptors have been the story of the 2017-2018 season. They’ve exceeded all expectations without making any huge flashy moves. The Celtics have played basically up to expectations with flashy moves (the Kyrie Irving trade). The division rivals are both vying over the Eastern Conference crown and want the opportunity to take on the winner over in the West. Toronto’s leading scorer, all-star starter Demar Derozan, and Boston’s leader, another all-star starter in Kyrie Irving, put this match-up over the top. There’s also a lot of depth for these two teams, both have excellent benches that will be very important in deciding a winner. Also, I get the feeling both of these teams feel outshined by LeBron and the Cavs, so if they meet before either meets the Cavaliers, the opportunity to take on the Cavs should also push both of these teams to play harder.
Portland Trail Blazers vs San Antonio Spurs
The Trail Blazers have been on fire as of recently. They haven’t lost since the All-Star break and currently are riding an 11 game win streak. With the backcourt that the Blazers possess, they will be fun to watch in any series. Damian Lillard has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate averaging 26.7 PPG and 6.5 APG. After Lillard, you have to deal with rising star CJ McCollum who is greatly outpacing his career averages in all major categories. Pairing the Blazers exciting style of basketball up against the old-school style of basketball the Spurs will make for something everybody can watch. It should be entertaining to see if the Spurs still have what it takes to be dominant like they have been for the past 20+ years. Kawhi Leonard (if he returns from injury) provides a stark contrast to how the Blazers stars play basketball. Also, it wasn’t that long ago when LaMarcus Aldridge was a free agent and decided to sign with the Spurs rather than re-sign with the Blazers. This is a low-key matchup that I think will be exciting.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Milwaukee Bucks
Not really much history between these two teams, but the allure here comes with the opportunity to see two young superstars battle it out in a playoff series. We are obviously talking about the 76ers Joel Embiid and Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both were all-star starters this past season under the age of 25. They both are outspoken superstars who can put the team on their back if need be. I also am curious to see how both teams, who are very young (aside from the few veterans), handle the playoff atmosphere. Not too long ago, the 76ers were the laughing stock of the league due to their poor record, and the Bucks really only have a year of playoff experience under their belts. This match-up provides a glance at what the future may look like 3-5 years down the road.