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The Top Five Most Intriguing Players for the 2018 NBA Playoffs

14 April, 2018, 11:56 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler top gets off a pass as Memphis Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks defends

The 2017-2018 season began in October 2017 a year ago.

Hassan Whiteside will be playing his first healthy playoff series with the Heat and will have a lot to prove against a young 76ers team.

So who is going to the NBA Finals?

Story line: It was the best regular season in Toronto history and its first time going into the playoffs as a No. 1 seed, but the Raptors know it's the playoff result that will determine if 2017-18 was a success. The system being proposed would eliminate seeds being fixed to face corresponding seeds. All rounds are best-of-seven series; the team that has four wins advances to the next round.

The NBA champion will claim at least $4,782,438; the runner-up, at least $3,587,489.

No. 1 Toronto vs. The Timberwolves had to win their final three games, including a play-in showdown with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, just to get into the playoff field.

For the past couple of years, the Milwaukee Bucks have been penciled in as one of the most risky teams in the Eastern Conference but always seem to fall short. That's unless someone steps up as the No. 2 scorer and delivers an unforeseen game - like Rudy Gay scoring more than 22 points (his season-high).

Season series: Split, 2-2.




As impressive as their season has been; as impressive as their winning streak late in the year has been; without Joel Embiid, this team might not be good enough to make it out of the first round, especially against the Heat. Don't be surprised if the Milwaukee Bucks, who own the #7 seed, to upend the Boston Celtics, and make a run deep into the playoffs. On the flip side, they were just 5-7 in games decided by three points or fewer, so perhaps you should avoid making a close-decision prop bet on Toronto. Kyrie Irving missed most of the end of the year with knee injuries, and Hayward - who broke his ankle in the season-opener - did not even play a full game. If they can hang with Cleveland into the latter stages of the game, you'll likely get great odds on a Pacers live bet; consider, as well, that IN was a flawless 3-0 IN overtime games this season.

This will be a tiresome series with Philadelphia winning in four games.

Then again, the Warriors could be as unsafe as ever once Curry returns from a knee injury that could have him back for the second round.

Only a fool would dismiss the Cavs' chances as long as LeBron is around. A potential meeting with Houston looms, and they'll need all the firepower they can get. There are four games on the schedule highlighted by the San Antonio Spurs taking on the suddenly vulnerable Golden State Warriors at 3:00 PM Eastern on ABC. San Antonio is without Kawhi Leonard. His Spurs had the fourth-best defensive rating this season. This figure broke the record of 17,884 that was set past year.

Season series: Warriors, 3-1.

No. 3 PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (49-33) vs. I do think the inexperience of the Sixers might hurt them a little to where they lose a couple games, but I don't think they'll struggle to win this series. Portland, which had the league's ninth-best defensive rating this season, will have all it can handle with the way Pelicans star Anthony Davis has been playing (a league-leading 30.2 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game since DeMarcus Cousins' season-ending Achilles injury January 26).

"It's definitely a different world to be a part of those who are doing the deciding, instead of those that are being decided upon", said longtime referee Monty McCutchen, who left the floor this season to become an National Basketball Association vice president.

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