2020 NBA Playoff Predictions

2020+NBA+Playoff+Predictions

Photo by TJ Dragotta on Unsplash

Chris Morrison, Staff Writer

Aug. 17 the 2020 NBA Playoffs began at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. The playoffs are played in a quarantined “bubble,” allowing players to stay safe from COVID-19. Before players can join their colleagues in the bubble, they must quarantine themselves for at least 48 hours until they receive two negative tests. After eight first-round playoff series, there are still three rounds until the NBA Champions emerge. Excusing play from the first round, here are some 2020 NBA Playoffs predictions:

Western Conference Semifinals Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers(1) over the Houston Rockets(4)

In the Western Conference Semifinals, the first-seeded Los Angeles Lakers play the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets. Despite having superstars Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the Rockets lack the team chemistry and depth to pull off an upset against Lebron James and the Lakers. I think the Lakers will likely move on after five or six games.

Western Conference Semifinals Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers(2) over the Denver Nuggets(3)

In the second Western Conference Semifinals, the sixth-seeded Utah Jazz face off against the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. Despite Denver’s triumphant comeback against the Utah Jazz in the first round, they will have a lot of trouble defeating the depth in the Clippers roster. Unless Paul George plays like an NBA superstar, the Nuggets might make a miracle. But I predict the Clippers will close out the series in less than six games.

Eastern Conference Semifinals Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks(1) over Miami Heat(5)

In the Eastern Conference, the first-seeded Milwaukee Bucks will play the fifth-seeded Miami Heat. The Bucks were a force throughout the regular season. Still, their recent play against the Orlando Magic was not what fans expected. Fortunately for them, they returned to their stride in the later games of that series. “Now you got (Khris) Middleton back to his normal self, they’re gonna be tough… Miami’s a great series, Miami could easily win, but I am satisfied that the Bucks are trending towards who they really are,” NBA analyst Max Kellerman said on the ESPN show “First Take”. In a very competitive series, I think the Bucks are going to beat my beloved Miami Heat in six or seven games.

Eastern Conference Semifinals Prediction: Boston Celtics(3) over Toronto Raptors(2)

In the second Eastern Conference Semifinals, the second-seeded Toronto Raptors will play the third-seeded Boston Celtics. Both teams swept their respective opponents, so both have a lot of momentum going forward. Toronto has fantastic team chemistry and depth, but Boston’s stars played very efficiently in their series against the Philadelphia 76ers. In another close battle, I predict the Celtics will end the series in six or seven games.

Western Conference Finals Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers(1) over Los Angeles Clippers(2)

In the next round, in the Western Conference Finals, I predict the Los Angeles Lakers will face their rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. Every matchup between these two crosstown teams draws plenty of attention, and this series would be a network’s dream. The Lakers roster lacks the same depth that the Clippers have, but Lakers superstars Lebron James and Anthony Davis have been on a mission this year. “I think the Lakers would win that matchup just because it’s Lebron and AD[Davis], so they are kind of unstoppable,” junior Ben Murphy said. I predict the Lakers are going to emerge victorious in six or seven games, depending on Clippers star Paul George’s performance.

 

Eastern Conference Finals Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks(1) over Boston Celtics(3)

In the Eastern bracket, the Milwaukee Bucks clash against the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have played great this year and throughout the postseason so far, but they have no chance against the beast in Milwaukee. Assuming Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are playing in form, Boston has no chance in this series. I predict the Bucks will win in five or six games.

 

NBA Finals Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers(1) over Milwaukee Bucks(1)

Finally, moving to the NBA Finals, the Lakers will face the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA Title. Although Milwaukee has been the best team in the Eastern Conference this season, Lebron’s experience in eight NBA Finals will be costly to the young Bucks squad. “I’m gonna say this is LeBron’s best chance in LA. Here’s why— Neither Clippers nor the Bucks have players who have won a championship, except for Kawhi Leonard,” NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith said on the ESPN show “Get Up”. I predict that the LA Lakers will be the 2020 NBA Champions.