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2018-19 NBA Predictions: Playoffs and Player Awards

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Eric Gordon” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tonight is the night where we see the Golden State Warriors raise their third Banner in four years. The Warriors will tip off against the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the doubleheader on TNT. The first game will feature the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. Both of these games look to be exciting games that should be a big part of the playoff seeding.

If you don’t know by now, the writers of Fourth Quarter Sports have come together to put a series of articles together to break down each division as we see it. Of course, each division was done from the view of one individual writer and everyone else has their own opinions too. So that brings us to this next piece, which you can read below.

This piece will tie all the articles together with everyone giving you their picks for the playoff picture and each round leading up to the NBA Finals. It will also provide you with a unique look at who we think could potentially win the player awards. So let’s jump into it and read all the posts of each writer’s divisional picks. Click the links below to see our individual division predictions.

Joel’s Southeast:                                              Joel’s Southwest:

  1. Washington Wizards (50-32)              1. Houston Rockets (55-27)
  2. Miami Heat (45-37)                              2. New Orleans Pelicans (50-32)
  3. Charlotte Hornets (36-46)                   3. San Antonio Spurs (48-34)
  4. Orlando Magic (33-49)                         4. Dallas Mavericks (35-47)
  5. Atlanta Hawks (30-52)                         5. Memphis Grizzlies (28-54)

Aman’s Central:                                            Mickayeen’s Northwest:

  1. Indiana Pacers (50-32)                        1. Oklahoma City Thunder (56-26)
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers (48-34)                2. Utah Jazz (54-28)
  3. Milwaukee Bucks (48-34)                    3. Denver Nuggets (52-30)
  4. Detroit Pistons (40-42)                        4. Minnesota Timberwolves (42-40)
  5. Chicago Bulls (30-52)                          5. Portland Trail Blazers (41-41)

Adam’s Atlantic:                                           Rahim’s Pacific:

  1. Boston Celtics (60-22)                         1. Golden State Warriors (66-16)
  2. Philadelphia 76ers (54-28)                  2. Los Angeles Lakers (50-32)
  3. Toronto Raptors (50-32)                      3. Los Angeles Lakers (46-36)
  4. New York Knicks (27-55)                     4. Phoenix Suns (25-57)
  5. Brooklyn Nets (22-60)                          5. Sacramento Kings (23-59)

After recapping what we all thought of each division individually, let’s take a look at who everyone picked as their playoff teams!

 

Joel’s Picks

Western Conference:                                                   Eastern Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors                                                1. Boston Celtics
  2. Houston Rockets                                                        2. Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Los Angeles Lakers                                                    3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Utah Jazz                                                                    4. Washington Wizards
  5. New Orleans Pelicans                                                5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder                                             6. Milwaukee Bucks
  7. San Antonio Spurs                                                      7. Miami Heat
  8. Denver Nuggets                                                          8. Detroit Pistons

 

Aman’s Picks

Western Conference:                                                       Eastern Conference: 

  1. Golden State Warriors                                                   1. Boston Celtics
  2. Houston Rockets                                                           2. Miami Heat
  3. Los Angeles Lakers                                                       3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. Utah Jazz                                                                       4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder                                                5. Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. New Orleans Pelicans                                                   6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Los Angeles Clippers                                                    7. Milwaukee Bucks
  8. Denver Nuggets                                                             8. Charlotte Hornets

 

Mickayeen’s Picks

Western Conference:                                                       Eastern Conference: 

  1. Golden State Warriors                                                   1. Boston Celtics
  2. Utah Jazz                                                                       2. Toronto Raptors
  3. Houston Rockets                                                           3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. Denver Nuggets                                                             4. Indiana Pacers
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder                                                5. Milwaukee Bucks
  6. Los Angeles Lakers                                                       6. Washington Wizards
  7. San Antonio Spurs                                                         7. Miami Heat
  8. New Orleans Pelicans                                                   8. Detroit Pistons

 

