The NBA playoffs without conferences gives us some really fun series

You’ve probably seen this line everywhere, but let’s say it one more time: The NBA playoff order is finally set. That means the top eight teams in each conference will scrap it out, sending the victors to the Finals for a shot at a championship.

Here’s what the playoff bracket looks like right now:


  1. Toronto Raptors vs. 8. Washington Wizards
  2. Boston Celtics vs. 7. Milwaukee Bucks
  3. Philadelphia 76ers vs. 6. Miami Heat
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. Indiana Pacers


  1. Houston Rockets vs. 8. Minnesota Timberwolves
  2. Golden State Warriors vs. 7. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Portland Trail Blazers vs. 6. New Orleans Pelicans
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 5. Utah Jazz

We know how these matchups end. The Rockets blow by the Wolves in the first round (sorry, Jimmy Butler!) then beat Russell Wesbrook and the Thunder in the second. They make the Western Conference Finals and face the Warriors, who’ve cruised by an injured Spurs’ team and are just too much for either the Trail Blazers or the Pelicans to handle in the West semifinals.

Rockets vs. Warriors is a toss-up. The East is not.

The Raptors will probably get by the Wizards, and they’ll meet Cleveland in the second round. The winner

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