Catching Up With the NBA Bubble Playoffs

Catching Up With the NBA Bubble Playoffs

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Image: Getty

Just in case you r haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on in the NBA playoffs, we decided to update you on everything you need to know about every series thus far in the NBA bubble. Let’s face it — everyone can be forgiven for being a little late to the dance this year.

A few standout bubble stars were able to make their way into the playoffs while other notable standouts like Suns guard Devin Booker just barely missed the cut.

Now with all the official first-round series underway, let’s look at what’s going on down in Orlando as the league looks to crown a champion.

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Bucks vs. Magic

Bucks vs. Magic

Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton
Image: Getty

Series tied 1-1 going into Saturday’s Game 4

Milwaukee and Orlando are surprisingly in a tightly contested series after the Magic stole Game 1. Khris Middleton, who some have criticized for being nothing more than a 6-foot-7 Jason Terry, has been nearly nonexistent in this series thus far. Middleton is averaging only 8 points per game in this matchup against the 8th-seeded Magic. The Bucks should outlast this Orlando squad, but they could be in for an early exit if Middleton can’t find his rhythm.

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3 / 10

Clippers vs. Mavericks

Clippers vs. Mavericks

Paul George
Paul George
Image: Getty

Clippers lead series 2-1 going into Sunday’s Game 4

The Clippers and Mavericks have been one of the most compelling matchups in the first round. If Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t bogusly ejected in Game 1 after a shoving match that was softer than memory foam, Dallas might be in a position to knock off one of the most talented teams in the league. Now with star point guard Luka Doncic nursing a mild ankle sprain, the chances for Dallas look bleak. The Clippers have been able to do this even in the midst of Paul George (or “Playoff P” as he calls himself) looking worse than a shag haircut on the floor.



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4 / 10

Rockets vs. Thunder

Rockets vs. Thunder

Illustration for article titled Catching Up With the NBA Bubble Playoffs
Image: Getty

Rockets lead series 2-0 going into Saturday’s Game 3

James Harden has led the Rockets to a commanding series lead over the Thunder despite not having his All-Star backcourt partner Russell Westbrook because of a quad injury. It should be no surprise that Houston is handling its business in this series. As well as Chris Paul and this Thunder team has played this season, they still lack significant pieces to be a contender.

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5 / 10

Celtics vs. 76ers

Celtics vs. 76ers

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum
Image: Getty

Celtics lead series 3-0 going into Sunday’s Game 4

Boston is currently treating Philadelphia like Ice Cube did NWA on No Vaseline. It must be mentioned that the Sixers lost Ben Simmons for the season due to knee surgery, but let’s be real even the miraculous occurrence of Simmons hitting a 3-pointer every game is not going to fix the problems that exist with this team. Also, it doesn’t help that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on their way to becoming the best two-way tandem in the league.

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6 / 10

Jazz vs. Nuggets

Jazz vs. Nuggets

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell
Image: Getty

Jazz lead series 2-1 going into Sunday’s Game 4

Donovan Mitchell is balling on Denver right now and has led the Jazz to two straight blowout victories against the Nuggets. Lately, this Denver squad has looked worse than raisin filled potato salad and they’ve looked about as lively as a goldfish that hasn’t been fed in a week. They need to get back right before they see another early playoff exit.

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7 / 10

Raptors vs. Nets

Raptors vs. Nets

Fred VanFleet
Fred VanFleet
Image: Getty

Raptors lead series 3-0 going into Sunday’s Game 4

Toronto is destroying what is left of Brooklyn. Drake’s doppelgänger Fred VanVleet is cooking as per usual and Kyle Lowry is once again playing the most annoying yet effective brand of basketball in the league.

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8 / 10

Heat vs. Pacers

Heat vs. Pacers

T.J. Warren
T.J. Warren
Image: Getty

Heat lead series 2-0 going into Saturday’s Game 3

The Miami Heat have played well in their first-round series against the Pacers. They’ve held bubble break out star T.J. Warren relatively in check and they have been very balanced offensively. While the Pacers are a solid team, they find themselves back in basketball purgatory, not bad enough to build in the draft and not good enough to be an actual contender. When the Heat disposes of this Pacers squad in the next week or so, they will have a legitimate chance at upsetting the Bucks.

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9 / 10

Trail Blazers vs. Lakers

Trail Blazers vs. Lakers

Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard
Image: Getty

Series is tied 1-1 going into Saturday’s Game 3

Outside of the Clippers, Portland May have the best chance to upset the Lakers in this year’s playoffs. Don’t let the Lakers recent blowout win fool you, this team still shoots the three-ball with the same consistency as your nephew’s PARA squad. They also will have no answer for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum when they come back to avenge their defeat. Anthony Davis played like a top 3 player in the league in Game 2 even while LeBron has only averaged 16.5 points a game in the series. I fully expect this series to go the distance and I wouldn’t be surprised if Portland found a way to squeak out the upset.

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