Adam’s Picks

Western Conference:                                                       Eastern Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors                                                   1. Boston Celtics
  2. Houston Rockets                                                           2. Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Los Angeles Lakers                                                       3. Milwaukee Bucks
  4. Portland Trail Blazers                                                    4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder                                                5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves                                             6. Cleveland Cavaliers
  7. New Orleans Pelicans                                                   7. Miami Heat
  8. San Antonio Spurs                                                         8. Detroit Pistons

 

 Rahim’s Picks

Western Conference:                                                       Eastern Conference:

  1. Golden State Warriors                                                   1. Boston Celtics
  2. Houston Rockets                                                           2. Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Los Angeles Lakers                                                       3. Milwaukee Bucks
  4. Utah Jazz                                                                        4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder                                                5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Portland Trail Blazers                                                    6. Washington Wizards
  7. New Orleans Pelicans                                                   7. Miami Heat
  8. San Antonio Spurs                                                         8. Detroit Pistons

 

Standings Breakdown:

Everyone has the Warriors and Celtics as the top teams of each conference. Everyone except Mickayeen has the Rockets and Sixers at two. Aman also didn’t have the Sixers as the second seed. Everyone does agree that the Jazz, Thunder, Lakers, Pelicans, Bucks, Heats and Pacers will be in the playoffs. Adam and Rahim think the Blazers could still make playoffs. Adam also believes the Timberwolves could still make playoffs despite their Jimmy Butler drama. Adam also believes the Cavaliers will make it back to the playoffs without LeBron James. Aman also agreed; he has the Hornets in there over the Pistons, who everyone else seems to like. But let’s see where that leaves us in the First Round.

 

First Round Playoffs:

Joel’s Picks

1. Warriors over 8. Nuggets in 4                   1. Celtics over 8. Pistons in 4

2. Rockets over 7. Spurs in 6                         2. 76ers over 7. Heat in 6

3. Lakers over 6. Thunder in 6                       3. Raptors over 6. Bucks in 6

5. Pelicans over 4. Jazz in 7                          5. Pacers over 4. Wizards in 7

 

Aman’s Picks

1. Warriors over 8. Nuggets in 5                     1. Celtics over 8. Hornets in 5

2. Rockets over 7. Clippers in 4                       7. Bucks over 2. Heat in 5

3. Lakers over 6. Pelicans in 6                         3. 76ers over 6. Pacers in 6

4. Jazz over 5. Thunder in 7                             4. Raptors over 5. Cavs in 7            

 

 Mickayeen’s Picks

1. Warriors over 8. Pelicans in 4                     1. Celtics over 8. Pistons in 4

2. Jazz over 7. Spurs in 5                                 2. Raptors over 7. Heat in 5

3. Rockets over 6. Lakers in 5                          3. 76ers over 6. Wizards in 5

4. Nuggets over 5. Thunder in 6                      4. Pacers over 5. Bucks in 7                       

 

Adam’s Picks

1. Warriors over 8. Spurs in 4                          1. Celtics over 8. Pistons in 4

7. Pelicans over 2. Rockets in 7                       2. 76ers over 7. Heat in 5

3. Lakers over 6. Wolves in 5                            3. Bucks over 6. Cavaliers in 6

5. Thunder over 4. Blazers in 5                        5. Pacers over 4. Raptors in 7

 

Rahim’s Picks:

1. Warriors over 8. Spurs in 4                           1. Celtics over 8. Pistons in 5

2. Rockets over 7. Pelicans in 6                        2. 76ers over 7. Heat in 6

3. Lakers over 6. Blazers in 6                            3. Bucks over 6. Wizards in 4

5. Thunder over 4. Jazz in 7                              4. Raptors over 5. Pacers in 7 

Breakdown:

After the first round of the playoffs, we get to see some of the similar picks by the writers. Mickayeen seems to be the only one who doesn’t have any faith in the LeBron lead Lakers, but he does believe the Jazz and Nuggets will make it to the next round. Adam has the Pelicans as a 7 seed beating the Rockets. Aman has the Bucks as a 7 seed beating the Heat, and that makes more sense as the Bucks should be one of the better teams. The Sixers and Celtics are the only two teams everyone picked to advance, but will they match up against each other?

