2024 NBA Playoff Predictions

2024 NBA Playoff Predictions – Conference Semifinals

Don’t you just love playoff basketball! The First Round of the 2024 Playoffs is done, and one of the joys of the NBA playoffs is other rounds starting while earlier rounds are going on. We’ve asked our Sams to keep up here with their playoff predictions, and rest assured, all the picks were made once teams advanced. We just held it until the first round was officially over. So where do things stand? Sam Perley (6-2) has taken an early lead over Sam Farber (4-4), but anything can happen in the playoffs.

Sam P and Sam F all called series wins from Boston, New York, Oklahoma City and Denver, but only Sam P predicted Indiana’s upset over hobbled Milwaukee and that Dallas would escape past the Clippers. Neither of our experts saw the Cleveland or Minnesota wins coming, so we’ll see if those teams stay hot. On to Round 2!

Eastern Conference

#1 Boston vs. #4 Cleveland

  • SAM P: Even with Kristaps Porziņģis’ injury, Boston has too much talent and depth across the board for a Cavaliers team that is now in uncharted second-round territory: Boston in 5
  • SAM F: First off, cap tip to Sam Perley. We only had opposing picks in two of the eight opening round series but he got them both. If he picks against me here though I’m confident I’ll make up ground : Boston in 5

#2 New York vs. #6 Indiana

  • SAM P: One of the most intense NBA Playoff rivalries in the 1990’s, the Knicks’ defense and physicality will hamper Indiana’s speedy scoring attack just enough: New York in 6
  • SAM F: Full strength I like New York, but with the Knicks playing without Julius Randle and the Pacers at full strength I’ll take Indiana: Indiana in 7

Western Conference

#1 Oklahoma City vs. #5 Dallas Mavericks

  • SAM P: Though Oklahoma City produced an NBA-best 93.5 defensive rating in the first round, the Mavericks have a slight edge in star power, size, and experience: Dallas in 7
  • SAM F: Experience is a prerequisite in the playoffs in my opinion. So Oklahoma City might be a monster moving forward, but for now, the Mavericks have the edge: Dallas in 6

#2 Denver vs. #3 Minnesota

  • SAM P: The Timberwolves sweeping Phoenix was easily the biggest first-round surprise, and while they’ll make a real push here, the reigning NBA champs will prevail: Denver in 7
  • SAM F: Jamal Murray looks absolutely dialed in and Nikola Jokic is dominant. I think Minnesota will make it close but I see the Nuggets prevailing: Denver in 7
2024 NBA Playoff Predictions – First Round

It’s NBA Playoff time, and while the Hornets might not be in the playoffs this season, we’re still paying attention to see who will be called the 2024 NBA Champions! We’ve reached out to our Hornets experts, hornets.com Lead Writer Sam Perley and the Voice of the Charlotte Hornets, Sam Farber. It’s Sam P vs. Sam F the rest of the way – whose playoff predictions will ring true. Follow along each round with us to find out.

Eastern Conference

#1 Boston vs. #8 Miami

  • SAM P: Even though Miami always seems to find a way, Jimmy Butler’s knee injury will ultimately be too much to overcome against the star-studded Celtics: Boston in 5
  • SAM F: Since Jayson Tatum became an All Star level player the Celtics are 3-1 in opening round series with two sweeps. I think they get a 3rd here. Boston in 4

#2 New York vs. Philadelphia

  • SAM P: Though the 76ers have won nine-straight outings, 2023 MVP Joel Embiid still doesn’t look quite right, and this Knicks team feels built for the playoffs: New York in 6
  • SAM F:  New York won the season series 3-1 and the Knicks biggest win over the 76ers came with Embiid on the floor. Knicks will advance. New York in 5

#3 Milwaukee vs. #6 Indiana

  • SAM P: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s calf injury combined with the Bucks still not fully clicking under Head Coach Doc Rivers (17-19) feels like an upset waiting to happen: Indiana in 7
  • SAM F: Indiana won the regular season series 4-1 (including the play in tournament semifinal) but all those games were completed before the Bucks changed coaches. I have Milwaukee’s playoff experience winning out. Milwaukee in 7

#4 Cleveland vs. #5 Orlando

  • SAM P: After losing to New York, 4-1, with homecourt advantage in last year’s first round, the pressure is on for Cleveland against a young, hard-nosed Magic team: Orlando in 7
  • SAM F: I probably should have picked more upsets in the East given the 2-8 seeds were separated by a total of 4 games. I’ll grab an upset here. Orlando in 6

Western Conference

#1 Oklahoma City vs. #8 New Orleans

  • SAM P: The Pelicans’ playoff familiarity could make this a closer-than-expected series, but they won’t have Zion Williamson and will be at a depth disadvantage: Oklahoma City in 6
  • SAM F: First off, it’s crazy that the 8 seed in the West is 10+ games over .500. Two seasons ago the 8 seed in the West was 10 games under! Regardless, by avoiding the Lakers and Warriors, there’s not a lot of playoff experience awaiting the Thunder, and I think they’ll roll. Oklahoma City in 5

#2 Denver vs. #7 Los Angeles Lakers

  • SAM P: Counting the 2023 Western Conference Finals, Denver has won eight-straight against the Lakers, though this series will be a little closer than last year’s: Denver in 6
  • SAM F: Denver swept the regular season series and every game was decided by at least three possessions. I’ve got the defending champs. Denver in 5

#3 Minnesota vs. #6 Phoenix

  • SAM P: Phoenix won six of its final eight regular season games – which included two over Minnesota – and boasts more star power and experience in this series: Phoenix in 7
  • SAM F: While 6 over 3 sounds like an upset, the Suns swept this season series so I don’t feel it’s farfetched to say Phoenix wins the playoff series as well. Phoenix in 6

#4 LA Clippers vs. #5 Dallas

  • SAM P: Dating back to March 7, Dallas closed the season with the NBA’s best record (16-4) and defense (107.3), while the Clippers went an up-and-down 11-10: Dallas in 7
  • SAM F: This is going to be a GREAT series. Either squad could win it all. I think it comes down to home court advantage in game 7. Los Angeles in 7