The 2nd Round of the NBA Playoffs have already begun, but things will really start to heat up this week. All four series will be underway, and there could be a few teams ready to punch their ticket to the conference finals by the end of the weekend.
The final eight teams in the NBA all either have long title droughts are have never won an NBA Championships. This should make for a terrific final few weeks, and one fan base is going to be thrilled with the outcome.
Here is a quick look at the 2nd Round NBA Playoff series, with some predictions for each of them.
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Philadelphia 76ers (-108) vs. Atlanta Hawks (-108)
The 76ers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference but they could be in some trouble this series. Atlanta won the series opener and the Hawks are playing with a ton of confidence.
Joel Embiid does come into this series with some injury concerns, but he was able to play Game 1. The Sixers are going to have to shoot well to win this series.
Atlanta is led by Trae Young and he is playing with a ton of confidence. The Hawks will make this a competitive series but it’s hard to see them winning it.
Take Philadelphia over Atlanta in a very competitive six game series.
Brooklyn Nets (-205) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (+175)
The most anticipated second round matchup features the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. These teams can really score and there are plenty of stars on the floor.
Brooklyn controlled the series opener, and this team is built to win an NBA title. The Nets are dealing with an injured James Harden, but they still have plenty of talent.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the top players in the league, be he can’t win this series on his own. The Bucks can really score but they will have to win this game on the defensive side of the court.
Milwaukee will win two games in this series but it is the Nets that win it in six games.
Utah Jazz (-116) vs. LA Clippers (-102)
The LA Clippers are favored over the Utah Jazz, even though it is the Jazz that are the top seed in the NBA Playoffs. Utah had little trouble in dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Clippers needed seven games to eliminate the Dallas Mavericks.
Utah continues to be one of the most underrated teams in the NBA, but all this team does is win. The Jazz have been especially great on their home floor, and having home court advantage in this series will play a key role.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard give the Clippers a great 1-2 combination, but they just don’t have enough depth.
Look for the Jazz to win this series in six games or less.
Phoenix Suns (-205) vs. Denver Nuggets (+172)
The Suns are favored over the Nuggets in the Western Conference, and Phoenix will have homecourt advantage. Denver advanced to the Western Conference Finals a season ago, while the Suns are getting their first taste of the postseason in years.
Phoenix is led by Devin Booker, and he dropped 47 points in Game 6 to eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns are a much better offensive team in this matchup, but they can play some great defense as well.
Denver will counter with center Nikola Jokic, the player that will likely win the MVP of the NBA this season. Jokic does a little bit of everything for this team, but he has gotten some help in the postseason.
This series has the feeling of one that will go all seven games, as both teams are pretty evenly matched. It’s hard to see Denver having enough scoring throughout the series to keep up, and that should give the edge to Phoenix.
Take the Suns to win this series in 7 games, but it’s not going to be easy.