2022 NBA Playoffs: The standings of all eight games in the first round, from potential sweepstakes to potential thrillers

The regular season is in the books, and the play cycle is over which means it’s time for the 2022 NBA playoffs. Although the first round may contain some major mismatches that feature some of the higher ranked teams, there are still plenty One of the things that gets you excited with most of these matches. This includes Kyrie Irving’s return to Boston in a playoff, Ja Morant against Anthony Edwards, and James Harden’s first playoff with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Many of these series have the capacity to go to a full seven matches, while another couple may be up to four matches. With so much action to focus on, we’ve ranked the first round matches from least exciting to most exciting.

As cool as it was to watch the Pelicans grind against the Clippers to secure their place in the playoffs, I don’t see them being able to put in much of a fight against the Suns who might play in June. It’s going to be exciting to watch Brandon Ingram in the post-season for the first time in his career, CJ McCollum has a knack for putting up huge numbers in the playoffs, but Phoenix is ​​simply too talented and so deep that I think this series doesn’t go very far.

I’d probably regret putting the Hawks and the Heat so low, because watching Trae Young fire up the Cavaliers for 38 on his way to a win over Cleveland was packed with all the drama and entertainment you’d want in a playoff series. But Miami isn’t Cleveland, and Clint Capella’s knee injury puts Atlanta ahead of another key player if he’s unable to play any part of the streak. Young will likely be putting up wild stats over the course of this streak, but he alone won’t be able to beat a Miami side who have very few weaknesses when facing the Hawks. As much as Young can be, I’d be surprised if this series crosses five games.

This series really had the potential to be exciting, but Luka Doncic’s calf bloodline really underestimated that. Doncic is not expected to play in Game 1, and may not be ready to go in Game Two either, which means the Jazz should have the upper hand here. But don’t just write off Dallas. Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie have the potential to win some matches for the Mavs, and if players like Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock drop their open appearances, Dallas’ chance of winning is slim without a star guard.

But if Utah cares about business, playing like the top-rated offense they’ve experienced throughout the regular season, the Mavericks’ first-round exit could be a disappointment. There’s also the possibility that Doncic will return at some point in the series, and if he’s 100% healthy, that would definitely change the narrative.

Although the Bucks have a huge advantage in the series, having defeated the Bulls all four times this season, and happened to use Giannis Antetokounmpo, there are still some fun things to watch in the series. We’ll see the first post-season debut of Zach LaVine, who often played second fiddle to DeMar DeRozan this season. DeRozan deserves all the credit having had a very effective season and being the main reason the Bulls even existed in the playoffs. But seeing how LaVine plays when the games start to get a little more interesting would be tempting. He also happens to be poised for a maximum contract this summer, so you know he’s going to want to go out now to prove he’s worth every penny Chicago is throwing at him.

This match also has the potential to get a little thin, after Bucks goalkeeper Grayson Allen played a role in Alex Caruso’s injury earlier in the season. Since that happened, Allen has received quite a bit of boos the two times he’s played for Milwaukee in Chicago. These two arenas are also located within two hours of each other along Lake Michigan, so there are also some rivalries between the two fan bases.

4. (4) Philadelphia 76ers vs (5) Toronto Raptors

We’ll see James Harden and Joel Embiid together for the first time in the playoffs against the underappreciated Raptors that includes one of the most exciting starters in his class in Scotty Barnes. Philadelphia has a mountain of expectations after trading with Harden with an anticipation of contending for the championship this season. Will Philly give Ben Simmons the treatment of Harden if he doesn’t live up to expectations? Would Doc Rivers be out of work if the Raptors surprised The Sixers and sent them home in the first round?

There are several storylines to watch in the series, such as the fact that Philadelphia will be without its best defender in Matisse Thybulle for road games because he is not immune, which is inconsistent with the Canadian COVID vaccine mandate. On the Raptors’ side, they have a chance to show everyone that they’ve been sorely ignored this season, as Pascal Siakam has reasserted himself as an NBA-level player. Take a look at All-Star’s newly designed unique VanVleet, and the two-way potential of OG Anunoby and this series may be close by all along.

Stephen Curry is going for Game 1 after missing the last 12 games of the regular season due to a foot injury. However, he is expected to be limited to minutes in the series’ opening act. This could be a really entertaining match as the Big Three Warriors Curry, Clay Thompson and Draymond Green will be back together in the playoffs for the first time since the 2019 finals.

On the other side of the game is the ruling league’s best player, who could win his second consecutive award this year. Although Nikola Jokic will miss Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., he alone is enough to worry about the Warriors. No other player in the league is as influential in every area of ​​the game in attack as Jokic. The Nuggets may be outdone because they’re not at their full power, but that just means we have to be in for some really special performances from a Jokic who will try to lead his team to upset against the healthiest Warriors ever.

Do you enjoy brave young teams who have all the confidence in the world? Two high-flying sentinels of Morant and Edwards Who are the human highlight reels? How about a lot of rubbish you talking about? Well, this series is the best for you. This would be a top if the teams were more equal, but the Grizzlies can take care of it fairly easily. However, we saw how annoying Patrick Beverly can be in the Minnesota win over the Clippers, and he will definitely try to do the same against the young Memphis team. But the Grizzlies have defensive players at Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. , who can change the game and get into the head of the opposing team with the same ease. It doesn’t matter if this series only goes four games or all seven, each one will be watching TV.

After losing to the Celtics in early March, Irving was booed every time he touched the ball from fans inside TD Garden, the All-Star goalkeeper Boston fans comparison To “a despised ex-girlfriend asks for an explanation of why I left but I still want to text back.” It’s safe to say that the boos Irving would hear while hosting the Celtics on the Nets wouldn’t be like anything he’d heard before. But regardless, this series is undoubtedly the most exciting. Kevin Durant is out with Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown. Marcus Smart tries to lock up Irving. Oh and then there’s the possibility that Ben Simmons will make his first appearance of the much-anticipated season. Simmons is targeting Game 4 as soon as possible for a comeback, which could add a whole new wrinkle to the series.