Playoff Predictions: Can the Clippers finally claim their first Championship?

The NBA playoffs are currently at the semifinal stage, with teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences fighting for a spot in the Championship game. The date for the finals will be released on the completion of the conference finals on Sept. 30.

Gracie Watt / Wikimedia Commons

The NBA playoffs are currently at the semifinal stage, with teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences fighting for a spot in the Championship game. The date for the finals will be released on the completion of the conference finals on Sept. 30.

As the NBA playoffs progress further into the conference semifinals, the real contenders for the Larry O’Brien trophy have begun to reveal themselves. For the first time in years, it feels like at least four teams have a realistic chance of being champions, as opposed to years past where it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the Golden State Warriors would end the season on top of the basketball world. 

Western Conference Round 2: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets: Houston Rockets up 1-0

The Los Angeles Lakers are in a similar situation with their upcoming matchup against the Houston Rockets. Coming off a series that went the distance against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets are not in the best position to give the Lakers a good fight. Despite their superstar duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, they do not match up well against the Lakers with their current roster. The Rockets will have no answer for Anthony Davis, who poses a match-up nightmare for the Rockets’ extreme small ball rotation. These factors, combined with the tendency that James Harden has to disappear when it matters the most, mean that the Lakers should be able to find their way into the conference finals. 

Series Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers in 6

Western Conference Round 2: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets: Series tied 1-1

The Clippers gained momentum by winning game 1 over the Denver Nuggets, who seemed to be too fatigued to even put up a fight against the deep and star-studded lineup of their opponents. In game 2 the Nuggets were led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, each putting up over 25 points. If the Nuggets stand a chance in this series, they will need heroics from Jamal Murray similar to his performance in round one against the Utah Jazz. 

Series Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers in 5

Western Conference Finals Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers 

It seems like a clash between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers is inevitable. Both Los Angeles teams are far more talented than their respective second round opponents who also both happen to be coming out of seven game series that were true battles. 

Series Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers in 5

Eastern Conference Round 2:  Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors: Series tied 2-2

After convincingly sweeping both of their first-round opponents, the Boston Celtics and defending champion Toronto Raptors square off in a series that many people believe will be one of the most exciting we have in the playoffs this year. So far, it has not disappointed. After a convincing game 1 win by the Celtics, game 2 came down included a fourth quarter comeback from the Celtics that gave them a 2-0 series lead, and game 3 featured a buzzer-beating three pointer from OG Anunoby that prevented the Raptors from falling into the dreaded 3-0 hole.

The buzzer-beater could prove to be the momentum shift that the Toronto Raptors needed in order to comeback in this series against the Celtics. Boasting the strongest scoring trio remaining in the playoffs with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, along with one of the best coaches in the league in Brad Stevens, the Celtics should be able to bounce back from the heartbreakers in games 3 and 4 and still win the series. 

Series Prediction: Boston Celtics in 6

Eastern Conference Round 2: Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Miami Heat up 3-0 

The Miami Heat have shocked the basketball world by taking a commanding 3-0 series lead against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Their strong zone defense has given Antetokounmpo problems and their sharp three-point shooting has made it difficult for the Bucks to keep up. If the Bucks want to get back into this series, they need Giannis to regain his MVP form and anchor both sides of the ball like he has done all season. Despite the strong hold that the Heat currently have on the series, do not expect Giannis and the Bucks to go quietly. 

Series Prediction: Miami Heat in 6

Eastern Conference Finals Prediction: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat 

The Celtics and Heat matchup seems inevitable. The Celtics are hungry for a NBA championship berth and the Miami Heat seem to be the unlikely underdog since play began earlier this summer. The Celtics roster is made up of players who can defend the floor on both sides, while Miami has accomplished veterans like Andre Igudola. The series will be a fight to the finish.

Series Prediction: Boston Celtics in 7


NBA championship prediction matchup: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers