It’s time for the best of the best to face off in the NBA playoffs. We’ve pulled together some predictions for Round 1, set to kickoff this afternoon at 2:30pm. Our MLB Power Rankings guru Vitamin Cee decided to throw his hat into the ring. He did it the old fashioned way, mixing a bit of research with a bit of intuition. We’ll see how he did in a few weeks.
Brice took a safer route. He’s devised a rudimentary stat to supplement Vitamin Cee’s predictions. He calls the value WPV. In order to calculate the WPV of each team, we’ve taken the Win Share, Performance Efficiency Rating, and Value Over Replacement Player values of the top six players in terms of minutes logged and added them together. The sum is the team’s WPV. The higher WPV makes it through to the next round. According to his system, there’s only one upset in the first round. We won’t spoil it for you. If we’re honest, the WPV is pretty soulless, to be sure. But hey, he likes numbers.
|Milwaukee Bucks (1) WPV: 175.3||Detroit Pistons (8) WPV: 122.2|
Vitamin Cee says: The MVP and the Bucks sweep one legged Blake and the Pistons. Kudos for Detroit getting back into postseason. Their prize is the Beast of the East.
|Toronto Raptors (2) WPV: 162.9||Orlando Magic (7) WPV: 141.2|
Vitamin Cee says: Top 5 MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard and the stacked 58 win Raptors are just too much for Orlando. Maybe Aaron Gordon & Co. can squeeze some Magic at home for a victory. Toronto in 5.
|Philadelphia 76ers (3) WPV: 150.7||Brooklyn Nets (6) WPV: 124.4|
Vitamin Cee says: This should be an easy round for Philly. Except all year long Brooklyn never made it easy for them. With a hobbled Embiid and a unpredictable Simmons on offense, D’Angelo Russell and his 3 frenzy shooting teammates can probably get 2 games here. Sixers in 6. No pun intended.
|Boston Celtics (4) WPV: 148.7||Indiana Pacers (5). WPV: 128.5|
Vitamin Cee says: Two teams who should’ve finished higher seeded are playing for round 2. Kyrie and his never-fully-gelled squad of green men have been under performing all year long. Pacers lost Oladipo and scrapped their way to the finish line. Indiana has heart. Boston’s Heyward is the X-factor. Celts in 6.
|Golden State Warriors (1) WPV: 164.8||Los Angeles Clippers (8( WPV: 120.7|
Vitamin Cee says: Enigmatic champions. Disgruntled Warriors. Two good ways to describe Oakland’s Golden Geese? With an All Star starting five and a bench not as deep as before, maybe Doc Rivers and Los Angeles continue to surprise and scrap their way to two victories here. Warriors in 6. After this wake up call. Watch out!
|Denver Nuggets (2) WPV: 144.4||San Antonio Spurs (7) WPV: 139.5|
Vitamin Cee says: Looking for an upset? This might be it. Yes. Nuggets never went on a prolonged losing streak. Played well all year. But they are young and inexperienced. Coach Popovich has two weapons named DeRozan and Aldridge, decades of playoff experience and defense that can stifle Denver’s fire power. Nuggets have the Joker (Jokic) who’s a triple double threat and Jamal Murray. The youngin’s play in both ends. Will they in the playoffs? Nuggets hang on in 7.
|Portland Trailblazers (3) WPV: 150.6||Oklahoma City Thunder (6) WPV: 151.6|
Vitamin Cee says: This could be another upset series. Portland is back at #3 with the league’s most dynamic back court in Dame and CJ. Enes Kanter, Turkey’s most wanted, has given them an inside presence and offensive force. But, Russ, PG13 and the rest of OK City swept them in 4 games this season. Paul George is banged up. That might be the factor here. Portland in 7. No upset.
|Houston Rockets (4) WPV: 161.5||Utah Jazz (5) WPV: 159.6|
Vitamin Cee says: Hmm. Can MVP runner up Harden lead CP3 & Houston over a solid Utah squad with another year of experience? The Rockets are not better defensively this year and their bench is not as deep. This might be an upset pick. I’m taking the Jazz in 6.
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