NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Predictions
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The NBA's Eastern Conference Semi’s start this weekend and is showcased by some thrilling matchups. The Hawks and Sixers will play each other in the playoffs for the first time since 1982, and a big bout between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets. Who comes out one step closer to Larry OB? Here are my picks for the East Semifinals!
Brooklyn Nets Vs Milwaukee Bucks
When the Nets front office decided to push all of their chips in on KD and James Harden this season, the first seed and playoff momentum is exactly what they were expecting. As they mowed down Boston, they now have the right to take on the Bucks, and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who took care of the darkhorse Miami Heat in spectacular fashion.
Other than Jayson Tatum going berserk in game three, the Nets basically neutralized the Celtics young guns, so they'll be looking to assert themselves in the next round. Despite dropping two of three against the Bucks this season, the Nets can take solace in the fact that their big three have yet to take the court together against Milwaukee. With KD, Harden and Kyrie all healthy, and all contributing, Brooklyn should be confident.
The Bucks narrowly escaped game one over Miami, however from there on out it was smooth sailing. After game one, the Bucks margin of victory averaged a whopping 26 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a monster, leading the team in basically every main statistical category possible. Milwaukee will hope he can bring that effort to the Nets series given how close their regular season matchups were.
Kevin Durant has been a problem for the Bucks this season, putting up at least 30 points or more in all three games against Milwaukee this season. However, the Bucks have been able to hang their hats on their defence as well as lean on Giannis once again. This should be a good series, and while it' unfortunate it's happening this early, I'm excited to see the outcome. The Nets are healthy, and if they stay healthy, they should get the better of the Bucks.
Nets in 6.
Atlanta Hawks Vs Philadelphia 76ers
Last season the Hawks missed the playoffs as their young core struggled, while the 76ers had another disappointing playoff run cut short early. This season, however, is telling a different story. The Sixers took care of the Washington Wizards in five games, and the Hawks did the same to the New York Knicks. Trae Young was public enemy number one in Madison Square Garden, and he’ll absolutely get the same treatment in Philly.
Trae Young was dynamic in round one against the Knicks. He averaged 29.2 points in the series, and led both teams in scoring in four out of the five games, including the series clincher. With a great supporting cast in Huerter and Bogdanović, and some rock solid defence, the Hawks have been able to surprise some given the teams lack of playoff experience. The Sixers have gotten the better of the two sides this year, so ATL needs to come out firing.
With Joel Embiid missing the final game of the Sixers first round matchup, the spotlight will be on his health. Simply put, Embiid has been a phenom this season, and the Philly has reaped the rewards. However, this series looks completely different. With that said, the only time ATL was able to beat them was when COVID ripped Philly apart, but now with the team shooting lights out, they'll be confident heading into this series.
Both teams defense's will have their hands full. It's anyone's guess how long Embiid's absence, which could give the Hawks the edge. However, with Philly's depth and proven success against the Hawks this season, they should be able to whether the storm. The Sixers were able to take out Westbrook and Beal, and I'm willing to bet they do the same to Trae Young.
Philly in 5.