It's fair to say the East is still Lebron's conference but this might be the year where the Toronto Raptors surprise everyone and prevent Lebron from making his eighth straight final appearance. The 87-game schedule marks the most games ESPN has ever aired during the regular season.
Western conference matchupsHouston Rockets (1) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (8) - The Rockets dominated the season series against the Timberwolves, but only one of those games (a 126-108 win on February 13) included Minnesota's Jimmy Butler from beginning to end.
A selected group of reporters went to the NBA Philippines office here to get a first-hand look at the said game.
Indiana Pacers - One of those teams no one expected to be here, but Victor Oladipo has turned out into an NBA All-Star when he's not in depressing Orlando or next the consuming Russell Westbrook. History repeats itself, and LeBron is going to dominate this series and will elevate the play of his mediocre supporting cast. I love how hard the Heat play and I firmly believe they can win two games in the series but not four.
Finally, we can't forget that the Sixers don't have to play the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Toronto Raptors in the first two rounds this year. Much like the Eastern Conference, at the end of the day the Warriors are going to end up right back in the finals and ultimately will take care of the Rockets without any issues. It also makes the playoffs much more interesting and strategic.
With Kyrie Irving out, Antetokounmpo is by far the best player in the series and as great as the Celtics are defensively, he should be able to take advantage of mismatches and advance the Bucks to the second round.
Can the Sixers really carry this hot streak into the playoffs? This is such a flawless matchup between the up-and-coming Sixers led by two elite rookies, and the veteran-laden but star-hungry Heat. That seemed to douse any notion that coach Brett Brown would be looking at Fultz as a key rotation player in the postseason. Plus Embiid should be back and ready. New Orleans Pelicans (6) - The Trail Blazers lost seven of their last 12 games, but the regular season finale win over Utah was enough to earn them the No. 3 seed. Mitchell wants to be regarded as the league's best rookie, so what better way to do it than beating a highly regarded OKC team?
They'll play Miami, after the Heat rallied for an overtime win against Toronto. The Rockets two best players, Harden and Paul, have also had notable postseason struggles throughout their careers. The different predictions also keep everyone excited, one reason being a 4th match-up between the Warriors and The Cavaliers. This Rockets team is just that good, despite their flaws. I do think the Thunder could cause some matchup trouble for the Jazz.
The Thunder might be the best-possible draw for the Jazz since it allows defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert to be matched up with a traditional center in Steve Adams rather than a more athletic player who would drag him away from the rim and closer to the perimeter. The Jazz won last year's No.4 vs. No.5 matchup in seven games, and they could have a repeat performance this season. Oklahoma City led the entire league in both points off turnovers (18.7 per game) and second-chance points (14.9); the Thunder also paced the National Basketball Association in offensive rebounding (12.5) and steals (5.0). It won't be easy, but I feel confident their younger players will improve, mature and grow as the series moves on and play effectively.
Maybe the Golden State Warriors, opening the postseason without Stephen Curry or any momentum, won't be the best of the West, where there's a Houston team that can run and gun as well as they do. And unless Kawhi Leonard comes back from the dead to haunt Golden State in round one, Steph Curry is coming back healthy.
The Warriors still boast the same core of outstanding players that went all the way to the championship previous year, making them the favourites to go back to back this season. All eyes will be on Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis, both of whom could finish in the top-five in MVP voting.
Portland can be an extremely deadly on the offensive side of the ball and the Pelicans obviously aren't at full strength due to DeMarcus Cousins's season-ending Achilles injury. Guys like Mirotic, Rondo, and Holiday will be very impactful on this series.
According to the report, Kim Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner , have already discussed how they plan to deal with Thompson. For the last few weeks Khloe has been preparing to welcome her daughter at her and Tristan's home in Cleveland .
Previously, the record of longevity belonged to Francisco Nunez Oliver, who died at the age of 113 years in Spain in January 2018. Jiroemon Kimura , a Japanese who died in 2013 at 116, was recognized by Guinness as the longest-lived man in history.
Bayern are virtual ever-presents at European football's top table but they are yet to really look up to that standard this season. Left-back David Alaba, back in training after a back injury, and midfielder Arturo Vidal, who has a knock, are unlikely to play.
