The first round of the NBA playoffs is in full swing and we already have some results for this round, which gives us a look at the matchups.
In other ways, we don’t have the final results for this round done yet and will have to wait a few more days to see which teams will move on and be playing for a title.
The Eastern Conference is Set for the Second Round
We already know which teams will be moving on in the NBA playoffs to be part of the next round. As it stands now we will see the Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Brooklyn Nets when the second round begins. With the exception of the Hawks, this means the top seeds made it past the first round and will continue to play for the championship.
Philadelphia Dispatched Washington Easily
In a series that could have gone seven games, the 76ers were able to pull out a “gentleman’s sweep” of the Wizards, which takes place when one team only wins one game during the series. The 76ers were dominant and moved on from the first series by only dropping one game against the eighth-seeded Wizards. The 76ers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference and are favorites to be in the NBA Finals.
Atlanta Took Care of New York Without Much Trouble
During the regular season, the New York Knicks won the series against the Atlanta Hawks to be the higher seed, but the overall record of these two teams was exactly the same. The Hawks handed the Knicks a 4-1 series that only gave New York one shining moment at Madison Square Garden where the Knicks won their only game of the series.
A Full Sweep of Miami by the Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks started strong and never let up on the Miami Heat. Even though the Heat were the Eastern Conference representatives in the NBA Finals last year, they couldn’t get past the first round and the Bucks. The 4-0 sweep gives the Bucks a bit of a rest before the second round of the NBA playoffs begins.
Brooklyn Handed Boston a First Round Exit
The third of the “gentleman’s sweep” of the Eastern Conference took place as the Nets dominated the Celtics with a 4-1 series win. This was the expected result but it did also result in the Celtics making some changes in the coaching staff and front office personnel. We expect to see the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Milwaukee Bucks may have something to say about that.
The Western Conference Tells a Different Story
Currently, we only have one series that has finished in the Western Conference of the NBA Playoffs. The Utah Jazz completed their series against the Memphis Grizzlies with a 4-1 series finish that didn’t give the Grizzlies much of a chance. The Jazz are the top seed in the West and now get to rest while the other series play out before the second round can begin.
The Clippers and Mavericks Make for an Interesting Matchup
It’s hard to predict whether the Los Angeles Clippers or Dallas Mavericks will be the team that comes out of this series. Currently, the Mavericks hold a 3-2 series lead, but the Clippers are the higher seed and are expected to win the series. We’ll have to wait and see how this series finishes out and which team will move on.
Will We See Denver or Portland Moving On?
Another series that’s tough to predict is the one with the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers where we see the Nuggets are up three games to two over the Trail Blazers. This is the matchup of the third and sixth seeds in the West that has been back and forth a bit. Will we see Denver or Portland moving on? Stay tuned and learn which one of these two teams will move forward to the second round.
The Suns and Lakers Bring an Attrition-Based Series to the NBA Playoffs
Injuries to star players in the series between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers has caused this series to go back and forth a lot as well. As we stand now, the Suns hold a three games to two advantage over the Lakers, but the Lakers are supposed to be the team to move on. Unfortunately, no one can control injuries and when they happy a team might not win as many games as predicted.