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Ranking the 8 first-round matchups in the 2024 NBA playoffs – NBC10 Philadelphia



Ranking the 8 first-round matchups in the 2024 NBA playoffs – NBC10 Philadelphia

The time for regular-season information and statistics is over.

The NBA playoffs are all about the way you match up along with your present opponent, nothing extra, nothing much less.

Happily, the 2024 bracket has eight stable first-round matchups to function appetizers for what’s to return.

However out of these eight, which of them ought to followers be enthusiastic about probably the most? Let’s rank them by way of least to most fun:

8. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic

The No. 4 Cavaliers and No. 5 Magic do not essentially type a foul matchup on paper, nevertheless it primarily lacks in enticing star energy.

Cleveland is led by explosive guard Donovan Mitchell, whereas guys like Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert are high-level system gamers hoping to bounce again after final yr’s disappointing exit.

Orlando, making its first postseason look since 2019-20, is led by 2022 No. 1 total decide Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, two budding forwards who can flourish on either side of the ball. There’s expertise on this sequence, for positive, however not as enticing as others down the road.

7. Boston Celtics vs. Miami Warmth

The Celtics had been the perfect workforce within the common season no matter convention, so they arrive in subsequent as a result of they need to deal with the No. 8-seeded Warmth. Boston has the most-balanced beginning 5 of any workforce and should not have any excuses to not attain the NBA Finals, on the minimal.

Miami is used to creating deep runs within the postseason as of late, nevertheless it’s honest to doubt if it has another within the tank for this season. Jimmy Butler’s knee harm additional strains that doubt.

6. Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

It is a rematch of the 2023 Western Convention Finals, nevertheless it’s one which wasn’t aggressive in any respect. Denver swept Los Angeles, and it is honest to marvel if that is what might occur once more this time round.

The No. 2 Nuggets simply misplaced out on the highest seed, whereas the Lakers grabbed the No. 7 seed by means of the NBA Play-In Match. Each groups have comparatively the identical key personnel from final season. The Nuggets simply have extra children being utilized in Peyton Watson and Julian Strawther, whereas the Lakers have Taurean Prince, Gabe Vincent and Spencer Dinwiddie, amongst others.

Is that sufficient to topple Nikola Jokic and Co.? Most likely not.

5. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Oklahoma Metropolis is again within the postseason for the primary time since 2019-20 and did so in fashion, narrowly edging Denver for the highest seed. Whether or not such a younger, inexperienced workforce can go all the best way stays to be seen, however the Thunder ought to be capable to keep away from a first-round upset.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams and Co. can be going through the No. 8 Pelicans. The Pelicans have an essential harm doubt in Zion Williamson, whereas CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram might want to step up their video games in a extra intense setting. The Pelicans have the profiles to reach the postseason, however they have been a extra theoretical workforce than a sensible one.

4. New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

The thrill ranges improve with the No. 2 Knicks and No. 7 Sixers. New York snatched the second seed because of a falling Milwaukee aspect, however it is going to be with out Julius Randle as a consequence of harm, a big blow to its hopes. Jalen Brunson will prepared the ground, however gamers like OG Anunoby, Donte DiVincenzo and Bojan Bogdanovic, amongst others, can be known as upon to assist out.

Philadelphia is not your regular No. 7 seed, however accidents to celebrity Joel Embiid set them again. Rising star Tyrese Maxey performed a key position in maintaining the Sixers afloat, in order that they’ll be hoping to attain an upset with Randle not being out there in opposition to Embiid. If Embiid can keep wholesome, this sequence might go both means and the cities concerned make it all of the extra intriguing.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns

The results of this sequence will reveal rather a lot about every workforce. The No. 3 Timberwolves remained an elite aspect because of their league-best protection and Anthony Edwards main the best way after Karl-Anthony Cities’ harm. However Cities and Rudy Gobert can be closely monitored as a consequence of earlier playoff performances, so it’s going to be attention-grabbing to see how they fare with increased expectations.

Talking of which, Phoenix was purported to be a title contender, however the trio of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal not often performed collectively. The Suns grew to become the No. 6 seed and handled a tough schedule to the top the common season fairly properly, however how they fare in opposition to a top-ranked protection in a playoff setting is the larger take a look at.

The loser of this sequence can have loads of ruminating to do about their futures.

2. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers

The third-seeded Bucks and sixth-seeded Pacers have a brewing rivalry primarily based off what occurred within the common season, so this matchup comes at an ideal time for both workforce to settle the rating. Milwaukee, although, is in an ungainly spot having fallen off because the rent of Doc Rivers. Giannis Antetokounmpo is coping with an harm and Damian Lillard might want to step up defensively. Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez might want to return to earlier ranges, too, to assist the celebrity duo. Additionally, can Malik Beasley show dependable primarily based on earlier flameouts?

Indiana, alternatively, is anchored by the trio of Pascal Siakam, Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner. If the Pacers handle to upset Milwaukee, which is fully believable, then they’ve a shot to make a run. However the role-player depth is questionable with out Bennedict Mathurin, and that was the chance they ran by buying Siakam from Toronto. Are Aaron Nesmith, Jalen Smith, Obi Toppin and Andrew Nembhard, amongst others, able to rise to the event?

1. Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks

Often probably the most even matchup is probably the most enjoyable, particularly when it is brimming with stars, which is what the Cavs-Magic sequence lacks. The No. 4 Clippers boast Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and a number of other different stable abilities, whereas the No. 5 Mavericks have Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

The Clippers beat the Mavericks of their playoff conferences in 2020 and 2021, however Doncic this time has a greater supporting forged in Tim Hardaway Jr., P.J. Washington, Daniel Gafford and Dereck Energetic II, amongst others.

This matchup might swing both means and the winner might very properly have a path to at the least the convention finals, so regulate the end result right here.

Drew Dinsick, host of “Guess the EDGE” podcast, discusses why these younger stars have the potential to breakout through the 2024 NBA playoffs.

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