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NBA Playoffs

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2018 NBA Playoffs

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The 2018 NBA Playoffs began April 14 and wrapped up on June 8 as the Warriors completed a 4-game NBA Finals sweep over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Roundups of the four Finals games are on the NBA Daily page. And see our NBA Player Stat Leaders page to see which individual players put up big stats in the postseason.

2018 NBA FINALS

GOLDEN STATE vs. CLEVELAND
(Golden State won 4-0)
May 31 CLE 114 @ GS 124 (OT)
June 3 CLE 103 @ GS 122
June 6 GS 110 @ CLE 102
June 8 GS 108 @ CLE 85


                       CONFERENCE FINALS

EASTERN CONFERENCE                   WESTERN CONFERENCE

BOSTON vs. CLEVELAND                 HOUSTON vs. GOLDEN STATE
(Boston won 4-3)                     (Golden State won 4-3)
May 13 CLE 83 @ BOS 108              May 14 GS 119 @ HOU 106
May 15 CLE 94 @ BOS 107              May 16 GS 105 @ HOU 127
May 19 BOS 86 @ CLE 116              May 20 HOU 85 @ GS 126
May 21 BOS 102 @ CLE 111             May 22 HOU 95 @ GS 92
May 23 CLE 83 @ BOS 96               May 24 GS 94 @ HOU 98
May 25 BOS 99 @ CLE 109              May 26 HOU 86 @ GS 115
May 27 CLE 87 @ BOS 79               May 28 GS 101 @ HOU 92


                        SECOND ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE                   WESTERN CONFERENCE

TORONTO vs. Cleveland                HOUSTON vs. Utah
(Cleveland won 4-0)                  (Houston won 4-1)
May 1 CLE 113 @ TOR 112 (OT)         Apr 29 UTA 96 @ HOU 110
May 3 CLE 128 @ TOR 110              May 2 UTA 116 @ HOU 108
May 5 TOR 103 @ CLE 105              May 4 HOU 113 @ UTA 92
May 7 TOR 93 @ CLE 128               May 6 HOU 100 @ UTA 87
                                     May 8 UTA 102 @ HOU 112

BOSTON vs. Philadelphia              GOLDEN STATE vs. New Orleans
(Boston won 4-1)                     (Golden State won 4-1)
Apr 30 PHI 101 @ BOS 117             Apr 28 NO 101 @ GS 123
May 3 PHI 103 @ BOS 108              May 1 NO 116 @ GS 121
May 5 BOS 101 @ PHI 98 (OT)          May 4 GS 100 @ NO 119
May 7 BOS 92 @ PHI 103               May 6 GS 118 @ NO 92
May 9 PHI 112 @ BOS 114              May 8 NO 104 @ GS 113


                        FIRST ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE                   WESTERN CONFERENCE

TORONTO vs. Washington               HOUSTON vs. Minnesota
(Toronto won 4-2)                    (Houston won 4-1)
Apr 14 WAS 106 @ TOR 114             Apr 15 MIN 101 @ HOU 104
Apr 17 WAS 119 @ TOR 130             Apr 18 MIN 82 @ HOU 102
Apr 20 TOR 103 @ WAS 122             Apr 21 HOU 105 @ MIN 121
Apr 22 TOR 98 @ WAS 106              Apr 23 HOU 119 @ MIN 100
Apr 25 WAS 98 @ TOR 108              Apr 25 MIN 104 @ HOU 122
Apr 27 TOR 102 @ WAS 92

CLEVELAND vs. Indiana                OKLAHOMA CITY vs. Utah
(Cleveland won 4-3)                  (Utah won 4-2)
Apr 15 IND 98 @ CLE 80               Apr 15 UTA 108 @ OKC 116
Apr 18 IND 97 @ CLE 100              Apr 18 UTA 102 @ OKC 95
Apr 20 CLE 90 @ IND 92               Apr 21 OKC 102 @ UTA 115
Apr 22 CLE 104 @ IND 100             Apr 23 OKC 96 @ UTA 113
Apr 25 IND 95 @ CLE 98               Apr 25 UTA 99 @ OKC 107
Apr 27 CLE 87 @ IND 121              Apr 27 OKC 91 @ UTA 96
Apr 29 IND 101 @ CLE 105

BOSTON vs. Milwaukee                 GOLDEN STATE vs. San Antonio
(Boston won 4-3)                     (Golden State won 4-1)
Apr 15 MIL 107 @ BOS 113 (OT)        Apr 14 SA 92 @ GS 113
Apr 17 MIL 106 @ BOS 120             Apr 16 SA 101 @ GS 116
Apr 20 BOS 92 @ MIL 116              Apr 19 GS 110 @ SA 97
Apr 22 BOS 102 @ MIL 104             Apr 22 GS 90 @ SA 103
Apr 24 MIL 87 @ BOS 92               Apr 24 SA 91 @ GS 99
Apr 26 BOS 86 @ MIL 97
Apr 28 MIL 96 @ BOS 112

