🏀 Potential First-Round Upsets

Who's ready for playoff basketball? With the postseason finally kicking off today, let's take a look at two of the closest series of the first round. Can a healthy Sixers team take down the Knicks? Will the big three out in Phoenix step up? Every game today should be a good one, playoff season!! 🔥 (2 min read)

Playoff Basketball is Here

Now that the thrilling single elimination stakes of the Play-In tournament are behind us, it’s time for playoff basketball. This is the hour to put up or shut up — the bright lights of the postseason always separate the true contenders quickly from the rest of the pack. With four games in store today, let’s dive into two of the most high octane matchups 👇

  • After a shocking run to the East’s No. 2 seed, despite losing Julius Randle, the Knicks are rewarded with…a matchup with Joel Embiid

  • On the other side of the bracket, the Timberwolves are looking to avenge their 0-3 record vs. the Suns this year

  • And with Donovan Mitchell trade rumors flying, can the young Orlando Magic upset the Cavs and send Spida out of Cleveland?

It’s safe to say that very few foresaw this level of success for the Knicks. Jalen Brunson proved himself worthy of New York’s lucrative investment last season, but he still wasn’t seen as a legitimate first option on a championship contender heading into 2024. All that changed after a spectacular season worthy of a potential First Team All-NBA nod 🔥

  • Brunson has already emerged as the most popular Knick since Patrick Ewing (sorry Carmelo). The crafty PG’s connection with the city is clear as day, and has New Yorkers more hyped for playoff basketball than they’ve been in decades 🗽

While the Knicks appear primed for a serious postseason run even without Randle, fans have to be uneasy about their first round matchup. The Sixers have won nine straight games including the Play-In, and finally have reigning MVP Joel Embiid back in the fold. While Embiid looked well below full strength vs. Miami, Philly is not a squad to be trifled with 👀

  • Brunson vs. electric guard Tyrese Maxey will be a ridiculously exciting matchup on the perimeter, but the real battle will take place in the paint

  • If New York can take advantage of a still-recovering Embiid, Brunson should be able to carry them home. NY already has some bulletin board material heading into this one 🍿

  • Game 1: Knicks -3

  • Series: Knicks -115, Sixers -105

Out West, it’s hard to envision a more entertaining matchup than Suns vs. Wolves. This is a true clash of styles, as Minnesota dominates the paint with their big-man duo, while Phoenix thrives on jumpers. The Wolves are the higher-seeded squad, but their 0-3 record vs. the Suns has many questioning whether they should be favored here 🤔

  • The top matchup in this series will be Anthony Edwards and Devin Booker, two absurdly talented young wings. Booker is coming off of a truly historic individual postseason run 🔥

However, Edwards is the one who has performed like an MVP candidate all season. He has Minnesota poised for their greatest playoff success in 20 years, if they can just get over the hump here. But he’ll need a huge effort from Karl-Anthony Towns if they can out duel their counterparts in Booker and Kevin Durant 🍿

  • Durant has warded off Father Time brilliantly in his 17th season, looking like the all-time talent we grew up watching

  • Edwards, of course, grew up watching him too, and will face off against his favorite player in Round 1 👀

  • Game 1: Wolves -1.5

  • Series: Suns -140, Wolves +114

Trivia Question: Brunson will soon become the first Knicks guard to make an All-NBA team since who?

For My Parlay Gurus

While I like the Knicks to avoid the upset and advance out of the First Round, I think Philly makes it interesting today, scoring a win behind a more healthy than expected Embiid. Meanwhile, I like the Wolves to open the series with a statement win after performing so poorly vs. the Suns all season. Take a look 👇

  • Sixers +3 @ Knicks: -108

  • Wolves -1.5 vs. Suns: -112

$100 on this bet would win you $265 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Clyde Frazier was the last Knicks guard to be named to an All-NBA team, all the way back in 1975

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