 

Conference Semi-Finals:

Joel’s Picks

1. Warriors over 5. Pelicans in 5                        1. Celtics over 5. Pacers in 6

3. Lakers over 2. Rockets in 7                            3. Raptors over 76ers in 7

 

Aman’s Picks

1. Warriors over 4. Jazz in 6                              1. Celtics over 4. Raptors in 7

3. Lakers over 2. Rockets in 7                            3. 76ers over 7. Bucks in 7

 

Mickayeen’s Picks

1. Warriors over 4. Nuggets in 6                        1. Celtics over 4. Pacers in 6

3. Rockets over Jazz in 6                                    2. Raptors over. 3. 76ers in 6

 

Adam’s Picks

1. Warriors over 5. Thunder in 6                        1. Celtics over 5. Pacers in 5

3. Lakers over 7. Pelicans in 6                           3. Bucks over 2. 76ers in 7

 

Rahim’s Picks

1. Warriors over 5. Thunder in 6                        1. Celtics over 4. Raptors in 7

3. Lakers over 2. Rockets in 7                            3. Bucks over 2. 76ers in 7

Semi-Finals Breakdown: 

The Warriors and Celtics are still the teams to beat at this point of the playoffs. Everyone except Mickayeen has the Lakers and Warriors matchup to get back to the finals. But the Eastern Conference is all up to who we think can be the Celtics. Rahim and Adam have the Bucks over the Sixers in seven. Aman has Sixers beating the Bucks in seven and the Raptors is also another team who joins the Celtics in the conference finals, but will they beat the Celtics in the Conference Finals? Let’s find out!

 

Conference Finals:

Joel’s Picks

1. Warriors over 3. Lakers in 6                          1. Celtics vs. 3. Raptors in 6

 

Aman’s Picks

1. Warriors over 3. Lakers in 6                          1. Celtics over 3. 76ers in 6

 

Mickayeen’s Picks

1. Warriors over 3. Rockets in 5                         2. Raptors over 1. Celtics in 7

 

Adam’s Picks

1. Warriors over 3. Lakers in 7                           1. Celtics over 3. Bucks in 7

 

Rahim’s Picks

1. Warriors over 3. Lakers in 7                           3. Bucks over 1. Celtics in 7

Breakdown: 

The Western Conference finals include the Warriors over the Lakers and LeBron. That would break LeBron James’ consecutive streak to the Finals. Mickayeen is still the only one who has the Rockets in the conference finals agains this year. Mickayeen is also the only one who picked the Raptors over the Celtics. Rahim believes the Bucks can knock out the Celtics and have themselves a date with the Warriors, so let’s see how that will play out!

 

NBA Finals:

Joel’s Picks: 1. Warriors over 1. Celtics in 6, MVP – Kevin Durant

Aman’s Picks: 1. Warriors over 1. Celtics in 5, MVP –  Steph Curry

Mickayeen’s Picks: 1. Warriors over 2. Raptors in 6, MVP – Steph Curry

Adam’s Picks: 1. Celtics over 1. Warriors in 7, MVP – Kyrie Irving

Rahim’s Picks: 1. Warriors over 3. Bucks in 5, MVP – Klay Thompson (Leaves GS for LAL in FA)

The 2018-2019 NBA Championship goes to the Golden State Warriors to complete the three-peat! That comes to no surprise with their All-Star lineup. But this will answer a lot of questions for the Warriors. Adam thinks the Celtics will take advantage of Warriors and win in seven games to capture their 18th NBA title and first in ten years. Now that you know who everyone’s picks are, let’s take a look at everyone’s player awards as well.

 

Most Valuable Player:

Joel’s: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Aman’s: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Mickayeen’s: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Adam’s: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Rahim’s: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

James’ move to LA automatically makes him a favorite as MVP, but Adam and Rahim believe the addition of coach Bud in Milwaukee will help the Greek Freak finally get to the next level.

 

Defensive Player of the Year:

Joel’s: Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors

Aman’s: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Mickayeen’s: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Adam’s: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Rahim’s: Anthony Davis,  New Orleans Pelicans

There is no clear consensus on this one. It would be nice to see Leonard win it as a Raptor over some of the best bigs in the league. However, Davis and Embiid are huge favorites as they still have so much more to grow.

