The NBA playoffs reached. How they play is anyone’s guess.
Pre-season favorites are still the Brooklyn Nets vying for a spot in the first round. Pre-season bet Dear Los Angeles Lakers are already home.
With two games postponed from play on Tuesday night, and two more on Wednesday, Colin Cord predicts which teams will advance over the coming weeks and eventually play in the NBA Finals.
The Suns, Nets & Bucks highlight Colin Coward’s NBA game predictions
Colin Coward shares his NBA predictions ahead of the tournament this week. Will the bucks repeat? Can suns save themselves? Which two teams will meet in the finals?
Here’s how Cowherd sees each conference playing.
Play winners: Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs
prediction: No. 1 Miami Heat over No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers
Taking Colin: “The depth, the talent and the experience in Miami is better. They have the best scoring in the league.”
prediction: No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers over No. 5 Toronto Raptors
Taking Colin: “Who is the Raptors’ top scorer? Fred Vanfleet? Pascal Siakam? The team with the two best goals against the team with no close proximity.”
prediction: No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks over No. 6 Chicago Bulls
Taking Colin: “Milwaukee played them four times, winning all four games. Chicago can’t beat good teams, and Lonzo Ball came down. It’s not going to be a close streak.”
prediction: No. 7 Brooklyn Nets on No. 2 Boston Celtics
Taking Colin: “When KD (Kevin Durant) and Kyrie (Irving) play this year, the Nets were 11-6. Ben Simmons will play. Remember, the Celtics also lost their best defender, Robert Williams, to injury. Major. The Nets will be better defensively Because of Ben Simmons. The Celtics would be worse off without defensive champion Robert Williams.”
prediction: No. 1 Phoenix Suns on No. 8 Tottenham
Taking Colin: “I don’t think it’s close. They’ve played four times, and the Suns have won all four. Also, Tottenham are not only built to beat good teams. They were 2-14 against the top four teams in the West.”
prediction: No. 4 Dallas Mavericks on No. 5 Utah Jazz
Taking Colin: “This is the hardest streak to expect because Luka (Doncic) has a problem (a tense calf). The last time they played, the MAF team won, and I think the MAF team is better. I think they are a better defensive team now. I will go with the MAF now and say, wasted Luca is one match and no more than that.”
prediction: No. 3 Golden State Warriors Above No. 6 Denver Nuggets
Taking Colin: “Jamal Murray and Michael Porter are still out of Nuggets, so they don’t have a whole bunch of guys. I think it’s an interesting series. Golden State, sometimes — Kevon Looney is your center, they’re not terribly big, you’re going to hit a little bit. But I’ll give it a try, Steve. (Carrey) makes big plays, Jordan Paul is a rising star.”
prediction: No. 7 Los Angeles Clippers over No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies
Taking Colin: “I think Memphis are too young to win this series, that’s a surprise. The Clippers have the biggest wingers in the league. The Clippers have been in more big games, they’re the best 3-point shooting team since the All-Star break.”
prediction: No. 4 Sixers on No. 1 Heat
Taking Colin: “That’s close. … Team Miami is the best bench, but the bench is shrinking in the playoffs. Second, I’ve had two best approaches in the series, both at the Sixers. Jimmy Butler isn’t too close, he’s a great athlete. Same with Pam Adebayo. The The bench advantage wouldn’t be a huge advantage.”
prediction: No. 3 dollars on No. 7 networks
Taking Colin: “This is where the chemistry is lacking – it’s very good with Milwaukee and very uneven with Brooklyn – this is where Brooklyn meets her roof. Also, out of the three best closes in the series, Milwaukee has one of them, and Khris Middleton is fourth. Better closer. But he was very good in the post-season last year.”
prediction: No. 1 suns on No. 4 Mavericks
Taking Colin: “The Suns went 3-0 against the Mavs. I still don’t think we know what happened with Luca. I think the Suns are easily the best team in the league and I think they get rid of the Mavs very quickly.”
prediction: No. 7 Clippers Above No. 3 Warriors
Take Colin:I’ll call in alarm, clippers on warriors. Again, they got a lot of depth, a lot of body. Kawhi Leonard might play, and my gut feeling is. And the Warriors, since the All-Star break, are like a .500 team. So, they’re not quite sure what to do with (Jonathan) Kominga. Can they count on Jordan Ball? It will be fine. What do we get from Clay (Thompson)? Steve got hit, and so did Draymond (Green).”
prediction: No. 3 Dollars on No. 4 Sixers
Taking Colin: “I think when Brooke Lopez came back, they were the much better defensive team here. (James) Harden hasn’t played well lately. They (bucks) have a lot of experience here. Again, we threw the Sixers together. I think (Therese) Maxi and Harden And (Joel) Embiid, they’re all trying to get to know each other. Milwaukee knows exactly what they are up to, they’ve been in a lot of big games, including the conference finals and last year’s finals.”
prediction: No. 1 suns over No. 8 clippers
Taking Colin: “Listen, the Clippers are ranked seventh. The Suns were easily the best team in the league. At some point, you reach your ceiling. Even with Kohei, I don’t think you have the chemistry yet. But I said another day, I think the Clippers-Suns will be a streak. Interesting. I think they’re the only team with enough height, enough experience and a great coach, they’ll go in with the house money. … They’ll play incredibly loose. I think the Clippers will give the Suns some headaches. And you know, Chris Paul’s health, you’re crossing your fingers .”
This leaves a rematch in the NBA Finals between the Suns and the Bucks. If last summer is any indication, there will be great rivalry. The Bucks recovered from a 0-2 deficit to win the series in six. Cord is not ready to say which team he thinks will win the title this year.
“And I have the right not to speculate on that… however,” he said. “By the way, you had no problem when the Lakers-Celtics met every year in the Finals. What’s wrong with that? They are the best teams in the league with the best chemistry, good coaches, good coaches, great rosters.”
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