Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff Predictions
All Sports Talk,  Basketball,  NBA

Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff Predictions

After another long NBA season, we are now ready for the 2023 NBA playoffs. The biggest debate heading into the postseason is who will be the league MVP? Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the top-3 candidates. Embiid has finished runner-up a couple times and Jokic is the reigning and defending 2-time league MVP. Giannis is a 2-time winner himself, but many figure it’s between the two big men. In the East, we had the Atlanta Hawks defeat Miami to earn the 7th seed and face Boston. Out west, the Los Angeles Lakers took down the Minnesota Timberwolves in OT and now they’ll meet the Memphis Grizzlies. Miami defeated Chicago, who took down the Raptors in the 9/10 matchup. Oklahoma City fell to Minnesota as the Wolves earned the 8th seed and battle Denver in the first round. Miami will meet the Milwaukee Bucks in the East first round.

In the East, will Boston repeat as champion or will Milwaukee, Philly, or someone else advance to the NBA Finals? In the west, can Golden State repeat or will someone else represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals? Milwaukee battles Miami and Cleveland takes on New York with the winners facing each other. Boston hosts Atlanta and Philadelphia meet the Brooklyn Nets with the winner battling each other. In the West, we have the Denver Nuggets meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Phoenix Suns will take on the Los Angeles Clippers, which will be an amazing series. Memphis will host the Los Angeles Lakers in a matchup where this series could go seven games. The final one will see the Sacramento Kings host the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Let’s see who I’m thinking will advance from the First Round of the NBA Playoffs.

Eastern Conference


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe Milwaukee Bucks will battle the Miami Heat in the 1 vs. 8 matchups in the Eastern Conference first round. After falling to the Hawks, Miami defeated the Chicago Bulls to advance. The Bucks should be well rested for this matchup. Throughout his illustrious career, the only team that has given Giannis fits has been Miami. This series will be different because Miami has issues scoring the ball. They are the worse 3-point shooting team in the league. Miami has a toughness about them that teams have trouble putting them away. The Heat face a Bucks team that’s arguably the best defensive team in the league. Brook Lopez is a finalist for defensive player of the year. We all know that Giannis and Jrue Holiday are two of the best in the business. I’m taking the Bucks in part because of their stout defense. Milwaukee Wins Series 4-1


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe Cleveland Cavaliers had an incredible season as they finished 4th in the Eastern Conference. The addition of Donovan Mitchell catapulted the Cavs into serious title contenders. Evan Mobley can take over the game on offense and defense. Jarrett Allen can be a distraction to anyone trying to drive in the lane. Darius Garland can also take over a game seeing he’s a perennial All-Star. Cleveland has one of the better offenses in the entire league. New York started the season slow, but things quickly picked up. Jalen Brunson signing with the Knicks has been heaven sent and is one of the better free agent pickups. The Knicks were at one point the hottest team in the league, but they fizzled towards the end. Most of it has to do with the health of Julius Randle. I’m picking Cleveland especially with the uncertainty of Randle. Cleveland Wins Series 4-2


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsWe have the Boston Celtics taking on the Atlanta Hawks. Boston was my top Eastern Conference team coming out of the All-Star break. During that time, Jayson Tatum was an MVP candidate and Jaylen Brown was playing out of his mind. Health is the biggest concern with the Celtics. Robert Williams III is one of the keys if the Celtics make a deep run. Also, Jaylen Brown injured his hand, will this affect this series and them moving forward? Atlanta beat Miami to get this 7th seed. This could possibly be a make-or-break series for the Hawks. There are rumors that Trae Young could be on the market and the teams playing this series could determine that. Quin Snyder will have the Hawks playing tough, but they don’t have enough for this Celtics team. Boston Wins Series 4-1


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe final series of the first round in the East will see the Philadelphia 76ers host the Brooklyn Nets. Philadelphia is the homie of likely league MVP Joel Embiid as he’s had a tremendous season. This is probably the best chance for the Sixers to make a run at a championship. Embiid is damn near unstoppable, and you add a healthy James Harden with Tyrese Maxey. The play of Tobias Harris will determine if they are a championship team or not. This series Harris doesn’t have to be a factor. Brooklyn is a much different team than the one they had at the start of the season. They opened the season with James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, but they all were traded. The future is bright for this Nets team, and they have some fighters now, but won’t beat the Sixers. Philadelphia Wins Series 4-1


Western Conference


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe Denver Nuggets will face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. Denver has rested a lot of their stars in the last few weeks. Minnesota got here by falling to the Lakers and then blowing out the Thunder. This series is a tricky one for me because Minnesota has a chance to pull off an upset. Jokic will probably cook Towns and Gobert, but the addition of Mike Conley Jr. is key to the Wolves. Conley is a great point guard who knows how to control the game. With the Nuggets, their health will be the biggest factor of this series and playoff run. Jokic, Murray, Gordon and Porter Jr. have dealt with injuries. Reggie Jackson was a major addition for this team. Jackson steps up in big playoff moments and his experience is huge. This series should be a great one but I’m going with the Nuggets. Denver Wins Series 4-2


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe Phoenix Suns are hoping to make another run at the NBA Finals open against the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Paul and Devin Booker made an excellent backcourt and DeAndre Ayton continues to man the middle. The Suns made a blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant. Phoenix haven’t lost a game with Paul, Durant, and Booker being on the court together. How will this Suns team respond in this playoff series against the Clippers? Los Angeles is a squad that can beat anyone on any given night. Unfortunately, they are hit the injury bug seeing Paul George could miss this series with a leg injury. This series will feature Russell Westbrook taking on Kevin Durant and Westbrook says there’s no beef between the two. This could be a great series, but I’m picking the Suns seeing Paul George could be unavailable. Phoenix Wins Series 4-2


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe Memphis Grizzlies will take on the Los Angeles Lakers in what could be an amazing series. Memphis has been one of the more controversial teams in the NBA. Ja Morant went through his ordeal where he was suspended and went to counselling afterwards. Dillion Brooks has taken on the role as one of the most hated guys in the league. Despite all their controversies, this Grizzlies team is as good as any other team. Los Angeles got to this point by defeating Minnesota in the 7 vs. 8 play-in game. Anthony Davis and Lebron James have been playing their best basketball over the last couple of weeks. The trades the Lakers made earlier in the season has really paid dividends for them. This could possibly go seven games, but the injuries for the Grizzlies will be a factor. I’m picking the Lakers to win it. Los Angeles Win Series 4-2


Trav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsTrav’s 2023 NBA First Round Playoff PredictionsThe Sacramento Kings will host the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the first round. Sacramento experienced a franchise resurrection this season and finally made the playoffs after a long drought. Domantas Sabonis is a bonafied star and the same can be said about DeAaron Fox. I’ll be honest, despite the Kings amazing season they didn’t make my top-5 Western Conference teams. Can the Kings turn their great season into a surprising upset over the defending champions? Golden State is back in the playoffs and their big three is seeking to win their unprecedented 5th championship. The Warriors will finally get Andrew Wiggins back as he’s missed over the last quarter of the season. The big issue in this series is that Golden State is a horrible road team. This is the playoffs and I’m thinking the Warriors will solve those road woes in one game. Golden State Wins Series 4-2


What do you think about my prediction for the 2023 NBA first round? Do you see any upsets happening in the first round of the playoffs? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


Eastern Conference 2nd Round

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers


Western Conference 2nd Round

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *