The moment all NBA fans were waiting for is finally here. Following the first set of games of the play-in tournament, the field is almost set and the 2022 NBA playoffs are just around the corner. Anything can happen at this point.
Injuries, bad luck, or even a questionable call could put an end to a promising season. On the flip side, even the teams that aren't exactly favored to go the distance could get hot at the right time and end up winning it all.
With that in mind, we've put together our list of the 3 boldest predictions for the first round of the NBA playoffs. Sit tight, enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!
2022 NBA Playoffs: 3 Bold Predictions For The First Round
Nikola Jokic's Nuggets Will Upset The Warriors
The Golden State Warriors looked like championship material through the first half of the season and having Klay Thompson back on the court only improved their chances. Then, Stephen Curry fell with an injury and so did their team.
Jordan Poole has emerged as one of the league's most explosive scorers, yet the Warriors' offense plummetted. Curry will be back in time for the playoffs but he'll need to shake off the rust in a hostile environment when they travel to one of the world's toughest courts.
Nikola Jokic has been the best player in the world by a long stretch this season. He's coming off a sweep in last year's playoffs and will now look to turn things around by upsetting Steve Kerr's struggling team.
Raptors Take Joel Embiid And The Sixers To Seven Games
James Harden's addition has done little to improve the Philadelphia 76ers' offense. If anything, he's vastly struggling with his shot and looks far from the unstoppable scorer he was during his days in Houston.
What the Toronto Raptors lack in experience they make up for with grit, grind, and determination. Nick Nurse has established a championship-caliber defense and they have a team-first, next-man-up kind of mentality with no egos.
Doc Rivers is well-known for his infamous rotations and this Raptors team could show flashes of the 2019 squad that broke Joel Embiid's heart with Kawhi Leonard's shot. The Sixers should win this series, but with no Mattise Thybulle in Canada, it'll be a tough task.
Jazz Blow A Big Series Lead... Again
Even though they're strong at home, have the best rim protector in the league in Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell often goes bonkers in the playoffs, no one seems to be taking the Utah Jazz seriously right now.
The Jazz have dropped the ball in the playoffs over and over, even in series they were supposed to win, and even when they were up on the scoreboard. That might as well happen again this time around vs. the Dallas Mavericks.
Jason Kidd's revamped defense and Luka Doncic's generational play have turned the Mavs into a legit threat. But with Doncic's health in doubt, we expect them to fall 0-2 early in the series. Don't sweat it, though, as the Jazz will find a way to blow the lead later.