PHILADELPHIA vs. Miami               PORTLAND vs. New Orleans
(Philadelphia won 4-1)               (New Orleans won 4-0)
Apr 14 MIA 103 @ PHI 130             Apr 14 NO 97 @ POR 95
Apr 16 MIA 113 @ PHI 103             Apr 17 NO 111 @ POR 102
Apr 19 PHI 128 @ MIA 108             Apr 19 POR 102 @ NO 119
Apr 21 PHI 106 @ MIA 102             Apr 21 POR 123 @ NO 131
Apr 24 MIA 91 @ PHI 104



INTRO TO 2018 NBA PLAYOFFS

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2018 NBA Playoff seedings:

East: 1-Raptors, 2-Celtics, 3-Sixers, 4-Cavs, 5-Pacers, 6-Heat, 7-Bucks, 8-Wizards.

West: 1-Rockets, 2-Warriors, 3-Blazers, 4-Thunder, 5-Jazz, 6-Pelicans, 7-Spurs, 8-Timberwolves.

2018 first round playoff matchups:

East: #1 Toronto vs. #8 Washington, #2 Boston vs. #7 Milwaukee, #3 Philadelphia vs. #6 Miami, #4 Cleveland vs. #5 Indiana.

West: #1 Houston vs. #8 Minnesota, #2 Golden State vs. #7 San Antonio, #3 Portland vs. #6 New Orleans, #4 Oklahoma City vs. #5 Utah.

Hottest team going into the 2018 NBA playoffs: In the East, the Sixers are on 16-game winning streak. Even more impressive is they recently haven't had the services of center Joel Embiid, who was out with a facial injury. Strangely, no other team in the entire East is on an actual winning streak. Other than the Sixers, no East team ended the season having won even two games in a row. As for the West, the Pelicans enter the playoffs on a five-game winning streak. They've got a tough first round opponent in the Blazers, however, and are the underdog in that matchup. The Timberwolves and Thunder are both on 3-game winning streaks. But while the Thunder are a very capable opponent against a Jazz team that has done almost nothing but winning in recent months, the Timberwolves face a blatantly better team, the Rockets, in the first round, and are severe underdogs in that matchup.

2018 NBA Playoffs Championship Contenders: The two best teams in the league are probably the Warriors and Rockets. When healthy, that is. The Rockets had the best season of anyone in the league. The defending champion Warriors are still without injured superstar Stephen Curry. While Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are active, the Warriors are still a dominant team. But without Curry, they can be beaten by a top squad. We must keep a close eye on Steph, not just for the date of his return, but to see if he's his usual superstar self when back on the floor. After those teams, the Cavs need to be mentioned. They underwent serious changes this offseason, and again during the season, but since mid March their new-look squad has shown great chemistry. Cleveland does appear to be the East's best, though the Sixers look scary right now, and the Raptors have been great both offensively and defensively all season. As impressive as the Celtics were all season, Kyrie Iring is out for the playoffs, and as good as the rest of the squad is, that's a problem.

Per the Norman Transcript: "The 2017-2018 NBA season was so jam-packed with compelling stories, it’s difficult to see it end. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo tore out of the starting gate like a man on a mission; LeBron James and the Cavaliers struggled until they pulled off a stunning deadline trade to net a bevy of younger talent that helped propel Cleveland to a 50-win season; the Pelicans lost DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury, and then Anthony Davis played like an MVP the rest of the season to carry them to the playoffs; the Philadelphia 76ers are (very) good again, thanks to the process (and The Process, Joel Embiid; more on him later); the Western Conference playoff standings were a jumbled mess until the very last night of the season, with the third through eight seed now separated by two games."

PREVIEWS

EAST

RAPTORS vs WiZARDS

The squads split during the regular season, but Washington played the last game without star point guard John Wall, who missed more than half the season with a knee injury. The explosive Wall is back, but will he be enough to overcome Toronto's tremendous depth? Nah. -- WEEI.com

Things don’t come easy for the Raptors in the playoffs. Not even this matchup, where Toronto’s team strength, the backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, are matched by Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal. Toronto has had an historic year – the greatest Raptor team ever, most say – with 59 wins. Meanwhile, the Wizards limped to a 43-39 record. Washington had the epitome of a so-so year – 14th in offense, 15th in defense. -- The Oklahoman

