NBA Playoffs Semifinals Taking Shape But Three Series Still In Balance

By Ian John
June 3, 2021

The NBA Playoff Conference Semifinals are now starting to take shape as five teams have already won their best-of-seven series to claim a berth in the next round of the playoffs.

The two top seeds, the Philadelphia 76ers from the Eastern Conference and the Utah Jazz from the Western Conference have made it through, along with three more Eastern Conference teams, the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks.

However, three series’ in the Western Conference will go to at least the sixth game with each series poised at 3-2 .

Interest in the NBA Playoffs has been huge and so far, all the series have gone with the top seeded teams. Could that continue in the remaining games?

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Remember also that interest in the NBA Playoffs is huge across the United States at the moment and if you want a choice of fantastic markets on the playoffs, then BetRivers PA, or its equivalent sites in other states, offers a fantastic range of betting on all games taking place in the end of season tournament.

Let’s now recap how each of the eight Round 1 Playoff series have gone so far, starting with the four ties that have already been concluded in the Eastern Conference.

Eastern Conference Playoffs Round 1

The seed for each team in the conference is shown in brackets.

Philadelphia 76ers (1) 4-1 Washington Wizards (8)

Having completed a clean sweep over Washington in the regular season, the 76ers, led by their dynamic duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons took a commanding 3-0 lead over the Wizards in the first three games of the series.

The Wizards did strike back in game four, when Embiid suffered a knee injury which kept him out of the fifth game, but it mattered little as a strong team performance from the 76ers saw them clinch the victory to move into the semifinals.

Brooklyn Nets (2) 4-1 Boston Celtics (7)

The Brooklyn Nets super-team made light work of the Boston Celtics in their Round 1 series. Led by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, the Nets proved far too powerful for the inconsistent Celtics, taking a 2-0 lead in the series in their first two home games.

The Celtics did win their first home game to narrow that gap to 2-1, but Brooklyn moved through the gears in the next two games, winning both by comfortable margins to secure a 4-1 win. They are the favourites with many punters to land the NBA Championship this season.

Milwaukee Bucks (3) 4-0 Miami Heat (6)

Last season, the Miami Heat stunned the then number 1 seeded Bucks in the Playoff Semifinals to reach the NBA Championship Game. There was no repeat of that this season as the Bucks got revenge with an emphatic clean sweep 4-0 series win.

Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the key men for the Bucks as they dominated the series, with Giannis in particular underlining why he was the NBA MVP last season and why the Bucks sorely missed him in last season’s playoff loss to the Heat. Their match up with the Brooklyn Nets promises to be a classic.

Atlanta Hawks (5) 4-1 New York Knicks (4)

The New York Knicks staged a late run in the regular season to make the playoffs, but could not sustain that form against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks won the opening game in Atlanta, but the Knicks won the second game and that seemed to set the Knicks up for the remainder of the series.

However, the Hawks won both games in New York to claim a 3-1 lead and then rounded off the series win with another victory in Atlanta. Trae Young has been the stellar performer for the Hawks throughout the playoffs scoring 32,30,21,27 and 36 points across the five games.

NBA Playoff Semifinals – Eastern Conference

The semifinals series are also best of seven and start on Saturday 5th June.

  • Philadelphia 76ers (1) v Atlanta Hawks (4)

How well Trae Young can get at the 76ers defence will likely decide the Hawks chances here. If he can continue his hot form, expect the Hawks to make it tough for the 76ers. Embiid’s fitness is also a concern for sixers fans, but if he is fit to start from the first or second game, then I think the 76ers will take the series win. Tip – Philadelphia 76ers to win 4-2.

  • Brooklyn Nets (2) v Milwaukee Bucks (3)

This series should be an absolutely cracking feat of Basketball and my gut feeling is that this one could go down to the wire. If the Nets can keep their three superstars healthy, they may just snatch the win here, but this is going to be so close and I think there will be plenty of drama before the winner is decided. Tip – Brooklyn Nets to win 4-3

Western Conference Playoffs Round 1

Utah Jazz (1) 4-1 Memphis Grizzlies (8)

The Memphis Grizzlies took a surprise lead in the first game of this series with a win in Utah, butMike McDonald Free Throw that only seemed to sting the Jazz, who had the best record of any team in the regular season, into action.

The Jazz reeled of four successive wins in a row, two at home, two on the road, to move serenely into the semifinals and were the first and so far, only team in the Western Conference to earn that right. Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley Jr. have been their go-to guys throughout their fine run.

Phoenix Suns (2) 3-2 Los Angeles Lakers (7)

LeBron James and the current NBA Champions the Los Angeles Lakers are one game from elimination and must win tonight’s clash in L.A to ensure this series goes to the final game. In what has been a back and forth contest, the Suns won the opening game, before the Lakers won two in a row to take a 2-1 lead.

However led by Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and the excellent Devin Booker, the Suns snatched back the lead with back to back wins, meaning that a victory tonight in L.A will see them eliminate the current champions. If the Suns don’t do it tonight I am backing them to do so in the final game in Phoenix.

Denver Nuggets (3) 3-2 Portland Trail Blazers (6)

In perhaps what has been the most evenly contested, and high scoring of series, a double overtime win has given the Nuggets a narrow lead heading into the sixth game in Portland. Nikola Jokic has been their star man throughout the series.

Damial Lillard has arguably been the mpst consistent player in the playoffs out of any team and he has been the key man for the Trail Blazers. They’ll need him to be at his brilliant best to level the series jere, which I think they will, before that all-important final game, which I think the Nuggets will just shade.

Los Angeles Clippers (4) 2-3 Dallas Mavericks (5)

The Clippers were heavily fancied by many this season but they seem to have come unstuck in this series against the Luka Doncic-inspired Dallas Mavericks. All victories in this series have come on the road, which means the next game in Dallas is by no means a formality.

For me, the Mavericks are the team in the better form at the moment and in Doncic, they have the series outstanding performer and as such, I think they will be the team to progress from this series.

NBA Playoff Semifinals – Western Conference

  • Utah Jazz (1) v Los Angeles Clippers/Dallas Mavericks

To be honest, whoever comes through from the Clippers/Mavericks series I think is in for a bit of a torrid time against the Jazz who have been the strongest team in the west all season long. I would expect the Jazz to come through this series to reach the conference final relatively comfortably.

  • Phoenix Suns/Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets/Portland Trail Blazers

I don’t think this is going to be the Lakers year despite any people still predicting they will eventually end up as Champions, so I think it will be the Suns and Nuggets that contest this game with the Suns being the team to go through to face the Jazz in the final.

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