-Washington Wizards (8) take on the Toronto Raptors (1) These two teams split their regaular season series 2-2.
The Raptors have been led all season by their back court of Kyle Lowry (16.2 ppg) and All-Star Demar Derozan (23 ppg) helped the Raptors capture the number one seed. Derozan averaged 27 ppg against the Wizards during the regular season while Lowry averaged a mediocre 12.5.
The Wizards have had a roller coaster season partly due to the fact that All-Star John Wall missing half of the season underachieved this season and had to squeak into the postseason. First time All-Star Bradley Beal took the team on his shoulders and kept the Wizards in contention. He averaged 28.5 ppg against the Raptors this season while not having his backcourt mate Wall in all four matchups.
What To Watch For: Can the Raptors bench who averaged 42 ppg this season be reliable in the postseason?
-Boston Celtics (2) vs Milwaukee Bucks (7) They split the season series 2-2.
The Celtics were led by Kyrie Irving (24 ppg) who came over in trade forom the Cleveland Cavaliers this past off season for an opportunity to get out of the shadow of a LeBron James and show he can led a team. His season was cut short due to a knee injury. The Celtics still have a an All-Star in Al Horford to lean on to go along with a young core of Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, and rookie Jayson Tatum.
The Bucks who had a disappointing season because they have underavhieved according to many were led by superstar Giannis Antenkoumpo who averaged 26.9 ppg this season. He dominated the Celtics this season in all four games averaging 33.5 points against a very good defensive team. He will need help from guys like Kris Middleton (20.1 ppg) and Eric Bledsoe (17.8 ppg).
What To Watch For: Can Celtics control the Greek Freek and score enough points in the postseason without Kyrie?
-Philadelphia 76ers (3) vs Miami Heat (6). Sixers won season series 3-1.
The Sixers head into the playoffs winning 16 straight games led by their two young studs Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. They make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Sixers will start their playoff run without their All-Star Embiid who is out for at least the first game due to a facial fracture but is expected back at some point for this series vs Heat.
The Heat are led by a yound core and first year All-Star Goran Dragic (17.3 ppg).
What To Watch For: Can Heat keep Ben Simmons from impacting the game in several different categories?
-Cleveland Cavaliers (4) vs Indiana Pacers (5). Pacers won season series 3-1.
LeBron James and his Cavs head into the postseason without another superstar for him to lean on. The Cavs have not faced the Pacers with this current roster that was formed before the trade deadline. LeBron averaged 28.5 ppg against the Pacers this season.
The Pacers who may have the Most Improved Player this season in first year All-Star Victor Oladipo ( 23.1 ppg) and a potential coach of the year candidate in Nate McMillian. They won 48 games this season and have been one of the surprise teams this season. Oladipo averaged 25 points against the Cavs this season.
What To Watch For: Can LeBron trust his new acquisitions?
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