The 2019 NBA Playoffs are rolling along and round two of the action is drawing near. Before we get there, a number of first-round matchups still have to be decided. Of the eight opening-round matchups, two were clean 4-0 sweeps in the best-of-seven series.
On Sunday, the Boston Celtics completed a sweep of the Indiana Pacers, becoming the first team to advance to the second round. But their prize for going without a loss in round one is a date with the other team completed a sweep in the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo and company rolled past the Detroit Pistons.
Beyond that, the Western Conference has featured some drama, but James Harden and the Houston Rockets have gotten the job done in impressive fashion aside from a Game 4 slip-up. They advanced past the Utah Jazz following a Game 5 victory.
We’re going to take a look at the updated bracket and playoff picture, along with potential second-round matchups. A few of the matchups don’t have a clear favorite currently, but we’ll receive clarity on those soon.
Updated 2019 NBA Playoff Bracket
*Note: Bracket will be updated as teams advance and second-round matchups are officially set. All bracket information comes courtesy of NBA.com.
Updated NBA Playoff Matchups: Second-Round Outlook
We’re now set with an interesting round-two matchup on the top of the Eastern Conference bracket. Giannis and the No. 1 seed Bucks will hold homecourt advantage against the No. 4 Celtics and Kyrie Irving, which is the first second-round series that’s set.
Milwaukee was able to close their series against Detroit out on Monday with a clean sweep, while the Rockets are one win away from advancing as well. The Golden State Warriors have advanced past the Los Angeles Clippers with a Game 6 victory on the road.
The Warriors will face the Rockets, who advanced after defeating the Utah Jazz in Game 5. By the end of the upcoming week, each series will be wrapped up, with the last of any potential Game 7 matchups coming on Sunday, April 28.
Second-Round NBA Playoff Matchup Predictions
On the Western Conference side, it’s a matchup between the Warriors and Rockets in the semifinals. The other matchup remains up in the air, but the Portland Trail Blazers wrapped up the series after a Damian Lillard game-winner in Game 5.
Beyond that, the San Antonio Spurs have given the Denver Nuggets everything they can handle. While Gregg Popovich’s squad looks more than capable of pulling off the upset, I’m going to pick the Nuggets, but it’s easy to see this as a seven-game series.
Western Conference Prediction
- (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (4) Houston Rockets
- (3) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (2) Denver Nuggets
The Eastern Conference is locked in with the top-four seeds moving on. Both the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors turned it on after dropping the series opener of their respective series, winning four straight to advance. The East is about what was expected heading into round two.
Eastern Conference Prediction
- (1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (4) Boston Celtics
- (3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (2) Toronto Raptors