The Wizards, though, are not your average eight-seed and they will hope that helps them buck the trends of NBA history. They missed John Wall, their best player, for exactly half of the season. They would likely have a much higher seed if that weren't the case. Wall is now healthy and the Wizards are 2-2 in four games since he returned from a months-long injury absence. The two losses were against the Rockets and Cavaliers. For the most part with him at the helm, they have looked resurgent offensively despite having lost 14 of 21 overall. -- NBC Sports Washington

CELTICS vs BUCKS

Milwaukee won the playoff lottery, getting to play Boston. Everyone in the East wanted a piece of the Celtics, who are injury-ravaged. No Gordon Hayward, of course, but now no Kyrie Irving. -- The Oklahoman

SIXERS vs HEAT

Ever since No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz returned, the Sixers have been on fire. They closed the season with 16 straight wins and then they pulled the unheralded Heat in the first round. The Heat's best hope might be forcing a Game 7 and then hoping for some Kelly Olynyk magic. -- WEEI.com

The Sixers are going to be without Embiid to start the series. It’s unclear when the big man will be ready to return to action, although he has been trying out a face mask. -- NBC Sports Philly

With things appearing so evenly matched, Miami is going to rely on its extreme edge in postseason experience. The Heat have nine players on their roster with at least 10 playoff games under their belt compared to five guys for the Sixers. -- NBC Sports Philly

CAVS vs PACERS

Pacer point guard Victor Oladipo has flourished in his first season for Indiana, and he looks like a bona fide superstar. There are some other solid players for the Pacers, including young center Myles Turner, but LeBron James is a tough matchup for any team. There are some concerns about James’ energy, considering he led the NBA in minutes this season, but he always finds a way to step up his game in the post season. -- Norman Transcript

LeBron just needs his teammates to fill their roles, and the Cavs should brush off a fun Pacers squad. If George Hill, Rodney Hood, Kevin Love and Jordan Clarkson play solid minutes, there will be little Indiana can do to stop them. -- Norman Transcript

WEST

ROCKETS vs TIMBERWOLVES

This should be the playoffs’ most fun series. Two of the four best offense in the NBA this season. Houston was No. 2 in offensive efficiency, at 112.2 points per 100 possessions. Minnesota was fourth, at 110.8. -- The Oklahoman

The Rockets were the best team in the NBA during the regular season, propelled by MVP-favorite James Harden (30.4 ppg, 8.8 apg, 5.4 rpg) and point guard Chris Paul, who was acquired in the offseason. -- Norman Transcript

Minnesota is full of young, talented players, but their leader is veteran guard Jimmy Butler, who returned from an injury last Friday to lead the Timberwolves to a playoff-clinching win over the Denver Nuggets. -- Norman Transcript

The Rockets have made the playoffs 10 times in the 14 seasons since the Wolves last reached them and went all the way to the Western Conference finals led by Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell. Houston advanced out of the first round three times in those first nine trips and reached the 2015 Western Conference finals before losing in five games to Golden State. Now they are built to win it all, with one superstar, Chris Paul, acquired last June to help league MVP favorite James Harden. They’ve also beefed up defensively, surrounding the two guards with Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker and recently injured Luc Mbah a Moute. -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

WARRIORS vs SPURS

Neither team is at 100 percent with Steph Curry out for at least the first round and Kawhi Leonard still a big question mark. The Spurs own the coaching advantage and LaMarcus Aldridge has been balling out of his mind. The Warriors took three of four during the season, but if Leonard returns then this series could be a toss-up. -- WEEI.com

BLAZERS vs PELICANS

These teams finished one game apart in the West standings, and New Orleans played its final 34 games without star center DeMarcus Cousins. Somehow, the Pelicans went 21-13 after losing Cousins (27-21 before) and made the playoffs. -- The Oklahoman

Nurkic will get the early defensive assignment on Davis. Al-Farouq Aminu will get his chance, as will Ed Davis. But the Blazers insist that slowing the Pelicans' star is a collective task. Even if they don't swarm him with constant double-teams, it will take the awareness of all five defenders every moment Davis is on the court. -- The Advocate

THUNDER vs JAZZ

The Jazz will give OKC problems. The Jazz give every team problems. Utah was 19-28 after losing in Atlanta on Jan. 22. Since then, the Jazz is 29-6. It’s no secret what ailed Utah. Rudy Gobert played in only 18 of those first 47 games. The Jazz struggled even with him (7-11). But soon after his return, Utah caught fire. -- The Oklahoman

The Thunder haven’t always played their best, though. They’ve gone in and out, accruing the most losses to sub-.500 teams of any group with as many total wins as them, yet racking up a 6-3 record against the NBA’s three best squads: Houston, Golden State and Toronto. -- Norman Transcript

Related NBA Playoff Links:
NBA Playoffs Schedule
NBA playoff seedings rule change (as of 2016 playoffs and beyond)