The 2018-19 NBA season is right around the corner, and it is easily one of the most anticipated seasons we have ever seen, as big stars have changed teams and it looks as though we could be in for an amazing ride this year. It has been a recent trend in the NBA for the off-season to be just as exciting as the regular season, and this summer has been no different for this trend, as the Warriors somehow got even better by adding DeMarcus Cousins to the the fold, and LeBron James decided to take his talents to Los Angeles, to play with the young guns they have their and make some noise in the Western Conference.
In this article, we will be looking at the entire outcome of the 2019 NBA playoffs with both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. We will be predicting the seeding of the playoffs, the outcome of each series, and even how many games the series go to. A lot of teams around the league made strides to get better, but the real question is, is anyone taking down the back to back defending champions, the Golden State Warriors? We will get to all that and more in our predictions down below.
As always, feel free to leave any comments or alternate predictions in the comment section below, as we would love to hear your thoughts on this article.
Here are our predictions for the entire 2019 NBA playoffs.
20 East Round 1: (1) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Detroit Pistons
Prediction: Boston wins 4-0
The Celtics will undoubtedly be the first seed in the weaker Eastern Conference this season, as they will be getting both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving back, two guys they didn't have during last year's playoffs. Also, the Celtics young players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier will all take a step forward this year for Boston.
We have them facing the Pistons who managed to secure the final spot in the East. The Pistons should be able to squeak into the playoffs, as they have a solid front court and Dwane Casey has a proven track record in getting his teams to the playoffs.
19 (2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Miami Heat
Prediction: Toronto wins 4-2
The Raptors traded their franchise player for Kawhi Leonard, which in hindsight, could be the best move they made in a long time, or could prove to send the franchise into a rebuilding phase if Kawhi decides he wants out of Toronto.
The Raptors were the 1st seed last season with DeMar DeRozan leading the team, and Kawhi is the better overall player.
Considering it will take a bit of time for the team to gel, we have them at the 2nd seed to face the Miami Heat, a formidable foe at seed 7. A good series, we have this going to 6 games.
18 (3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Indiana Pacers
Prediction: Philadelphia wins 4-3
The 76ers are expected to be a top team in the Eastern Conference this season, and we have them at the 3rd seed in the East for the 2018-19 season. We have them matching up against the Indiana Pacers at the 6th seed, and this would be one of the best series in all of the playoffs. The Pacers pushed the Cavs to seven games this year, and they would undoubtedly be a handful for Philly.
Two great young teams, but the 76ers would ultimately edge out the Pacers in 7 games. We could see this matchup many times throughout the next few years, as both of these teams are on the rise.
17 (4) Washington Wizards vs. (5) Milwaukee Bucks
Prediction: Milwaukee wins 4-2
The Washington Wizards have been one of the best regular season teams in the East for a few seasons now, but they have yet to make any noise in the playoffs and are easily one of the most frustrating teams in the NBA. They're about to get even more frustrating with Dwight Howard now in town.
We have them still grabbing the 4th seed in the East, ultimately just to lose to the 5th seed the Bucks, who will prove to be a better team then the Wizards in this round 1 series. Giannis and the Bucks take care of John Wall and the Wizards in 6 games.
16 West Round 1: (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) Phoenix Suns
Prediction: Golden State wins 4-0
The Phoenix Suns will be a much better team then they have been over the past couple of seasons, and we have them cracking the 8th spot in the tough Western Conference to play against the Golden State Warriors. The Suns had just about the perfect offseason for a team coming off a last place finish.
A very young team, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will have to step up big time this season for Phoenix.
The Warriors are a much more talented team than Phoenix however, and it will be a easy four game series for Golden State in this one.
15 (2) Houston Rockets vs. (7) San Antonio Spurs
Prediction: Houston wins 4-1
A Texas matchup with this one, we have Houston going against San Antonio in a series that would last five games. The Rockets are easily in contention for going all the way to the finals, and they have no intensions on going home in the first round.
