2018 NBA Playoffs Preview Round 1


Raptors Vs. Wizards

The 8th seed is often considered the weakest team in the conference (that made the playoffs). However, that description probably doesn’t apply to the Wizards. They’ll be getting back John Wall, a perennial all-star. The Raptors have recently had some heartbreakers in the playoffs, but this year they look stronger than ever. Coincidentally, the Wizards swept the Raptors out of the playoffs a few years ago, and you know the Raptors are looking for revenge.

Celtics Vs. Bucks

The Celtics are the two seed, but they arguably would have been the one seed if they hadn’t lost Heyward. Anyway, they still have plenty of firepower on their squad. On the other side of the coin, Giannis is still an athletic marvel, and he gives his team a chance every game. However, this Bucks team still isn’t clicking. Of course, they fired Jason Kidd earlier in the year, and they’re sort of rudderless now. It will be interesting to see how they respond in the playoffs.

76ers Vs. Heat

This is a good year to be a Philadelphia sports fan. The Eagles won the Superbowl, and the 76ers are much better than they’ve been in years. The Heat are a heart-filled team, but they don’t have firepower. It looks like Philadelphia, a team with much more talent, has a good chance to win. Their chance to win would go even higher if they could get more out of Fultz. He’s been underwhelming this year, but he closed the season with a triple-double, which gives Philadelphia fans a little hope he may turn it around.

Cavaliers Vs. Pacers

How many times has Lebron been in the finals? He’s been there eight times, and he’s looking to make it nine this year. His Cavaliers finished as the 4th seed, which is lower than most pundits expected, but he’s still an incredibly dangerous player who knows how to win playoff games. The Pacers will try to take advantage of the Cavs porous defense, but winning four games is a tall order.

Of course we want to turn injuries off as if this was a video game. With Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Celtics’ Kyrie Irving all out for either a portion or the entire playoffs, you never know what might happen.

Here’s the latest on their injuries.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is only 25 years old, but he has substantial knee issues. As a matter of fact, Kyrie is out for the rest of the season. He had to undergo season-ending knee surgery. For a while, it didn’t look like that would be the case. However, there was an unfortunate turn of events. Some people don’t know that Kyrie has chronic pain in his knee, pain that usually is alleviated when he rests the knee. Kyrie tried resting his knee, but it didn’t work like usual.

The doctors suggested that he removed a wire from his knee that was put there during an earlier surgery. Kyrie agreed, but when the doctors looked at his knee, they found a dangerous bacterial infection. The only choice was to remove the screws in his knee and clean out the perilous bacteria in his knee. This was a season-ending procedure, so as mentioned earlier Kyrie won’t be playing for the rest of the year.

Steph Curry

Steph Curry suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee on March 24. This is typically a 6-week injury, so it’s highly unlikely that Curry will be back to play against the Spurs. Coach Kerr has been rather adamant about this point. He said, “There’s no way he’s playing in the first round.”

The injury is actually quite similar to the one that Kevin Durant suffered when Warriors player Zaza Pachulia fell right into him. It’s a serious injury, and it’s dangerous to rush a player back early from an MCL sprain. It looks like Quinn Cook will come in and replace Curry for the entire battle against the Spurs. Curry would like to play, but he probably won’t be cleared by the team. He has a much better chance for the second round, but that’s not a guarantee either. It’s hard to know when Curry will be fully healthy, but if the Warriors made the finals, it’s hard to envision him not 100% healthy for that series (assuming he doesn’t have a setback).

Here’s the schedule for GAME 1 this weekend:

photos via @NBA