De-throning The Warriors?

Trevi Alickolli, Social Media Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

(All statistics and standings as of Apr. 6, 2019, via ESPN)

The NBA Playoffs start this week and despite contrary belief, this year’s champion might be different than what everyone is expecting.

Most expect the Golden State Warriors to hoist their third consecutive Larry O’Brien Trophy, but by the eye test, the gap between them and the rest of the field is no longer as big as it once was.

If the eye test does not appeal to you, the statistics back it up as well. The Warriors don’t even have the best record in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors currently holding a better record.

It’s not the fact that the Warriors have fallen off, the rest of the NBA has just gotten better. Because of this, this year’s playoffs have the potential to be one of the most exciting to date and the reigning champions will have to work for a repeat this postseason.

In the first round, across the board, there should be no upsets: the higher seed should and most likely win the series fairly easily. Except for whoever faces the Oklahoma City Thunder. Depending on how the Thunder finish out their season, the team can play either the Denver Nuggets or the Houston Rockets, among other possibilities.

As of now, the team is the number seven seed and are scheduled to face the number two seed Nuggets. If all stays the same, I expect the Thunder to beat the Nuggets and set up a series against the Rockets in the second round.

This is when you might want to go grab some popcorn. The Eastern Conference second round will be one to watch. The Bucks versus the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers versus the Raptors, are powerhouses created in the East that are all equally matched.

The Bucks will win over the Celtics, since they should be at full strength at this point of the postseason. Potentially getting back guard Malcolm Brogden and key reserve Nikola Mirotic, they are the deepest team in the league.

The Raptors defeat the 76ers and depth is the key again. Toronto has put together a deep, veteran bench and Philadelphia’s bench, who they just put together at the trade deadline, is just too inconsistent.

Over in the West, Golden State takes care of business versus the Utah Jazz and Houston defeats Oklahoma City.

Taking a page from college basketball, the final four teams remaining in the hunt will the Warriors, Rockets, Bucks and Raptors.

The Warriors will make their fifth-straight Finals appearance after taking care of Houston and MVP candidate James Harden. Golden State is too talented, with too much firepower to lose to a team that counts on Harden for most of their offense, as his supporting cast has been inconsistent, at best.

The other MVP candidate, Giannis Antetokounmpo, will lead the Bucks to the finals over the Raptors, officially ending the Kawhi Leonard experiment.

Your 2019 NBA Finals matchup will be Milwaukee versus Golden State. This matchup would not surprise anybody, but the outcome of the series might. Your 2019 NBA Champions will be the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks have the best offense in the NBA (118.2 points per game) and the best defense. They are the deepest team in the league that can hurt you from anywhere on the floor and has a superstar MVP candidate that will not be denied at any costs.

The Greek Freak, along with the other five players on the Bucks averaging double-digits, will push the Bucks to their second ever NBA Championship and officially end the dynasty in Golden State.