Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Yahoo Sports NBA's 2019 playoff predictions

Who will be the new king in the East? NBA Playoffs shootaround: opening round preview and predictions
Shannon Reynolds | 16 April, 2019, 01:03

Read our bold predictions then have your say on the storylines raised by voting on each topic. Other short odds to win are the Houston Rockets (+600), the Denver Nuggets (+1400) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (+1400).

That doesn't mean Houston will suffer a shock first-round exit.

Milwaukee failed to clear the first hurdle in the postseason past year, losing in seven to the Celtics, but has greater depth this time around.

The Golden State Warriors are 16-9 since the NBA All-Star break. They had home-court advantage in all four finals against Cleveland, but Milwaukee and Toronto both finished with better records and would host Games 1 and 2 if they win the East. The Rockets shoot threes at an unprecedented rate, while Utah is the best in the league at limiting 3-point attempts.

There is no reason to suspect that the respective No 1 seeds, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors, will have any trouble dispatching their opening round opponents.

In today's edition of Milwaukee Bucks Daily, we get a detailed look into Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo's pre-game routine, the Bucks roll out their itinerary and fan giveaways for the first round of this year's NBA Playoffs, and much more.

With or without Griffin, Detroit are facing the NBA's best team. The Bucks swept the regular season series against the Pistons and are better in just about every category. This 54-28 team is historically bad for a West 2-seed, tied as the worst West 2-seed since 1985-86 when the league had 22 teams. That is, of course, winning a playoff series. That shouldn't be too hard with the talent surrounding him in Golden State, as he'll get plenty of open looks and touches, given how well the Warriors stretch the floor.

Harden scores 29 as Rockets rout Jazz in Game 1
The Utah Jazz are allowing 36.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 41 rebounds per game. When you do that, it puts pressure on the offense to try to make the right plays".

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"It's a whole new season", coach Doc Rivers said.

If the Warriors get there, they would be the second franchise ever with such a streak - joining only the Boston Celtics, who went there in 10 straight seasons from 1957-66.

Harden once again led the league in three-pointers made this season, and will be counted on to put up the big scoring numbers that were routine for him during the regular season. The Pistons' offense takes a nose dive without Griffin and even with the mismatch inside of Andre Drummond, it won't be enough for the Pistons to overcome the onslaught from the Bucks' offense. They are looking for a fifth consecutive conference title and 11 conference title overall in franchise history.

As always at playoff time, there are some familiar things and some not-so-familiar things. But Philly has just two series wins since 2003.

A lot of records were produced this season. This is a team, after all, that reached the Eastern Conference Finals past year without two of their best players, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Unlike previous years, National Basketball Association analysts, players and fans alike are still engaged in a heated debate over who should take home the hardware this June.

Milwaukee improved from having the 16th-best record in the league in 2017-18 to sitting top of the pile 12 months later, a picture of consistency having boasted a winning record from day one. The additions of Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, George Hill, and Nikola Mirotic should definitely make a difference as they bring shooting, toughness and veteran leadership; which is exactly what this team will need to help them advance. Brown improved enormously after the All-Star break, raising his three-point shooting percentage by nearly 10 per cent. They are just too good defensively for the young Nets, and I believe the Raptors will win the series in five games.

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