The NBA Eastern Conference matchups are set, and they are expected to show so much action because of the rivalry history between players.
The NBA Playoffs picture is becoming clearer. Back in March, no one thought that the NBA would be back because of COVID-19. Nonetheless, it has reached this point and has so much more to offer.
The Eastern Conference brackets are set. Contrary to popular belief, it will be filled with so much action because of rivalries on and off the court.
NBA Eastern Conference favorite vs. the Orlando Magic
The only team with a true home-court advantage in the 22 teams that play in the bubble is the Magic. However, it will not matter too much because almost all the players are comfortable with the new setup. They figure to match up against the holder of the league’s best record. As such, they have a tall task ahead of them.
The Magic is very unfortunate to have lost Jonathan Isaac to injury again. He was supposed to be their answer for the Greek Freak. However, they will be without Isaac even for the most of the 2020-2021 season.
The matchup between the Bucks and the Magic is not expected to go far. At best, they can probably snatch one or two games from Giannis and the Bucks.
Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets
This series will be mostly similar to the matchup above. It probably will not go down to the wire. The Toronto Raptors are again being written off. However, they’ve proven that one player, Kawhi Leonard, doesn’t define them as a team. Behind Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, the Raptors are on the Bucks’ necks for the best record.
They also hold a better record at this point in the eliminations compared to when they had Leonard last year. The Raptors are a deep team with the ‘next man up’ mindset. They haven’t been fully healthy all year long, but they’ve managed to stay on top.
Nick Nurse and his team don’t mind being underdogs. It plays to their advantage because they don’t have any pressure on them.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers
This is where the action in the East happens. These two teams have faced each other before in the Playoffs, and Brad Stevens got the upper hand. Unfortunately, the 76ers will be short-handed because of Ben Simmons’ injury.
Be that as it may, the series is expected to be hard-fought. The scale tips slightly towards the Celtics, but the Sixers still do have a chance.
The ever-vocal Embiid will not let his team down. The Sixers’ roster is deep with talent too. However, they will have to figure out who will be Embiid’s back-up scorer. Ultimately, a win in the series will just depend on their determination to get past the Celtics’ buttery-smooth operation on the floor.
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat
The only thing to watch here will be the scuffle between T.J. Warren and Jimmy Butler. They have been jawing at each other even before the season got suspended. However, the Miami Heat is expected to win this series with ease. They have been a revelation this year. Behind Butler, the Miami Heat has surprised the league with its toughness.
They have a Rookie of the Year candidate in Kendrick Nunn and a Most Improved Player candidate in Bam Adebayo. Both of these players have carried the team on certain nights and are proving to be key pieces of Miami’s future.
The Pacers, on the other hand, have the injury bug. Their star player Victor Oladipo is still not back to his superstar self after his injury. T.J. Warren, despite his scoring barrage, is nursing plantar fasciitis injury. They are also without Domantas Sabonis, who has been ruled out indefinitely.
Image from Jay Canada/ YouTube thumbnail