The First Round completes in dramatic fashion. Between Lebron carrying the Cavs over the Pacers and Donovan Mitchell carrying the Jazz over the big 3 in OKC, this post season has been full of surprises. Some of Scoops first round predictions went exactly as planned. Like the Celtics overcoming the Bucks in a tough series and the Rockets making easy work of the Wolves. Some series did not goes as planned, like Indiana and Cleveland going 7 games and the Pelicans upsetting the Blazers.
The Second Round is in full swing and Scoops has some predictions for how this round will close.
Let’s start with the East.
1. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
Boston Up 2-0 🔴⚪️🔵 ☘️
At first glance, this series looks like a pretty easy call. Boston is short vital players and Philly just got back theirs in Joel Embiid. Even with this, Boston won game 1. They had big performances from Rozier, Tatum, and Horford to lift them over the Sixers. Game 2 was a disappointing one for the Sixers as well, as the Celtics took that game from Philly. Now the Sixers need to win 2 in a row to stay alive in this series. Scoops would like to see Philly in the Conference Finals this season (sorry, not sorry Celtic fans). As impressed as I have been with Boston this season, Philly has more talent and potential to go the distance.
Sixers defeats Celtics 4-3.
This prediction can easily be wrong. Boston has shown they are more than capable of keeping up with their Eastern Conference opponents so far. If they defeated Philly, it would be no surprise to me. Even with Philly trailing in the series, I still believe the talent and shooting on that team can overcome.
We shall see.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
Cavs Up 2-0 ⚔️ 🦖
Toronto should be concerned. They lost 2 straight at home and are now trying to just survive the series on the road. Lebron James has been on a tear this post season and has made it his mission to take this team to the Finals again. Everyone knows Toronto can’t fully be trusted in the post season especially against Lebron. This team has lost to Lebron multiple times in this scenario and are on pace to do so again. If they do lose, it will be to Lebron’s worst supporting cast in years, and they might need to consider some kind of overhaul. As good as Dwayne Casey and this team was in the regular season, they’ve been sub par in the post season when it really counts.
Raptors defeat Cavaliers 4-3.
Scoops refuses to give the Cavs a series this post season. If Lebron proves me wrong every series and gets to the Finals that is fine. There is a minor problem with every team he will face this post season. Indiana wasn’t a good enough team, Toronto crumbles in the post season, Philly is too young and Boston is missing pieces. I can’t give Lebron the upper hand in any series because of Cleveland’s roster.
Plenty of series left in this one, and it can go either way.
Now the West.
1. GS Warriors vs. NO Pelicans
Warriors up 2-0 ☀️ 🐤
The Pelicans put on an impressive performance in the first round against the Portland TrailBlazers. Most people saw Portland’s high seeding and how impressive they have been and cast that series aside as an easy call. I was one of those people, and the Pelicans proved me wrong. They had made me believers in the NO backcourt and Anthony Davis. Now they face the biggest challenge of the post season: how to beat the reigning champions. The Warriors turned it on in the first round and did what we already knew they could do, which is play tough defense and score with ease. The Warriors pose multiple matchup problems for the Pelicans, specifically in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Not many people on the Pelicans roster can keep up with those guys. Throw in a healthy Steph Curry and playoff Draymond Green, and this team is as scary as ever. Golden State is up 2-0 heading to New Orleans, and the Pelicans need to take both or even just one of these home games to stay alive. Winning two games in a row against the reigning champs is a tall task, but not impossible.
Warriors defeat Pelicans 4-1
This series could easily be a sweep the way the Warriors have been playing so far in the post season. I’m giving the Pelicans the chance to steal one at home, and then lose in game 5 at the Oracle. Keep in mind the Pelicans have their own matchup problem against the Warriors in AD, and if Davis goes off he could keep the dream alive.
2. Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz
Series tied 1-1 🚀 🎷
Another series that many believed to be over before it started. The Rockets have been outstanding this season as they look to make a push to the NBA Finals. Their opponents won’t let that happen without a fight. Utah have already upset one team with high caliber players and they look to do the same in the semis. They already stole a game at Houston, and now have 2 home games which could spell trouble for Houston. Houston has the firepower and talent to steal one or even both games in Utah. Houston wants to prove they’re head and shoulders the superior team, and Utah wants to show they aren’t afraid of anybody.
Houston wins 4-2
If Houston steals one game in Utah, then the series would be tied 2-2. Then the next game would be in Houston where advantage goes to the Rockets. They win that game and then close out in Utah in game 6. If they lose any of those games, then this series goes to 7 games and finishes in Houston and the Rockets win 4-3. The Rockets do not want this to happen. They want to wrap this series up as quickly as possible so they can be well rested for the conference finals. Every basketball fan is aware that the western conference finals matchup we will most likely see is the Rockets vs. the Warriors. Two of the best teams in basketball going toe to toe in a 7 game series. This is what we all want to see.
But not if Utah can help it.
These are Scoops predictions for the second round. One thing is for sure: this post season has been full of curveballs.
Do you agree with Scoops predictions?
Let us know on our social media.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @scoopsinhoops