The NBA Playoffs are finally underway after a fun and wild regular season that capped off with Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki’s last games, as well as Magic Johnson’s bizarre press conference. Now that we’re in the playoffs everyone is already preparing for the Warriors to return to the Finals and one of the top few East seeds to represent the East. But what if all of the top seeds lost in the first round? How would the playoffs shake out?
In order to for this to happen we would have to first explain how the top seeds all lost. Let’s start with the East:
- The 8th seeded Pistons defeat the Bucks because the Bucks were crippled with injuries and Blake Griffin went supernova on them.
- The 7th seeded Magic defeat the Raptors because Playoff Kyle Lowry was back at it and D.J. Augustine has ice in his veins
- The Brooklyn Nets defeat the 76ers because the 76ers couldn’t find an identity and the Nets play like a cohesive unit.
- The Pacers defeat the Celtics because the Celtics also can’t find an identity and the Pacers slow the game down. No one scores more than 100 points in a game all series.
On to the West:
- The Clippers defeat the Warriors because it comes out that Steph Curry is a robot and the whole team is disqualified (honestly I can’t think of a way they lose unless this happens).
- The Spurs defeat the Nuggets because Pop is the best coach ever to live and the Nuggets are Soft with a capital “s”.
- The Thunder defeat the Blazers because Russell Westbrook makes smart decisions and Steve Adams bullies the Blazers down low.
- The Jazz beat the Rockets because Playoff James Harden returns and Chris Paul gets his annual injury.
Okay so now the stage is really set. In the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals we have the Pacers verses the Pistons and the Nets against the Magic. Now, I think we can all agree that this would be hilarious. The really cool part of that would be that we would get to see some new faces make a name for themselves and fun storylines. The Nets rose from nothing. The Magic finally break out of mediocrity. The Pacers overcome the devastating Oladipo injury. And the Pistons become the only team in the NBA to thrive through their size down low.
Pacers vs. Pistons
This serious would be a dream for anyone who liked the 90s basketball games where no one can score in the 90s and the game predicated around big men. In a slowed down game I would expect the well-coached Pacers to come out on top because they have a little more skill on the wing and at the guard position.
Nets vs. Magic
This would be wild fun to watch. The game would be loaded with ball movement and young faces like Jonathan Isaac and D’Angelo Russell getting a chance to shine in the spotlight. With Caris Levert starting to look like pre-injury Levert I would expect the Nets to come away with the series.
Nets vs. Pacers
The series everyone has been waiting for is finally here. Who hasn’t wanted to watch the scrappy Nets go up against the Oladipo-less Indiana Pacers? I think I predicted this back in October (I didn’t). But we would get some very different styles in this game. The Nets love shooting threes and the Pacers love to work it inside. In the end it would come down to the healthier team, the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are making it to the finals before the Celtics, wow.
Thunder vs. Spurs
I think its weird that both of these teams are lower seeds. 5 years ago you could tell me that the Thunder and Spurs would be the 1 and 2 seeds in the playoffs playing for the Conference Finals and I would have believed you. But they’ve both declined clearly. In this series I would have to go with the Spurs, despite the Thunders dynamic duo of Westbrook and George. Gregg Popovich is just too smart and has been here too many times.
Clippers vs. Jazz.
After the Warriors were disqualified because Steph is a robot, the Clippers had a ton of time to gameplan for this series, and all that time probably wouldn’t pay off to be honest. Rudy Gobert has stepped his offensive game up greatly and Donovan Mitchell returned to form by midseason. Jazz would easily win this in large part thanks to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Jazz vs Spurs
This is a conference finals that sort of makes sense but still is weird that the Warriors aren’t playing. Oh well. The path has been paved for a team not named the Spurs or Warriors to become Western Conference champs for the first time ever I think. The Jazz had it made in the shade this time. Cruising to victory in 5 games.
NBA Finals: Jazz vs Nets
I am so hype about this right now. Each team has an All-Star and a great coach and that’s it (the Jazz have Donovan Mitchell too actually I just found out). The result of this finals would be symbolic of how East vs. West went all year, poorly for the East. The West went 252-198 against the East this year and I expect the Jazz, who went 20-10 against the East, to continue that dominance. Earning Donovan Mitchell a finals MVP so people can compare him to Dwyane Wade for winning a title so young as the main scorer and with a good center.
These are the playoffs we deserve, but we will not be given them.
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