The NBA postseason is right around the corner and it is never too early to start thinking about it. There is the play-in tournament before the actual postseason with the 7th-10th seeds, but what would the matchups be like if that wasn't the case with 1-8?
(8) Atlanta Hawks vs (1) Milwaukee Bucks
This series would be a quicky for Milwaukee. They are way more talented than Atlanta is. Trae Young vs Giannis Antetokounmpo would be a nice storyline, but this wouldn't be close. The pick: Bucks in 4.
(7) Miami Heat vs (2) Boston Celtics
This series would feature a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals and also one of the best defenses in the NBA in Miami and one of the best offenses in the NBA in Boston. Jimmy Butler vs Jayson Tatum would be a fascinating player matchup. The Celtics are too much to handle for the Heat.
The pick: Celtics in 5.
(6) Brooklyn Nets vs (3) Philadelphia 76ers
This series would be reasonable travel for both teams because it is so close geographically. Brooklyn is a completely different roster than it was a couple of weeks ago and Philadelphia has all of the star power. Cam Thomas is a feel-good story for the Nets but Joel Embiid would just dominate in the paint for the 76ers.
The pick: 76ers in 5.
(5) New York Knicks vs (4) Cleveland Cavaliers
This series would be by far the best one in the Eastern Conference and would be a must-watch. New York is led by Jalen Brunson and Cleveland is led by Donovan Mitchell. At the end of the day, the Cavaliers would have more help than the Knicks would.
The pick: Cavaliers in 7.
(8) Utah Jazz vs (1) Denver Nuggets
This series would feature the big favorites Nuggets over the Jazz. Denver has everything to lose led by Nikola Jokic and Utah would have nothing to lose being led by Lauri Markannen. It would be over before it even started.
The pick: Nuggets in 4.
(7) Golden State Warriors vs (2) Memphis Grizzlies
This series is the worst possible draw for Memphis against Golden State. Steph Curry and Ja Morant would be the highlight reels waiting to happen for the Warriors and the Grizzlies. However, experience matters here over youth and immaturity.
The pick: Warriors in 7.
(6) Dallas Mavericks vs (3) Sacramento Kings
This series would have a lot of guard power. Luka Doncic headlines Dallas and De'Aaron Fox headlines Sacramento. The Mavericks and the Kings would score a ton of points, but once again experience is going to prevail in this series.
The pick: Mavericks in 6.
(5) Los Angeles Clippers vs (4) Phoenix Suns
This series would feature a pressure-cooked series for both franchises who are looking to win NBA Championships. Los Angeles is led by Paul George and Phoenix is led by Chris Paul. The Clippers and the Suns both have chemistry issues, but it is an evenly-matched series.
The pick: Clippers in 7.