OKC Thunder: Predicting playoff seeds and first round winners

OKC Thunder (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder Power Ranking week 1
OKC Thunder Power Ranking week 1 Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz and Danilo Gallinari #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder talk after a game on October 23, (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Rylan Stiles:

I do not think there will be a season at this point, I was firm on there being no way that the league outright cancels until today. You look at what baseball is doing, scrambling for a start time, and hoping they can get games in by having players sit in the stands rather than the dugout. The NBA has too much pride to rush into games and make a joke of themselves.

With Silver saying the league will wait until May to make a decision, the delay between the cancelation and a start-up gets farther and farther apart, so even if we did crown a champion, that banner would be lifted with an asterisk.

That said, if the season did restart – this is how I envision the teams finishing and the first-round series.


(1) Lakers over (8) Grizzlies: I think the scrappy Memphis bunch might steal one game, but it will still be a great look at the future of the NBA with Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke.

(2) Clippers over (7) Dallas: while the Mavs will give the Clippers a run, ultimately this is a bad matchup for Dallas and the first year of playoff Luka ends in the first round. However, this postseason will still see Luka magic

(3) Nuggets over (6) Rockets: I do not trust either of these teams in a playoff setting. So I will side with Jokic being able to handle Russell Westbrook or whoever they throw at him in this series. However, the Nuggets playoff run would be short-lived.

(4) Thunder over (5) Jazz: With CP3 leading the team, the Thunder’s great chemistry, and the mismatch of the 3 guard lineup OKC takes the series against a disgruntled Jazz locker room.


(1) Bucks over (8) Magic: The Bucks turn the Magic into last year’s Pistons. But hey, at least you made the playoffs, Orlando!

(2) Raptors sweep (7) Nets: I think the Raptors are the most playoff-ready team, with the best coach, and the most depth…especially in this series.

(3) Celtics over (6) 76ers: The 76ers will not have enough offense to overcome the Celtics.

(4) Heat over (5) Pacers: While I love Domantas Sabonis, and hope Victor Oladipo can turn back into his once All-Star form, I’m still siding with the coaching edge, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo. Additionally, their young players have made a huge impact this year and will continue in this series.