For the past four years, the NBA finals matchup has been between the Warriors and Cavaliers. Finally, this year, the finals matchup will be at least somewhat different as the Cavaliers didn't make the playoffs after finishing in fourteenth place in their conference but, the Warriors have a chance to reach the finals for a fifth straight year as they finished first place in the Western Conference. With the playoffs getting underway today, here are some predictions for the 2019 NBA playoffs.

Thunder reach the Western Conference Finals

The Thunder is led by two top 10 players, one of which is Paul George whom some consider to be this year's MVP and the other is Russell Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double for the third straight season.

They also have a solid supporting cast built around those two players as they've got Steven Adams who's one of the games fiercest competitors, Andre Roberson who's one of the strongest defenders in the league, Jerami Grant who averaged 13.6 points, shot just under 50 percent from field goal range and shot 39.2 percent from three and they've also got Dennis Schroder and Markieff Morris both of whom have thrived off the bench for the Thunder.

The Thunder face the Trail Blazers in the first round who they easily outmatch especially with the Trail Blazers missing Jusuf Nurkic for the playoffs.

The Thunder shouldn't have a problem facing the Trail Blazers in the playoffs especially since they swept the season series with the Trail Blazers. In the second round, the Thunder will most likely face the Nuggets who will be a much tougher opponent than the Trail Blazers but one they can compete with. Westbrook can guard Jamal Murray, Adams can take on Nikola Jokic, George can take on Paul Millsap and Roberson can guard anyone that comes his way. Keep in mind that this is the Thunder team that was once first place in the Western Conference.

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Raptors don't make it past second round

The Raptors finished second in the Eastern conference and only finished two games back of the Bucks for the number one seed. The Raptors could have easily finished first as there were a number of times where they lost in the closing seconds of multiple games and also Kawhi Leonard only played 60 of the possible 82 games. The Raptors will take on the Magic in the first round and should be able to beat them in the playoffs with relative ease.

In the second round, they will face the winner of the 76ers/Nets which will most likely be the third-seeded 76ers.

The Raptors are 3-1 against the 76ers this season but their last meeting was on February 5 and the 76ers have improved since. At the trade deadline, the 76ers added Tobias Harris who's averaged 18.2 points, 2.9 assists and 7.9 rebounds and they also added 7'3 Boban Marjanovic who's the biggest player in the NBA. The 76ers have a scary starting lineup of Embiid, Simmons, Butler, Harris, and Redick which is much more daunting and powerful than the Raptors starting five featuring Leonard, Lowry, Siakam, Gasol and Ibaka.

76ers make it to the finals

Most people have dubbed either the Bucks or the Raptors to be the Eastern Conference's best team but that will more than likely go to the 76ers who should beat both teams on route to the finals. The 76ers should have absolutely no problem taking on the Nets and they should easily cruise through the first round. The second round where they'll be facing the Raptors will be a tough matchup but one that they will win due to their much more star-studded starting five. In the Eastern Conference finals, they'll be facing the Bucks where Embiid will have the daunting task taking on MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo but it's a task that Embiid can do.

If Embiid can control Giannis on the court, the rest of the 76ers can outmatch the Bucks as long as they play well. The Bucks are also dealing with injuries to Mirotic, Pau Gasol and Brogdon who may be rusty on the court as all three have been out of action for a while. This only works in Philadelphia's favor.

Warriors complete three-peat

The Warriors will have a tough matchup against the 76ers in the finals but it's a matchup that they should come on top. Even with Draymond's down season, he can still take on Embiid defensively and the rest of the Warriors lineup is just too good for the 76ers to contain.

The Warriors have one of the best three-point shooting in the league with Curry and Thompson leading the pack and they also have Durant who's averaging 26 points and shooting over 50 percent from field goal range. The Warriors will win their third consecutive championship and many people will debate whether this team or the Bulls when they had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman is the best team in NBA history.

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