Predicting this year’s NBA playoffs — particularly in the Western Conference — feels a little like predicting the NCAA Tournament:
You know some upsets are coming, the hard part is figuring out where.
The ProBasketballTalk staff — Kurt Helin, Brett Pollakoff, Dan Feldman, and Sean Highkin — lay out our picks for the upcoming playoffs. And we stay pretty close to the chalk picks a lot of the time, just a few upsets. Unless you consider the Spurs over the Clippers a big upset. And you shouldn’t.
Here are our first round predictions, in a handy table.
The only series with a real split is Portland and Memphis, which is maybe the hardest to predict. Mostly because of the mass number of injuries to those teams.
We’re going to skip ahead a little, over the second round, straight to the conference finals. If you care deeply about what we think happens in the second round you can piece it together easily. And I’m a little worried about you.
Eastern Conference Finals:
Kurt: Cleveland over Atlanta (7 games)
Brett: Chicago over Atlanta (6 games)
Dan: Cleveland over Atlanta (6 games)
Sean: Cleveland over Atlanta (6 games)
Western Conference Finals:
Kurt: Golden State over San Antonio (7 games)
Brett: San Antonio over Golden State (7 games)
Dan: Golden State over LA Clippers (6 games)
Sean: Golden State over San Antonio (7 games)
As you might expect, when it gets to the NBA Finals, we all think the Western Conference takes it. The only difference is which Western team.
Kurt: Golden State over Cleveland (5 games)
Brett: San Antonio over Chicago (7 games)
Dan: Golden State over Cleveland (6 games)
Sean: Golden State over Cleveland (6 games)