Toronto Raptors vs. (8) Washington Wizards:
The Toronto Raptors lead the Washington Wizards 2-1 in their opening round playoff series. All three games have been high scoring affairs and the home team has won every game. The Wizards were able to get their first win in game 3, with their backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal each scoring 28 points. The Wizards look to tie up the series in game 4.
Boston Celtics vs. (7) Milwaukee Bucks:
The Boston Celtics lead their opening round series against the Milwaukee Bucks 2-1. So far in this series, the home team has won every game. The Bucks will look to even the series in game 4, while the Celtics will look to take control. The Celtics continue to win games with their depth, while the Bucks are led by Giannis Antetokounmpo. This series should be competitive throughout, and might go the distance.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Miami Heat:
The Sixers currently hold a 2-1 series lead over the Heat. Dwayne Wade was able to carry the Heat to a victory in game 2, but hasn’t gotten a ton of help along the way. The 76ers saw their long win streak come to an end, but also saw the return of Joel Embiid in game 3. Potential Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons, has looked like a seasoned veteran in his first playoff series.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Indiana Pacers:
The Indiana Pacers have taken a 2-1 series lead over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pacers earned a come from behind victory in game 3, with a final score of 92-90. Pacers guard, Victor Oladipo, has looked like a future NBA star so far in this series. King James has done everything he can for the Cavs, but he has gotten little help so far. The Pacers are pushing the Cavs, and it will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers push back.
Houston Rockets vs. (8) Minnesota Timberwolves:
Top seeded Houston is leading the series 2-0 with the two teams headed to Minnesota for the next two contests. Minnesota was very competitive in game 1, but got blown out in game 2. Karl Anthony Towns has completely disappeared for the Timberwolves. Towns has scored just 13 points in the two games combined after averaging over 21 points per game in the regular season. Houston looks to be in great shape to advance.
Golden State Warriors vs. (7) San Antonio Spurs:
Stephen Curry hasn’t played in this series for the Warriors, but it hasn’t slowed them down. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have led the Warriors to a 3-0 series lead. The San Antonio Spurs just simply don’t have enough firepower without injured Kawhi Leonard. To make matters worse, Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, passed away this week. The Spurs are one loss away from a disappointing first round playoff exit.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. (6) New Orleans Pelicans:
This has been the most surprising playoff series so far. The New Orleans Pelicans have completely dominated this series and hold a 3-0 series lead. All Star Anthony Davis has his team one win away from advancing to the second round. Nikola Mirotic has also had a terrific series for the Pelicans. The Blazers don’t appear to have any answers on either side of the ball. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are going to have to really get going if the Blazers stand a chance to come back in this series.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs (5) Utah Jazz:
Many experts predicted that this would be the most competitive first round series, and it has looked that way through the first two games. Oklahoma City’s “Big Three” was able to dominate in game 1 for a win, but the Jazz were able to steal a game on the road in game 2. Jazz rookie, Donovan Mitchell has looked great in his playoff debut. As the series shifts to Utah, look for Russell Westbrook to be even more aggressive for the Thunder.