When we reach the All-Star Break, we already know more than half of the season is on the books and there isn’t much time left for the best time of the year: The NBA Playoffs and their matchups.
This year has featured a couple of fierce fights in both conferences to own the right to be the 1st seeded team, as well as who will be the last on board to make the playoffs and who will get snubbed once again.
So, taking a look back on what this season has shown us so far, we’re going to go ahead and talk about the top 5 matchups every single NBA fan is keen to see, with no team having a clear advantage over the other.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors have been pretty much facing opposite realities throughout the season, as Cleveland had to overhaul their entire roster to shake off their defensive woes, while the Raptors quietly managed to climb all the way to the 1st seed.
LeBron James has been the Raptors’ kryptonite for years now and with Toronto constantly choking, everybody’s keen to see if the Raptors can manage to pull the upset off and finally knock James out of the Playoffs, and this one’s the best shot they’ll have for sure.
4. San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors
The San Antonio Spurs were the team most likely to finally dethrone the Golden State Warriors the prior campaign, but that nagging injury Kawhi Leonard suffered during the 1st game of the series completely turned around the tables.
San Antonio isn’t looking nearly as threatening this year as they usually do, but if they can get both Leonard and Gay back for the playoffs, they will peak at the right time to try and get revenge against Pachulia and Golden State, featuring a top-tier second unit with Tony Parker, Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili.
3. Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors
The Houston Rockets are the favorite team to win the title according to most casinos, and they seem to be the perfect team to beat Golden State this season, featuring their same up-tempo style of play while also having great stoppers.
This matchup is set to be a huge gunfight featuring the teams that own the best shooters in the Association, with James Harden tired of being second and Chris Paul eager to finally reach the NBA Finals for the very first time of his career.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors
We’re desperate for this to happen, I mean, we just can’t stretch this enough. So far, the Thunder has completely embarrassed the Golden State Warriors twice already, and even though this team is pretty inconsistent, they’re just craving revenge and Dub blood.
Russell Westbrook is never going to forgive Kevin Durant for bailing out on him and the rest of the team, while the Warriors will make all adjustment needed to avoid being swept by the Thunder. Also, with Green, Pachulia, Carmelo and Adams on the court, technical fouls are likely to happen on every play. Playoff basketball.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics
Despite not even going through a full practice yet, the Cleveland Cavaliers flat out destroyed the Boston Celtics during Paul Pierce night not so long ago, and it set the table for yet another great playoffs matchup everybody’s keen to see with Kyrie and LeBron going at it again.
Brad Stevens is a master of defensive adjustments and you know they’re not going to humiliate them again this year now that Boston has a much better squad while seeing Irving trying to stick it to his former team is a great plus for this series amid the Celtics push for their 18th Championship.