NBA Bubble: Everything You Need To Know About the Playoffs
The NBA bubble has not disappointed. What started off as a wacky solution to resume the season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, has now brought some of the best basketball in years.
This resumed season in the NBA bubble has been frantic, entertaining as hell, and has had no shortage of compelling storylines. If this season is any indicator, the playoffs should be a wild ride inside Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
The Brooklyn Nets proved to be a force to be reckoned despite having a depleted roster. The Nets upset both the No. 1 Bucks and three games later beat Kawhai Leonard and his Clippers.
Over on the west, Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony fought through the resumed season and earned The Portland Trail Blazers a playoff birth in a 134-133 win over the Nets.
The NBA bubble started off slow, but now as we head into the playoffs anything is possible. The eastern conference is blown open with the Bucks, Celtics, and reigning champion Raptors being the heavy favorites. But with this being the first year with Lebron out of the East, anything can happen.
And over on the West, some analysts are audacious enough to predict a Blazers upset over the No. 1 seed Lakers.
The NBA Bubble: Western Conference
The No. 1 Lakers versus the No. 8 Blazers will be a thriller. The Lakers have gone 3-5 in the bubble and have been one of the biggest disappointments of the resumed season. The cohesion the team enjoyed earlier this year is nonexistent.
The Trailblazers, on the other hand, are piping hot. This break has clearly fueled the team both mentally and physically. The fact that there’s no “real” home-court advantage will make this series an NBA bubble classic.
The other game to watch is another Staples Center representative — the LA Clippers versus the Dallas Mavericks.
Luka Doncic is the truth as he averaged a 32-point triple-double in the seeding games. And center Kristaps Porzingis is no slouch either averaging 18 points and consistently hitting from long range.
The Mavericks might not be able to beat the Clippers and their star power, but don’t be surprised if this goes to game seven.
The NBA Bubble: Eastern Conference
On the East, the game to watch will be the No. 2 Raptors versus the No. 7 Brooklyn Nets. The Raptors did go an impressive 7-1 in the resumed season, but the Nets are too hot to ignore. The Brooklyn Nets are playing with a chip on their shoulder despite their exhausted roster. There’s an upset in the making here.
And you cannot talk the East without addressing the rivalry between the Celtics and the 76ers. Although guard Ben Simmons is out with season-ending knee surgery, Joel Embiid and Al Horford are enough to give the Celtics some trouble.
Although they likely won’t win, the 76ers can certainly disrupt the Celtic’s momentum.