 

Rookie of the Year:

Joel’s: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Aman’s: Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers

Mickayeen’s: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Adam’s: Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers

Rahim’s: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Looks like it’s going to be Doncic or Sexton. With the Cavaliers expected to make playoffs by Adam and Aman, it makes perfect sense for them to pick him. But Doncic just looks merely the most NBA ready, and though the Mavericks won’t be in the playoffs, there is still a chance for him to win it. How about Marvin Bagley II, DeAndre Ayton and Trae Young? Will they be part of the picture this year?

 

Most Improved Player:

Joel’s: Julius Randle, New Orleans Pelicans

Aman’s: Stanley Johnson, Detroit Pistons

Mickayeen’s: D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets

Adam’s: Zach Lavine, Chicago Bulls

Rahim’s: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers

Another award that is wide open. So many players could win this award. With Randle playing behind Anthony Davis as a sixth man, his name should go up from last year as a Laker, especially when given more playing time. Pistons are a favorite to grab the 8th seed in the East, and great play by Johnson could be a huge part of their success. Russell is on a contract year, and he’s got nothing better to do with the Nets but to continue to improve and get himself a nice contract for the future. Lavine needs to stay healthy long enough to actually improve his game, but he could help the Bulls try to make a push for the playoffs and surprise many. But let’s just admit it, Ball is going to win the award. He’s playing with the best player in the world, and that will elevate his game to a new level as long as he can stay healthy and remain the starter.

 

Scoring Title:

Joel’s: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Aman’s: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Mickayeen’s: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Adam’s: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Rahim’s:  LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

You can never get tired of watching the greatest scoring performances of the season. You may want to see someone else not named Westbrook win it again. Davis may be the best shooting big man in the league, and if he doesn’t get MVP, he is the front-runner for a scoring title. Adam believes Giannis will win MVP and the scoring title, while Rahim likes LeBron to win it. Who will it be?

 

Coach of the Year:

Joel’s: Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Aman’s: Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets

Mickayeen’s: David Fizdale, New York Knicks

Adam’s: Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks

Rahim’s: Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers

This is interesting! Mickayeen throws in the curveball with the Fizdale pick, but it’s understandable because he is a much better coach than what he’s shown for. Budenholzer has been there before also and with the talented Bucks roster they would finish atop the East. Luke Walton will benefit from the addition of James and all the players who have joined up to help the Lakers get in the playoffs and have success with Walton’s system. But D’Antoni or Stevens makes more sense than the rest. Both of their teams will be in the top of their conference, which automatically makes them a front-runner for the award.

 

Sixth Man Of The Year:

Joel’s: Terry Rozier, Boston Celtics

Aman’s: Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets

Mickayeen’s: Isaiah Thomas, Denver Nuggets

Adam’s: Terry Rozier, Boston Celtics

Rahim’s: Julius Randle, New Orleans Pelicans

Terry Rozier is a heavy favorite for this award. We saw what he was able to do without Irving in the lineup as he led the Celtics to the conference finals. With Irving back, Rozier’s role is made to the sixth man, but he could easily be a starter on other teams who need point guards. Eric Gordon was the 2017 winner, and with the changes to the Rockets depth, he could continue to find a way to produce the necessary numbers to be the winner again! Isaiah Thomas would love to get himself some sort of reward from the league, but he may end up playing more as a starter than a backup with the Nuggets. Randle could only win it if he can have constant playing time to put up consistent numbers. So let’s see who it will be!

 

You have read what each of us at Fourth Quarter Sports thinks about each division and the playoff pictures with the awards, but we would like to see what you think. Don’t forget to subscribe and comment with your picks below!

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4 Responses

  1. Joel Deering says:

    I like the pick of Giannis for MVP. If he doesn’t win it this year, he’ll win it here in the next couple of years. He just keeps getting better every season.

  2. Cullen Jekel says:

    Anthony Davis is going all scorched-earth this year. The ‘Brow for MVP.

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    […] finally make the finals in the East? Most of the writers at Fourth Quarter Sports thought so in our predictions. But since then we have added a few new members and their opinion is important to us as well! So […]

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