When the NBA season begins again following the covid-19 outbreak no one is sure what the NBA commissioner and owners will agree to about finishing the regular season and the postseason. Most NBA pundits believe the NBA will have a shortened postseason with series between three and five games followed by the finals for the conferences and NBA Finals played out in seven-game series’. If the postseason was to begin tomorrow using the standings as of the suspension of play on March 12th, these would be the potential first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference.
The Milwaukee Bucks currently lead the Eastern Conference and would be matched up in the first round against the Orlando Magic, currently the eighth-seeded team in the conference. Giannis Antetokounmpo and teammates would easily have their way against the undermanned Magic, winning each of the games in the series by double-figure point differences. Milwaukee would show why it has the best record in the NBA by sweeping the first-round series against the Magic.
The Toronto Raptors are currently the number two seeded team in the Eastern Conference and would face the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Mets if the playoffs were to begin tomorrow. The Raptors may have lost Kawhi Leonard, but with players such as Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet amongst others, Toronto would easily defeat the Nets. Brooklyn could potentially have Kyrie Irving back and an outside chance of even Kevin Durant but in all likelihood the Nets would be limited to players such as Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert.
As the third-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics would play the sixth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. This matchup would be the best in the Eastern Conference first-round as the two rivals would battle it out each and every game in the series. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid would be hard to stop and although the Celtics would have home court advantage, the 76ers would upset Boston in the first round behind the play of Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford, Tobias Harris and newly-acquired Alec Burks
The final matchup in the first round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs which feature the fourth-seeded Miami Heat against the fifth-seeded Indiana Pacers. Indiana has played very well much of this season without its high scorer Victor Oladipo as players like Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon have carried the Pacers offensively and defensively. However, the Miami Heat would be a tough matchup for the Pacers behind the play of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn amongst others. The series would go the distance with the Heat coming out on top thanks to such an impressive home court record during the regular season.
The second round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs would have the Milwaukee Bucks eliminating the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors eliminating the Miami Heat. The NBA Eastern Conference Finals would feature the Milwaukee Bucks playing the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game series that the more-talented Bucks would win in five games and move on to the NBA Finals to face the winner of the Western Conference.