2016 NBA Playoffs: After chasing history, Warriors now eye back-to-back championship

The heat is on for basketball world’s most exciting season, the NBA Playoffs. Sixteen teams-- 8 from the Eastern Conference and 8 from the Western Conference—are going to battle it out in best-of-seven series all the way to the NBA finals.
Here are my predictions in the 2016 NBA Playoffs 1st round series:

Western Conference

Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Houston Rockets (8)
The best team in the league with the best shooter in back-to-back MVP heavy favorite Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors’ 73-9 record is the best in NBA history that broke the record of Chicago Bulls of the 1995-1996 season. The Warriors are poised for a back-to-back championship. My prediction: A Warriors sweep of the Houston Rockets.

Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs. Portland Trailblazers (5)

I’d say the Blazers are the most surprising team this year. I never thought they will get this far in the playoffs. After the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge to the Spurs and Nicolas Batum to the Hornets this season, Damian Lillard was left with new teammates and new system with the Blazers. Now up against a very tough contender in the playoffs, the Clippers have the upper hand not only in terms of home court advantage but in the regular season series, they were up 3-1. My prediction: LA Clippers in 6 games.

San Antonio Spurs (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)
The 2014 NBA champions San Antonio Spurs are still at it, and proves that age is just a number. They have the second best record in the league today, plus only one loss at home against the Warriors. A very tough team to beat, with Defensive Player of the year candidate Kawhi  Leonard leading this team. My prediction: San Antonio Spurs will sweep the Memphis Grizzlies.

Oklahoma City Thunder (3)   vs. Dallas Mavericks (6)

The hot dynamic duo of triple-double machine Russell Westbrook and the magnificent shootr Kevin Durant will really toast the Dallas Mavericks in this series. Yes, the OKC is OK to go up to the next level. My prediction: OKC Thunder in five games.

Eastern Conference
Cleveland Cavaliers (1) vs. Detroit Pistons (8)
The King didn’t return to his home for no reason and that is why the Cavaliers are on an insanely productive season thanks to Lebron James and his MVP-ish performance. They are the number one team in the East today. Did I say Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are also in the ship of the King? Well, let’s just give them the Eastern Conference Finals trophy this early.
My prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers will thump the Pistons in five games.
Atlanta Hawks (4) vs. Boston Celtics (5)
A very good matchup of young talents and perimeter shooting teams, but Atlanta has the better edge in this matchup with their size and bench depth. My prediction: Atlanta Hawks in 5.
Toronto Raptors (2) vs. Indiana Pacers (7)
The Raptors-Pacers series is one of the most exciting in the East. Ditto for a good and young roster in the Toronto Raptors side with All-Star starter Kyle Lowrie, Demar Derozan and more, against the comeback kid Paul George who is nothing but spectacular this season. I admire Paul George as a player but the young guns of Toronto are on a very serious mission this year. My prediction: Toronto Raptors in 5.

Miami Heat (3) vs. Charlotte Hornets (6)
I am a Jeremy Lin fan from the day Linsanity broke in NY up until now that he is a Hornets player. Although the Heat has the better chances of winning this series, I’d have to use my heart and guts that hopefully, Lin may past round 1 of the Playoffs. My prediction: I want the Charlotte Hornets to win it in 6 games though I know that the Heat can torch them in 6 games as well.
*Photo credits to NBA TV
Email the author at: paolomanuelfule@yahoo.com or text 09184059751.