Warriors face toughest test of dynasty, Basketball News & Top Stories

Who will be the new king in the East?

NBA Playoffs shootaround: opening round preview and predictions

Bucks To Offer Fan Giveaways And Activities On The Plaza In Front Of Fiserv Forum For First Round Of 2019 NBA Playoffs: The Bucks announced Tuesday afternoon the game giveaways and pregame festivities that will go down throughout the first round of this year's playoffs, which opens up this weekend.

It became commonplace to declare that they had ruined the National Basketball Association (NBA) by removing any suspense to the season. Yes, they've stumbled down the stretch of the regular season.

The NBA playoffs are here. Something clicked for the former second overall pick, as he finished with career-highs in points (20.1) and assists (7.0). The Bucks are built for the playoffs with an elite defense to go along with a proven track record of winning on other teams home courts. Despite all of that ado, there is no reason to believe the Warriors can't flip the switch and march to the Finals, just like they did previous year.

The Golden State Warriors had its worst regular season record in the last five years in 2018-19 but still locked out the top spot in the Western Conference.

That is what the sportsbooks are predicting, with the Clippers listed as 55/1 underdogs to win the best-of-seven series at DraftKings Sportsbook ... or to put it another way, the Warriors being listed as -20000 (200/1) to advance to the second round.

For the sake of trying to make some actual profits, we're going to fade the Warriors and look only at teams capable of overthrowing the winners of three of the past four titles. However, losing four of their last 10 games saw them fall to the eighth seed which means they'll face the Golden State Warriors in the first round.

This is where things start to get interesting. As much as that might be intriguing to get you through an 82-game regular season, it's barely about basketball.

The entire process is a bit convoluted but by tomorrow, we will know exactly who the Warriors will be playing. The Raptors also have a very deep roster with All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, sharpshooter Danny Green, young center Pascal Siakam and veterans Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. The Magic closed out the season covering each of their final four games while the Raptors enter the playoffs on a 6-1 run versus the line.

Simmons also plays great defense and is one of the best players to watch in transition.

Despite winning an MVP award and somehow pulling off the incredible feat of three straight seasons of averaging a triple-double, there are still some who question if Westbrook's talent leads to playoff wins. Boston was expected to top the East yet finished fourth after a see-saw campaign that saw plenty of indifferent performances and far too much talk from their players in the media. However, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Spurs moving on to the second round. He was able to score at least 30 points against all other 29 teams. But too often Embiid has had to sit out games due to injury. Brooklyn is a playoff team for the first time since 2015 and Orlando is back for the first time since 2012. The Sixers are a favorite to claim the East title, but it will be hard to accomplish that feat without their biggest star. Unlike the Eastern Conference only having one team with upset potential, the Western Conference could have multiple. A win tonight would clinch them the sixth-seed, however, the challenge ahead of them is no easy task. Butler has had a down year statistically, but he can boost his stock with a strong showing in the playoffs.

Playoff series history: The franchises have met twice in the playoffs, splitting first-round series in 1979 and 1984. Jonathan Isaac is finally coming into his own as a defensive savant, Nikola Vucevic is one of the best offensive centers in the league, and budding star Aaron Gordon is about to play in his first playoffs. Their 15-1 playoff record was the best in league history until the Warriors went 16-1 in their triumphant 2016-17 campaign.

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