2017 NBA First Round Predictions: Eastern Conference

Welcome to the playoffs, after a zillion games and some even played by superstars between rest periods, we have gotten to the only point of the season that matters.

This year, just for fun, we are going to bet on the games, kind of a confidence portion to the picks, each member has 200 bucks. Earl did post his predictions as well on his always excellent Blog About Nothing, so you should know his thoughts, as I know you read that Friday, right?

#1 Boston Celtics vs #8 Chicago Bulls

David: Oh what could have been. Jimmy Butler could have been on the one seed, instead he’s trying to play spoiler. The problem with the Celtics is they don’t have a guy that can take over with 5 seconds left on the clock- other than Isaiah Thomas, and he’s not close to being who you want in that situation. This round it might not matter, but it will hurt them for a game or two. I’ll take the Celtics in five, and put 15 bucks on it.

Chad: Boston over Chicago in 6 games $25

Joe: Boston in 6 $5

Steve: Boston over Chicago in 6 games $25

Earl: The Bulls have length, athleticism, and a couple of shooters that could give Boston fits. I think the Celtics take the series, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we get an 8 seed beating out a 1 seed. Celtics in six games, but once again, be prepared for the unexpected. $15

#2 Cleveland Cavilers vs Indiana Pacers

David: Remember when the Pacers were a team on the rise, and Paul George was the guy we all thought was going to be a superstar?
Yeah. That was a long 3 years ago.
As much as I think the Cavs are not as good as they were last year, they roll this round. Cavs in 4, 25 Bucks.

Chad: Cleveland over Indiana in 5 games $25

Joe: Cleveland in 7 @ $5

Steve: Cleveland over Indiana in 5 games $25

Earl: Moving on we have the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Indiana Pacers. The Cavaliers might be the reigning champs but they have not had a good season at all. They’ve had injuries and they have had meltdowns. The Pacers could take them. They won’t but the Cavs will have a tougher match up than they might want to kick off these playoffs. If anything at least we’ll get to see Lance Stephenson versus LeBron one more time. Thank goodness the Pacers brought Lance back because that match up is always fun. Cavaliers in six. $10

#3 Toronto Raptors vs #6 Milwaukee Bucks

David: The Battle of the two UGLIEST logos in the NBA. I really hate both of these and I wish they would go back to what they used before. On the series- Antetokounmpo is a man-child. The Raptors will be out DeMar DeRozan and that is going to hurt. I give the Bucks the first game, and the Raptors the next 4, as the depth and playoff experience come back to nail the Bucks. If DeMar was 100%, I’d take them in 4, I’ll go $15 here.

Chad: Toronto over Milwaukee in 6 games $20

Joe: Toronto in 6 @ $5

Steve: Toronto over Milwaukee in 6 games $20

Earl: The Toronto Raptors versus the Milwaukee Bucks looks like a fun little playoff series. The Raptors have the experience but I’ve been high on the Bucks for a long time now. The Greek Freak is one of my favorite players to watch and Milwaukee is a tall team that is capable of playing fluid, position free basketball. Toronto should win the series and I don’t expect Milwaukee to take a game at the raucous Air Canada Centre, but I’ll look forward to watching every game of the series. Raptors in five. $12

#4 Washington Wizards vs. #5 Atlanta Hawks

David: This could be an interesting series, but both teams have some flaws, and both have some interesting subplots. John Wall is the best player on the floor, and watching him challenge Dwight Howard over and over could be fun. I look to Otto Porter to keep the Wizards in the drivers seat. I just don’t see the Hawks putting up a fight unless Wall gets hurt- or the Wizards spend too much time looking at Toronto. $15

Chad: Wizards in 7 $15

Joe: Atlanta in 6 @ $5

Steve: Washington over Atlanta in 7 games $10

Earl: The Wizards should run all over Atlanta but Atlanta is scrappy. They fought through an early season slump and they do have the players to make a run at not only the Wizards but a run through the playoffs. They do, but I have a feeling that this will be the playoffs of John Wall. Wall has been bubbling below the surface for a few seasons now but this feels like the playoffs where he finally breaks through and becomes one of the elite stars of the game. It’s his time to shine and I think the Wizards win a track meet of a series in five games.$8

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