The NBA is BACK officially after Adam Silver had talks with many GMs, governors and star players such as LeBron James, Chris Paul and others. Just a few weeks ago it was decided that the NBA would come back with an eight game “season” in Disney World beginning July 31, followed up by a regular playoff bracket.
For the east this will include nine teams such as the Bucks, 76ers, Raptors, Celtics and others. This allows the ninth-seed Wizards (5.5. games out of the eighth seed) to have a fair opportunity to make the playoffs.
Now, 5.5 games out of the eighth seed with only eight games to play essentially means they would have to run the table and for a team 16 games under .500 that seems unlikely. But if the ninth seed Wizards are within four games of the eighth seed, they have an opportunity to play a play-in tournament against the eight seed. If the eight seed wins one game they qualify for the playoffs but if the ninth seed wins two in a row they replace the current eight seed.
However, I’ve seen wilder things in the NBA playoffs. Everyone gear up, this could be the most intense, wildest NBA playoffs we’ve ever seen.
Let us take a little look forward to when the playoffs start.
Of course, everyone thinks the Bucks will represent the East but what kind of story would this be if I decided to bore you with that take? Not a very good one I could tell you that for fact. So, let’s see who could take that spot from the eastern conference favourite Milwaukee Bucks.
The East is as deep as it’s ever been with a young Celtics team led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown at the three-seed, the Raptors who no one expected to be back amongst the top teams in the East but they’re there and you can’t ignore it, the Heat with a top-10 defense in terms of points at the four-seed and the 76ers full of talent at the six-seed.
Any team could make a run to represent the east but I’ve got some teams that I think are being overlooked.
Home court advantage is pivotal in professional sports and especially the NBA playoffs so teams with not so great away records are on an even playing field like never before. Players are required to stay inside of a bubble, no fans are allowed into the arena to watch, and the players don’t have to travel very far in order to get to the game so essentially every game is a “home” game.
With this advantage I think the 76ers have a slight advantage to knock off the Bucks but they would have to get by the Boston Celtics first assuming the standings don’t change.
The 76ers have plenty of talent that could get them through the east and they don’t have to worry about traveling to away games where they were a miserable 10-24. The only thing that worries me is the bench play when Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons need a breather.
Simmons is obviously a matchup nightmare for any PG being 6’10.
With his height I think it makes it easier to distribute the ball especially when the outside guys such as Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and even Al Horford are having good shooting days. Embiid is a matchup problem alone, giving any team trouble.
When he figures out his conditioning and pace, he’s arguably the best center in the league based off of pure talent.
Someone else with an incredible amount of talent is Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Some would argue he’s the best player in the league but if he can’t find a separate dimension to his offensive game, I think it’s going to be harder to win playoff games. Lucky for him they surrounded him with shooters but if I was a coach, I’d rather let up the three-point shot and try to make adjustments rather than have Giannis dunking on me 45 times a game.
The 76ers were 1-2 head to head through the shortened season against the Bucks.
In that game I saw Giannis clearly thrown off his game being forced to shoot seven three-pointers. That’s exactly what Sixers head coach Brett Brown and his team need to do to edge out the Bucks.
Again not to sound like a broken record but I’d rather lose games giving up a harder three point shot opposed to letting Antetokounmpo dominate the paint and if the 76ers look back on that Christmas day game I think they can do just that.
They have the length and athleticism to fill the paint while still being about to go out to contest the three point line. For these reasons I have came to the conclusion…
Sixers in six.