So moving forward into Avengers: Infinity War , Tony is in a place where he harbours guilt about what happened. The key here is that Avengers: Infinity War appears to represent the culmination of a decade-long storyline.
Ri also paid a visit last month to Sweden, which acts as a diplomatic go-between for Washington and Pyongyang. But many in Washington seem to have another misguided assumption about those talks, analysts here say.
Khan's lawyer asked for bail but the plea was adjourned after a judge said he wanted to see the entire case record. Salman khan was convicted for black buck poarching case, and was sentenced for 5 years imprisionment.
Although the implementation of tariffs is still some time away, futures markets and the stock market have felt the effects. Despite the mounting tension, the USA president said his country is not in conflict, Bloomberg said.
After clobbering the right-arm pacer for a six over long-on, Narine made room and struck two straight fours on the off side. He took some deliveries to get his eye in and played a few crafty shots to keep the pressure away in the tight chase.
Defense attorneys have said jurors should be told to prepare for a trial that lasts one month, and the panel will be sequestered. The juror selected Monday was described as a young man who knew nothing about Cosby's case, the Associated Press reported.
If Durant wants a long-term deal, he could look at a four-year, $158 million contract, speculates NBC's ProBasketballTalk . Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman will go over the scenarios in detail after the conclusion of the season.
An Iranian nuclear agency official told local media that the production of highly enriched uranium can be resumed within 4 days. The 20 percent figure is significant, because it is more than enough to quickly reach the threshold for a nuclear weapon.
Meanwhile, news site BBC reports that the head of the army has directed an investigation into the crash and will visit the scene. The previous deadliest crash in Algeria was in 2003, when 102 people were killed after plane crashed on a runway in Tamanrasset.
This includes decreased use of services such as foster care, hospitalization, mental health treatment and law enforcement. Abuse does not follow any particular pattern, and it is not confined to one socioeconomic group.
Rahul Antil, Rohit Vats, teachers at Mother Khazani Convent School , and a tutor identified as Tauqeer were arrested last Sunday. Delhi Police formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of its Crime Branch to investigate the leak of papers.
Raphel Varane will start against Juventus but Sergio Ramos is suspended and Nacho Fernandez is still out with a hamstring injury. However, they will be without midfielders Paulo Dybala and Rodrigo Bentancur through suspension.
But Lesnar destroyed Reigns' resistance with six F-5s - including one through an announce table - leaving him battered and broken. WWE issued a new press release earlier today confirming that Brock Lesnar has re-signed a new contract with the WWE .
At least 13 Afghan security forces have been killed in suspected Taliban attacks in western Herat Province, officials say. The attack occurred in Herat's Shindand district, said the district's governor, Shukrullah Shaker.
On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Israel bombed a Syrian military base in response to the chemical attacks. The president tweeted on Thursday that an attack "could be very soon or not so soon at all".
Hank Idsinga says they have now identified three more as belonging to Selim Esen, Dean Lisowick, and Abdulbasir Faizi. Investigators believe McArthur met his modern-day victims in Toronto's Gay Village neighborhood through dating apps.
John Cena , so desperate to have a shot at greatness, ended up, in WWE's own words, "absolutely trounced" by The Undertaker . And while the two put on a very solid match, it did not end up as great as everyone thought it would before Styles retained.
Scott also repeatedly attacked "career politicians" without naming his opponent, Nelson, who has served in the Senate since 2001. Scott's entry poses a formidable challenge to Nelson, who has not had a serious challenge since winning his first term in 2000.
Israeli Labour is part of the "Zionist Union" faction in Israel's Knesset that controls 24 of the legislature's 120 seats. Clearly this proves that the Jewish Labour Movement's work is more important than ever, and we're not going anywhere".
The team, in fact, still has fewer top-flight wins in the calendar year than West Ham , who have four in 2018. West Ham United's trip to Chelsea in the Premier League was always likely to be considered a "bonus game".
Iran is one of Assad's strongest backers and has sent thousands of troops and allied militiamen to support his forces. Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency put the number of Iranians killed in the missile attack at seven.
He said passengers told authorities the bus had drifted off the edge of the road twice before it veered a third time and crashed. Now we have 7 people in the hospital, instead of at Amen Corner eating a pimento cheese sandwich with an icy cold beer.