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Predicting the 2023 NBA Playoffs

Next year’s NBA playoffs are highly anticipated due to the many changes that have been occurring over the off-season. As a big basketball fan, I’ve decided to give you my way-too-early NBA playoff predictions.

Let’s start off in the East. I believe the first seed in the East will go to the Milwaukee Bucks. I think Giannis is going to have another MVP caliber season and carry the Bucks to their second finals appearance in three years. The second seed will go to last year’s runner-ups, the Boston Celtics. I think Celtics star Jason Tatum will continue to be a top 10 player in the league, and his teammate Jaylen Brown will have a stand-out season.

I believe the third seed in the East will go to the Miami Heat. Jimmy Butler is always a great leader who takes his team far no matter who else is on the roster. As for the fourth seed, I think it will go to the Philadelphia 76ers. Center Joel Embiid is my top candidate for MVP next year, and I think he will take the 76ers far next year.

The fifth seed in the East will go to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have a lot of talent in Lavine, DeRozan, and Vucevic; however, their chemistry will take a while to get into order. For now, I have them taking the fifth seed. I believe the sixth seed will go to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who I think will go from one of the worst teams in the league to a true playoff contender this upcoming year.

This year’s play-in tournament is going to be very interesting. I have the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Washington Wizards making the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth spots, respectively. After that, I have the Hornets beating the Wizards and the Knicks beating the Nets. This means the Knicks take the seventh seed. Finally, I have the Charlotte Hornets beating the Brooklyn Nets to nab the last seed in the East! Yes, I don’t have the Nets or the Hawks making the playoffs this year. Crazy, right?

This takes us to the other side of the country in the West. I believe the first seed will go to the Golden State Warriors, who have yet another dominating regular season led by Steph Curry. I also think Jordan Poole will become an elite player in his second year. I think the Los Angeles Clippers will take the second seed after a huge comeback season by stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers have one of the most well-rounded teams in the league and I think that is going to pay off this season.

The third seed will go to the Dallas Mavericks, as Luka Doncic solidifies himself as one of if not the best player in the league. Give this man some help! Behind the Mavs will be the fourth-seeded Phoenix Suns, led once again by Devin Booker and Chris Paul. After a disappointing end to their season last year, I think Booker and Paul will return with the same flair.

The fifth seed in the West will fall to the Memphis Grizzlies. While I think Ja Morant is a generational talent, I don’t think the Grizzlies made enough moves over the off-season to compete with the strongest teams in the West. I believe the sixth seed will go to the Minnesota Timberwolves. I think this is the year that the organization finally figures it out! It’s going to be exciting to see what they have planned.

Just like the East, this year’s play-in tournament will be a very fun watch. I have the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Utah Jazz making the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth spots, respectively. I have the Nuggets beating the Lakers and the Pelicans beating the Jazz. This means the Nuggets take the seventh seed. Finally, I have the Lakers just barely defeating the Pelicans to take the last seed in the West. Could this be Lebron’s last play-off run? Probably not.

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen. The 2023 NBA Playoffs. Let’s begin back in the East. I have the first-seeded Bucks winning over the Hornets in a surprising six games. While the Bucks are clearly the better team, I think the Hornets will give them a run for their money. Next, I have the second-seeded Celtics defeating the Knicks in seven games. The rivalry will be showing very clearly throughout this series, but eventually the Celtics will be able to pull it off.

The third-seeded Heat take on the Cavaliers, and here is one of my hottest takes: I think the Cavs beat the Heat in six games in round one of the playoffs! As much as I love Jimmy Butler, I think this year the tides will not turn his way whatsoever. Congrats to the Cavs! Next, I have the fourth-seeded 76ers beating the fifth-seeded Bulls in an easy five games.
Now, I have the Bucks taking on the Cavs, and I think this will be a bit of a blow-out. I think the Cavs will still be coming down from that high of beating the Heat that they will choke in this series. Give me the Bucks winning in five. Then, I have the Celtics taking on the 76ers. It seems like these two teams always face each other in the playoffs. This time, I have Joel Embiid and the 76ers beating the Celtics and heading on to the Conference Finals!

In the Eastern Conference Finals I have the Bucks and the 76ers. While I believe Embiid will win MVP and will be one of the best players in the world next year, I think the sheer power of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will be enough to win this series in six. This means that the Bucks will see the NBA Finals for the second time in three years!

Now, let’s see how the West plays out. Sadly, I have the first-seeded Warriors taking out Lebron James and the Lakers in six games. Curry and the Warriors are simply too strong. Next, the second-seeded Clippers easily defeat the seventh-seeded Nuggets in four games; the first sweep of the playoffs.

The third-seeded Mavericks will take on the sixth-seeded Timberwolves, and as much as I like the Wolves this year, I have the Mavs winning in six games. Lastly, for the first round, I have the fourth-seeded Suns falling to the fifth-seeded Grizzlies as Ja Morant puts on a masterclass of a performance this season. Sorry, Suns fans.

We now have the Warriors taking on the Grizzlies, and yet again, as much as I love the Grizzlies this year, the Warriors are just too strong. I have the Warriors winning in six. Next, I have the Clippers taking on the Mavericks and defeating them in a close seven game series.

For the Western Conference Finals, I have the Warriors taking on the Clippers. Many people will most likely disagree with me on this, but I have the Clippers defeating the Warriors and making the NBA Finals this year! I think Kawhi Leonard will be in his best play-off form during this series and simply outplay Curry. That means that it’s the Clippers versus the Bucks in the 2023 NBA Finals.

The last couple Finals have been relatively lackluster in terms of pure entertainment the last few years. However, I think this year will be different. I think this will be a fantastic clash between Leonard and Antetokounmpo, and the winner might not be the best team, but the team that simply wanted it more. After a grimy series, I have the Los Angeles Clippers winning in seven games! I have Kawhi Leonard winning Finals MVP and bringing the cup to Los Angeles, this time under the property of the Clippers. If injuries can mostly be avoided this year, I think it will be one of the most fun and exhilarating seasons in the NBA in recent history. Let’s hope!


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