NBA Playoffs: 2021 First Round Preview

NBA Playoffs: 2021 First Round Preview

Ryan Knuppel
2 years ago
2 min read

It is officially the best time of the year. The NBA Playoffs are here. Good games are aplenty. Quality players across 16 teams. The play-in is over. The playoffs are here.

Unfortunately, the Cavs did not make the cut. But their former players are scattered throughout the final 16.

Western Conference:

#1 Jazz vs #8 Grizzlies

This promises to be an exciting battle, featuring the top seed and the winner of the #8 seed by virtue of beating San Antonio and Golden State. No Steph Curry. Ja Morant has his team here instead for what promises to be a fun one.

Utah is ready to defend their honor after blowing a 3-1 lead in the first round last year.

#2 Suns vs #7 Lakers

Phoenix is probably the unluckiest #2 seed of all time. Their reward is a chance to face the defending champs, who are now at full strength in round one.

Good for the Suns for getting here, though. It's their first playoff trip since 2010.

#3 Nuggets vs #6 Blazers

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum versus Jokic. Nikola Jokic will probably be the MVP this year, and it will be his civic duty to ensure that Denver, even without Jamal Murray, advances to the next round.

Portland will not be an easy out, though. Beware.

#4 Clippers vs #5 Mavericks

When the Clips and Mavs met in round one last season, there was a lot of bad blood. A lot of disputing, fighting, dirty plays. Another exciting battle will ensue.

If Luka can get Dallas a series win, L.A. might have to seriously consider blowing it up.

Eastern Conference:

#1 76ers vs #8 Wizards

#1 vs #8 matchups are usually boring, but not this time. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal took the 17-32 Wizards and guided them to a record of 18-7 since. They are winners and here to make noise.

The size and ability of Joel Embiid might make their efforts for naught. This will be a fun series.

#2 Nets vs #7 Celtics

It really is too bad that Jaylen Brown isn’t healthy. It could have made this a more intriguing series. Brooklyn has three superstars, and Boston has one.

Should the Celtics advance, it could be arguably the biggest first-round upset since the 1999 Knicks.

#3 Bucks vs #6 Heat

Milwaukee has championship aspirations this year. Miami ran past the Bucks in a tight five-game series in 2020 and ended up finding their way into the Finals. The roles will probably be reversed this time.

Milwaukee learned what not to do and improved their roster. Jimmy Butler and Giannis Antetokounmpo are ready to battle.

#4 Knicks vs #5 Hawks

If there was one series to avoid betting on, it would be this one. Both teams have a lot of talent, and you have an elite offense versus an elite defense. The best player in the series is on the Knicks, but most other advantages go to Atlanta.

Knicks fans will not allow you to slander their team. Atlanta feels they could make a run and even challenge Philly in round two.

This will be a “get your popcorn ready” kind of battle every night.

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