And the 2020 NBA Champions are….

Ok, so it could be easy to go with the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, or Los Angeles Clippers, or any of the other front-runners. Anyone can guess that.Now that the initial NBA spreads have been updated on Sports Betting Dime, we can see the opening odds are drastically close for the first week of NBA action. But in the much-anticipated reboot of the 2020 season in Orlando, let’s look at the likely playoff matchups and a complete crystal-ball prediction of the outcomes.

Predictions for Conferences

NBA Eastern Conference

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Toronto Raptors
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Miami Heat
  5. Philadelphia 76ers
  6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Orlando Magic
  8. Brooklyn Nets

NBA Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Portland Trail Blazers

Playoff Predictions

Round 1

#1 Bucks vs #8 Nets

Clean sweep! Giannis and company clear past Brooklyn, who plays without stars Kyrie Irving and of course Kevin Durant. Spencer Dinwiddie makes at least one game interesting for the Nets, but the Bucks aren’t playing around. BUCKS 4-0

#2 Raptors vs #7 Magic

The defending champs, even without a Kawhi Leonard, have very little trouble moving past Orlando. We’ll call a “gentleman’s” sweep. Look for Kyle Lowery to have a couple of big-time performances and Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet to hit some big shots. RAPTORS 4-1

#3 Celtics vs #6 Pacers

Boston has so many weapons like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford among others. If they play to their full potential, this could be their series to lose. CELTICS 4-2

#4 Heat vs #5 76ers

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons help make the Sixers one of the toughest team on paper. However, the Heat have a proven star in Jimmy Butler, and newcomer Bam Adebayo along with guys like Andre Iguodala, who have the experience, raw ability, and leadership to win this series. HEAT 4-3

#1 Lakers vs #8 Trail Blazers

Lebron is all in on this championship run, and the Blazers, even if/with a healthy Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, it won’t be much of a series. We’ll give them one. LAKERS 4-1

#2 Clippers vs #7 Mavericks

Luka can make this very intense and interesting, but there’s just too much talent and star power on the other side, led by Kawhi. CLIPPERS 4-1

#3 Nuggets vs #6 Thunder

It’s been an interesting ride for the surprise Thunder after losing Westbrook, but the Nuggets will bring an end to that run. NUGGETS 4-2

#4 Rockets vs #5 Jazz

Could this be the Rockets’ year? They have a very difficult path if they take on the Jazz first, but James Harden and company should be able to pull this off (though it won’t be easy). ROCKETS 4-3

Conference Semifinals

#1 Bucks vs #4 Heat

Bam has a monster series, and Jimmy Butler hits some clutch shots to take the Bucks to the brink. However, Giannis proves his MVP worth by holding strong. BUCKS 4-3

#2 Raptors vs #3 Celtics

Toronto rides it out to the finish, but the Celtics heat up at the perfect time to dethrone the reigning champs. Tatum is the key to the series win. CELTICS 4-2

#1 Lakers vs #4 Rockets

AD goes off, and Lebron is Lebron. This will be the most-watched series aside from the finals, and Westbrook and Harden get a couple of wins to make Los Angeles sweat it out a little bit. But…LAKERS 4-2

#2 Clippers vs #3 Nuggets

In a surprising series, the Nuggets take a series lead and force the Clippers to battle back. Once they come back, they go on to cruise in the finale. CLIPPERS 4-2

Conference Finals

#1 Bucks vs #3 Celtics

Giannis is running exhausted and the guys around him don’t do quite enough to lift Milwaukee to the NBA Finals. The Celtics, again, just have so many options and playmakers, and spread the wealth on the offensive side. It’s too much for the Bucks to stop. CELTICS 4-3

#1 Lakers vs #2 Clippers

In the highly-anticipated matchup between Lebron and Kawhi, it’s one that goes down as a series that everyone wishes was the Finals matchup. AD is the MVP of this series, and Kawhi is forced to carry the team most of the way. It’s a valiant effort, but LAKERS 4-3

NBA Finals

Lakers vs Celtics

How about it? Lakers/Celtics again pitted against each other for all the marbles. The all-time best rivalry in basketball is intensified with a global audience like we’ve never seen before (with the near absence of most any other entertainment). Lebron doesn’t waste the moment, and while Davis and James draw most of the interest, it’s the guys like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green who find big moments that make a different. Meanwhile, Tatum is shut down, and a lot falls on Hayward and Horford to score from inside. It’s a tough battle, but Lebron has a memorable Game 7. LAKERS 4-3

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