The Spurs will look a bit different with DeMar DeRozan leading the team rather than Kawhi Leonard, but they will still be a solid team in the NBA. Solid enough to beat the Rockets in the 1st round? Not at all. The Rockets pushed the Warriors to the limit this year, and next year's Spurs won't be much of a match for them.
14 (3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Utah Jazz
Prediction: Los Angeles wins 4-2
The Lakers added the king himself, LeBron James to the fold this summer, and we will be seeing a different Lakers team this season.
Adding LeBron to this lineup automatically makes the Lakers one of the best teams in the league. But they don't have enough to surpass the Warriors or Rockets over 82 games.
We have the Lakers ending 3rd in the West, and facing off against the Utah Jazz in the 1st round. The Lakers will be a very fast paced team this season, and the Jazz will be a formidable foe for them, but we don't have this series going past 6 games for this one.
13 (4) OKC Thunder vs. (5) Denver Nuggets
Prediction: Denver wins 4-3
We have this series going the distance in seven games, with the Nuggets beating out the Thunder in an intense series between the 4th and 5th seed.
The Nuggets are a really good team with some talented young players, and while the Thunder did re-sign Paul George this summer, we have them being upset by the Nuggets who will be led by incredible young center Nikola Jokic. Many are arguing the Thunder are now better off without Carmelo Anthony, but the rest of the group still hasn't proven they can go deep in the postseason without Kevin Durant.
12 East Round 2: (1) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Milwaukee Bucks
Prediction: Boston wins 4-1
The Celtics and Bucks met in last years playoffs in round 2, and it went to seven games despite the Celtics not having Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward. We have them playing each other at this point once again in this prediction, but not going to seven games. With Boston expected to be a lot healthier (how can they be less healthy?) going into next year's postseason, we'll see how superior they really are. We have Boston taking this one four games to one, as they are just a much better team when it comes down to it than the Milwaukee Bucks if Boston his healthy.
11 (2) Toronto Raptors vs. (3) Philadelphia 76ers
Prediction: Philadelphia wins 4-2
The Philadelphia 76ers have some serious young talent who will be hard to stop this upcoming season.
Even with the defensive presence of Kawhi Leonard, the 76ers will prove to be to much for the Raptors in round 2.
The 76ers have high expectations for this season, and they are hoping to make a run in the playoffs which we may think is seriously possible. The Raptors organization seemed to pin the blame on their postseason shortcomings on coach Dwane Casey and star player DeMar DeRozan. But after yet another second round exit, the Raptors will likely be looking at dismantling their roster, while the Sixers take the next step in contending.
10 West Round 2: (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (5) Denver Nuggets
Prediction: Golden State wins 4-0
We have the Nuggets getting past the Thunder in the first round of the tough Western Conference playoffs, however, they will be facing the Golden State Warriors in round 2, and that will prove to be an almost impossible series to win. While many NBA fans are waiting to see who could dethrone the Warriors, there are only a couple of teams that could realistically have a chance in 2019. Denver is not one of them.
We don't have the Nuggets winning a single game in this matchup, and that's not hard to believe as the Warriors are seriously dangerous on offense and are almost unstoppable.
9 (2) Houston Rockets vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers
Prediction: Los Angeles wins 4-3
This would easily be one of the best series of the entire playoffs, as it really is two great teams going at it, and it would be LeBron James' first real test of what it's like getting to the Finals when going through the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets are absolutely fantastic on offense, but we have them falling to LeBron and the young Lakers in a seven game series.
LeBron has proven that besides Golden State, he can will his team to victory over pretty much anybody in the NBA.
This would feel much more like the conference finals than the second round, but that just goes to show how good the West really is.
8 ECF: (1) Boston Celtics vs. (3) Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are primed for a big playoff run in our predictions for this up and coming 2019 NBA season. There a few reasons for this, as they were led by two very young players in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons last year, and both of these guys will be making huge leaps forward with their game as they really are dominant. Add the likes of Markelle Fultz who is apparently a completely new player this season with his shot being fixed, they have a real shot at knocking off what will be a heavily favored Celtics team.
7 Prediction: Philadelphia wins 4-3
These are the two teams that are expected to dominate the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future, especially with LeBron out of the Conference. These teams faced each other this year, with the Celtics winning decisively, but next year will be a different story. We have the Sixers beating the incredibly talented Boston Celtics in a barnburner of a series. The Celtics are a better all around team, but the 76ers will beat them out behind the star power they have with Simmons and Embiid. The year of experience they built with this past postseason will help the Sixers be better prepared next spring.
6 WCF: (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers
This will be another classic battle between the Warriors and the great LeBron James.
We've seen LeBron's past two Cavaliers teams get dominated by essentially the same Golden State squad that will be competing in the 2018-19 season.
LeBron's Lakers will be better than the Cavaliers rag tags he dragged to the 2018 finals, and he should have a lot more support in ensuring this Western Conference Finals series is at least competitive. Coming off an upset win over the Rockets, the young Lakers will use this series as a building block to future seasons. That being said...
5 Prediction: Golden State wins 4-2
We have Los Angeles managing to win two games against The Dubs, but this Western Conference Finals will go to six games before the Lakers are sent home. The Lakers didn't really build this 2018-19 team to dethrone Golden State. They have some toughness and edge to their unit with Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and Rajon Rondo, but that's not a team built to keep up with the Warriors.
While the Lakers will frustrate the Warriors at certain points in this series, ultimately, Golden State's firepower will just be too heavy for the mix of vets and youngsters to hold off. Golden State advances to their fifth straight finals.
4 NBA Finals: (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (3) Philadelphia 76ers
The Process in Philadelphia was an incredibly painful period this past decade, but it's all going to finally pay off (somewhat) with a trip to the NBA Finals. This may happen at just about the worst time for Philly, as the talented young squad is going up against the team of the decade and arguably one of the best units of all time. This may be Golden State's last hurrah with the entire core in tact as it is, with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson expected to test free agency next summer. This Sixers team is just beginning their reign over the NBA, while Golden State will be ending theirs.
3 Prediction: Golden State wins 4-2
Here I go again talking about how dominant the Warriors are, but it's the only way to explain what they've been in recent years. They have three of the greatest shooters of all-time starting on their team with Durant, Curry, and Thompson, and they just added all-star center DeMarcus Cousins to the team for only $5 million. By the time the playoffs come around, he'll be back to his old self.
They are a dynasty in Golden State, and the young Sixers will not be able to dethrone the defending champions this upcoming season.
Golden State will make this three in a row, and four in five years after this season is over.
2 Finals MVP - Kevin Durant
It's a not so bold prediction of Kevin Durant winning a third straight Finals MVP, but it's hard to see it going any other way. Steph Curry could have very easily been named the 2018 Finals MVP, but Durant has just been so dominant in his past two finals appearances and we can't bet against him winning a third straight MVP if he's there again next season.
Some honorable mentions will be Joel Embiid in a losing effort, as he'll undoubtedly be tasked with shutting down KD. He'll be able to get the better of him in a couple of games, but that's what the Splash Brothers are there for.
1 One Bold Prediction: Kevin Durant Leaves Golden State After 2019
We've already begun hearing the whispers that LeBron James is going to do everything in his power to lure Durant over to the Lakers next offseason. Durant has taken one-year deals with opt-out clauses because he can end up getting a raise every summer, but by next year, he'll have won three championships in a row with the Warriors and will be ready for his 'next chapter.'
Durant and LeBron teaming together would be scary and would turn the Lakers into the favorites.
As for the Warriors, after losing Durant, they'll have to 'settle' for just the Splash Brothers and the rest of their core. You know, the same core that won 73 games just two years ago?