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2018 NBA Playoffs

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2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket and Predictions

The magic number is 16.

Come one, come all for the 2018 NBA Playoffs bracket, and we’ll even have some predictions for you.

We’ll chart the course from the opening game until the end of the NBA Finals. Someone’s going to win, and maybe, just maybe, it will be someone other than Golden State or Cleveland. (Editor’s note: if you’re a fan of Golden State or Cleveland, no shade is implied. We’re just postulating here.)

Sixteen teams will enter, but only one leaves the 2018 NBA champion. You can start below with the bracket.

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket: As It Stands

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket 5-20-18

The defending NBA champs enter this postseason as the number two seed in the West, with Houston owning the top spot. This may be the best Rockets team ever, better than the teams that won the title in the 1990s. Now they have to go out and prove it, but getting past the Warriors is going to be a challenge until it isn’t. However, this Golden State team is not as crisp as the ones of the last three conference champion teams. They can be beaten.

Yet, you know what they say: if you come at the King, you best not miss. That would be LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are the number four seed in the East. He has been to the Finals seven years in a row on two different teams, clearly demonstrating his impact on the teams for which he plays. Like the Warriors out West, there are better teams in Cleveland’s conference. Nevertheless, it’s theirs to lose as a repeat champion.

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket: What Did We Learn From The Second Round?

Aside from Toronto not being legit? And Philadelphia not being ready for prime time, either? And the fact that it could be Cleveland vs. Golden State Part Quattro?

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket: What Did We Learn From The First Round?

In the East, not much except that things ultimately worked out as they should have. All four top seeds advanced, though the Cavs and Celtics had difficult seven-game battles. Only the 76ers breezed through in five games.

Out West, it was that the teams below Houston and Golden State are a lot more closely clustered than it appeared. Both the Rockets and Warriors plowed through their series in five, but the third-seeded Trail Blazers got swept out by the Pelicans. Meanwhile, Utah took care of business in their series with Oklahoma City. As it tends to be in the NBA, the very top seeds should be expected to roll along.

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket: Predictions

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket Predictions

We predict that the Houston Rockets will win their first NBA championship in over 20 years, providing the city’s second championship in less than a year. In the NBA more than most (or all) major sports leagues, the best team tends to win the whole thing. Eight of the last 10 NBA championships were taken by the team with the best record. Houston was the best team in the Association this year, and therefore must be considered the favorites. Still, can you count out Cleveland and Golden State who make it every year?

2018 NBA Playoffs Bracket: The First-Round Series

Click on each series below to access the game-by-game capsules.

East 1st Round West 1st Round
Toronto vs. Washington Houston vs. Minnesota
Boston vs. Milwaukee Golden State vs. San Antonio
Philadelphia vs. Miami Portland vs. New Orleans
Cleveland vs. Indiana Oklahoma City vs. Utah

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