The 2015-2016 has been very a very exciting season to say the least. There have been a ton of storylines that captured national audiences this season. Some of your usual heavy-hitters have played extremely well and find themselves at the top of the NBA playoff picture while some teams have been a surprise and look to play spoiler if they are able to maintain their current position and make it into the playoffs. Here are the most likely NBA Playoff matchups:
NBA Eastern Conference
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #8 Detroit Pistons
The Central Division foes look to renew their rivalry if the Detroit Pistons can maintain their current play and hold on to their eighth and final seed in the East. The Cavaliers have had all kinds of controversy (mostly created by the media) however they are still playing extremely lately well lately. The Cavaliers are 3.5 games ahead of Toronto for the number one spot in the East. The Pistons currently lead the season series between the two teams two games to one. They have to play one more game in Cleveland on April 13th to determine if the Cavaliers tie the season series or if the Detroit Pistons win the season series three games to one. On November 17, 2015 the Detroit Pistons defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-99. On January 29, 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons 114-106. The last time these two teams played on February 22, 2016 the Detroit Pistons defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-88. This series should be a very competitive first round matchup. The Cavaliers will go on to win this series in 5 or 6 games in my opinion.
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #7 Indiana Pacers
This series has a possibility of being extremely entertaining and a potential upset in the making. Toronto has been playing very good basketball all season however it is yet to be seen if this young team can translate that to playoff wins. The Indiana Pacers have a solid team and a bonafide star in Paul George. The Raptors are currently leading the season series two games to one with one more game to play on April 8, 2016. On October 28, 2015 the Toronto Raptors defeated the Indiana Pacers 106-99. On December 14, 2015 the Indiana Pacers very soundly defeated the Toronto Raptors 106-90. On March 17, 2016 the Toronto Raptors defeated the Indiana Pacers 101-94. I believe that if Paul George can play like he is capable of playing and his team steps up behind him, the Pacers can upset the Raptors in six or seven games and move on to the second round.
#3 Atlanta Hawks vs. #6 Charlotte Hornets
This series between the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets also has the potential to be very exciting. The Atlanta Hawks are now a mainstay in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They are also coming off a Eastern Conference Finals appearance against the Cleveland Cavaliers last season which they got swept 4-0. The Charlotte Hornets are one of the surprise teams this year and are 12 games above .500 currently with a 44-32 record with 6 games to play. Atlanta won the season series this year between the two teams three games to one. On October 30, 2015 the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Charlotte Hornets 97-94. On November 1, 2015 the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Charlotte Hornets in another close one 94-92. On January 13, 2016 the Charlotte Hornets got their only victory this season over the Atlanta Hawks 107-84. In their last meeting of the season on February 28, 2016 the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Charlotte Hornets 87-76. Look for the Atlanta Hawks to defeat the Charlotte Hornets in a competitive series in six of seven games.
#4 Boston Celtics vs. #5 Miami Heat
This series has the potential to be the most exciting of the four Eastern Conference first round playoff series. These two teams have really improved their play this year over their play last year. They only face off three times this season and have already played two games against each other. On November 30, 2015 the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 105-95. On February 27, 2016 the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 101-89. They have one more regular season game to play on April 13, 2016. Look for the Miami Heat to upset the Boston Celtics in seven games in a great back and forth first round matchup.
Click “Next” to see all the Western Conference matchups if the playoffs started today.!
#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #8 Utah Jazz
The Golden State Warriors are currently the prize of the NBA and the defending NBA champions. The Utah Jazz are currently fighting extremely hard to stay in the number 8 spot and are in a three team race for the 7th and 8th spot along with the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. If the Utah Jazz are to hold on this will be a great accomplishment for them and they will have to be on their A game to even hold a candle to the Warriors. The Warriors are that damn good this season. The Golden State Warriors swept the season series between the two teams 4 games to none. On November 30, 2015 the Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz 106-103. On December 23, 2015 the Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz 103-85. On March 9, 2016 the Golden State Warriors defeated the the Utah Jazz 115-94. And on March 30, 2016 in their final meeting of the regular season the Golden State Warriors completed their season series sweep of the Utah Jazz with a 103-96 victory. Look for the Golden State Warriors to continue this trend with a 4-0 sweep in the first round against the Utah Jazz.
Alex House ·
Owen Crisafulli ·
#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #7 Dallas Mavericks
The San Antonio Spurs have had an extremely successful season this year. They are 64-12 on the season and are looking to make a deep playoff run after a first round exit vs. the Los Angeles Clippers last season. The Dallas Mavericks are looking to hold on to their 7th seed and are locked in a three team dead heat with the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets for the final two Western Conference playoff spots. The San Antonio Spurs have won all three meetings between the two teams with one last meeting to come on April 13, 2016. On November 25, 2015 the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks 88-83. On January 17, 2016 the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks 112-83. In their last meeting on February 5, 2016 the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks 116-90. Look for the Spurs to continue this trend in the playoffs if these two teams are to meet and sweep the playoff series against the Mavericks.
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #6 Portland Trailblazers
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been playing well this season. Durant and Westbrook have been playing like the superstar players they are. They also currently have a 53-24 record on the season. However, Portland is one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season. They have a 41-37 record and somehow have been able to maintain with the departure of one of their star players in LeMarcus Aldridge. He decided to sign with the San Antonio Spurs in the offseason as a free agent. The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently leading the season series 2 games to 1 with 1 more game to play on April 6, 2016. On December 16, 2015 the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trailblazers 106-90. On January 10, 2016 the Portland Trailblazers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-110. On March 14, 2016 the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trailblazers 128-94. Look for the Oklahoma City Thunder to sweep this series against the Portland Trailblazers because Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will both be too much for Portland to contain.
#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #5 Memphis Grizzles
The Los Angeles Clippers have been playing well despite the absence of Blake Griffin for the majority of the season. He has now returned to the lineup and the Clippers are looking to make some noise out West. They will first have to deal with and get past a tough Memphis Grizzlies team. These two teams only meet three times during this regular season and the season series is currently tied a game a piece. On November 9, 2015 the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzles 94-92. On March 19, 2016 the Memphis Grizzles defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 113-102. These two teams have one more regular season meeting on April 12, 2016. Look for this playoff series to go all 7 games with the Clippers pulling out the win.