2016-17 NBA Playoffs: Predicting the outcome in 80 words or less

The 2016-17 NBA Playoffs are underway and it is time to get those predictions in. The Cleveland Cavaliers look to defend their title while the Golden State look to seek revenge. Although a Finals rematch is not set in stone, any one of these teams can make it all the way.

2016-17 NBA Playoffs: Predicting the outcome in 80 words or less
It seems everyone has the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers set for another NBA Finals rematch. Photo: Brian Spurlock/USA-TODAY Sports

The 2016-17 NBA playoffs are set to tip-off today with the Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the Indiana Pacers. This will indeed be the first game of what is expected to be an exciting postseason. Will we see the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Episode III? Or will we see a new team begin a dynasty? Sit back as this first-round playoff prediction will give a brief look at each series.

Eastern Conference First Round

No. 1 Boston Celtics vs. No. 8 Chicago Bulls

The Celtics have too much firepower on offense for the Bulls' defense to contain. We will see Isaiah Thomas take over the series, averaging 25 points per game or more. Jimmy Butler will be carrying the Bulls but of course, no one can signal-handily win a series. Expect the Celtics to win 4-2.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics to the No. 1 seed in the East. It's the playoffs where it will be his true test. Photo: Getty Images
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics to the No. 1 seed in the East. It's the playoffs where it will be his true test.
Photo: Getty Images

No. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

The Cavaliers slumped their way into the playoffs, finishing 12-15 since the All-Star break. However, never doubt what the Cavaliers can do, especially with LeBron James going into playoff mode. The Pacers will be led by Paul George and Myles Turner but it won't be enough. Kyrie Irving will lead the Cavaliers and win the series 4-1.

No. 3 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks

The Raptors experienced and balanced play on both ends of the ball will outpower the Bucks. With DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto can hit the Bucks in every way possible. The Bucks will need more than just Giannis Antetokounmpo to have a reasonable chance of winning the series. Toronto will win 4-2.

DeMar DeRozan will lead the Raptors over the Bucks in six games. Photo: Getty Images
DeMar DeRozan will lead the Raptors over the Bucks in six games. Photo: Getty Images

No. 4 Washington Wizards vs. No. 5 Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks are by far the most inconsistent team in these playoffs and this will hurt them. The Wizards are young, fast, and skilled on the offensive end, averaging a 108.5 offensive rating, best for ninth in the league. With Wall, Beal, and Porter, it will be too much for the Hawks as they have no star threat. Wizards will take it 4-2.

John Wall will be the biggest threat on the floor. Photo: USA-TODAY Sports
John Wall will be the biggest threat on the floor. Photo: USA-TODAY Sports

Western Conference First Round

No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers

You have to like Damian Lillard's confidence as he said the Blazers will win in six games. Without a doubt, the Blazers are a solid team but not good enough to defeat the Warriors with the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. Warriors win 4-1.

Kevin Durant will get his first taste of the playoff with his new team. Photo: Noah Graham/Getty Images
Kevin Durant will get his first taste of the playoff with his new team. Photo: Noah Graham/Getty Images

No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies

This series can be an exciting one even though both teams slug it out on defense. As good as Kawhi Leonard has been, the Grizzlies can shut him down with their team defense. However, the Grizzlies offense is where they will be at a disadvantage. Spurs will cruise 4-2.

Kawhi Leonard is ready to lead his Spurs to what hopes to a long playoff run. Photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Kawhi Leonard is ready to lead his Spurs to what hopes to a long playoff run.
Photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

No. 3 Houston Rockets vs. No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder

James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook in a playoff series is a match made in heaven. With both players finishing the season strong, only one will advance and that will be the Rockets. Their offense is on another level and Westbrook will not be able to do it all against this fast-paced Rockets' squad. Rockets take it 4-2.

The Beard vs. Brodie. A playoff series to that will be one for the ages. Photo: Associated Press
The Beard vs. Brodie. A playoff series to that will be one for the ages. Photo: Associated Press

No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

This first round series is the only series that can go either way, call it a toss-up if you will. The Clippers are better rated on offense than the Jazz with a rating of 110.3 to 107.4 respectively, but the Jazz are better rated on defense with a rating of 102.7 to 105.8 respectively. It will come down to Clippers' star trio in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, that will outmatch the Jazz's Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert. Clippers will win 4-3.

The Clippers' trio will just be enough to surpass the Jazz. Photo: Getty Images
The Clippers' trio will just be enough to surpass the Jazz. Photo: Getty Images

That will do for the first-round playoff prediction. Stay tuned for the second-round playoff prediction preview.


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