EASTERN CONFERENCE – I think it is fair to say that the Eastern Conference was the stronger conference this season (although the sample size with 18 games is small) as it came out with 3 teams that had winning records whereas the west only had 1. #1 SEED - Philadelphia 76ers The Sixers have proven to be hands down the most dominant team in the east leading the way with a 15-3 record. They are anchored by a first line which is about as talented as there is in the LGBA. With @Karlsson_MVP running the point averaging 17ppg and 10.3apg, and @TTV-Thorpe7 handling the largest scoring load at 23.9ppg while shooting 63.2% from beyond the arc, this team seems to have a pretty good formula for winning as they were statistically the best team in PPG Allowed with 48 (Note I took out the 1-0 FF win out for this stat), over 3PPG better than the 2nd best team. The ‘unknown’ for this team will be seeing how the second unit does in the playoffs. They don’t have as much experience having “only” played 4-7 games on the season depending on the player, so it will be interesting to see how they perform when put in a position where they have to win. A quick glance going through their games shows only a couple guys having played against teams with winning records and the only wins they have against those teams have come by a combined 3 points. However if they end up being anchored by @Akonvict21 down low he could provide the stabilizing force they need to prevent any hiccups. Prediction: Making the finals, beating Toronto in 3 #2 SEED – Boston Celtics Boston had a pretty up and down season for the most part and moved several of their original draft picks off the roster by seasons end. This makes the continuity on the roster pretty hard to gauge as they rarely played with the same lineup. Hopefully they have been hitting the practice gym as a team in the last week as the playoffs are going to be a whole different animal for this team. Their record isn’t stellar against the top teams having gone 0-2 against Phoenix, 2-1 against Philly, and 0-2 against Toronto. So this should be a concern heading into the playoffs. The bright spots however are that they have seemed to find some hidden gems in @Glory_grinder and @KillerSnipez187 but they have seem to beat up on weaker competition in their games so it will be interesting to see how they do when facing winning competition. Prediction: Lose to Toronto in 5 #3 SEED – Toronto Raptors The Raptors, much like Boston, had an up and down season and seemed to have several issues putting together consistent lines having used a league high 19 players (doesn’t include players who were used and traded to another team that played for their new team). While Toronto finished with a winning record one has to question if they are really a true threat for the Championship given that they went a combined 0-6 against Phoenix and Philly and only 3 of those games were even within single digits. The biggest issue for Toronto is going to be front line talent. While guys like @T_B_61 , @BloodPanda , and @Browness- are good players and can seemingly score at will, their numbers aren’t translating to consistent wins. I do believe if they put 1 solid line together they can win a series against Boston, but given that I am saying in 5 you could argue the other way as well. Prediction: Beating Boston in 5, Losing to Philly in 3 in ECF WESTERN CONFERENCE – #1 SEED – Phoenix Suns I think it is fair to say that if this team doesn’t make the finals it will be a complete disaster of a season. Phoenix ended the season with the best record in the league and will be the ‘favorite’ going into the playoffs because of it. @coolviper132 captured the league scoring title for the season averaging a whooping 33ppg and only failed to score 25 points or more twice (Although both were against Philly which should be a concern for Phoenix) and lead the league in steals with 4 per game. On paper this team looks like potentially the deepest in the league running one line anchored by Viper and @Coast3113 and a second line anchored by @II_Jcross_II and @joshb12345 who are a combined 22-0. This team seems over all very well rounded having finished the season #1 in PPG, FG%, 3P%, Assists and Steals. The largest concern for this team is going to be not taking the games seriously because they think they are better than they are. If they do that they could be tripped up by a team with more discipline. Prediction: Making the finals, beating Portland in 3 #2 SEED – Portland Trailblazers Portland started the season off hot at 4-1, but sputtered since that start going 4-9 including losing 4 in a row to end the season. The final 4 games were against Toronto, Philly x2, and Phoenix which makes me a bit wary about how real the teams start was and if this is just who Portland is. @Navyynick anchored this team with a rather impressive per game stat line of 5.8 points, 14.9rebounds (led the league), 10.9 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks. @NEWFIEBOY94 carried the load on offense with 23.9ppg, however outside of those two there are some major question marks for this team. 50% of Portland’s wins came against non-playoff teams, with another 2 more coming against Memphis. Portland gave up the most PPG Allowed of any of the playoff teams and has the second fewest PPG For of anyone other than their first round opponent. I believe talent alone should get them past the first round, but after that this team needs to really be on their A++++ game to stand any chance against Phoenix and even that may not be enough. Prediction: Beating Memphis in 3, Losing to Phoenix in 3 in WCF #3 SEED – Memphis Grizzlies Memphis is the plucky team that doesn’t quit, I will definitely give them that much. They have 3 good wins against playoff teams (Boston, Toronto and Phoenix), but other than that they just tried to be competitive and succeeded for the most part. @Jlm1410 was definitely the team MVP for these guys putting up 19.7ppg and 9.2 apg. They also had several different players who were able to put the ball in the basket, but most of them did so either inefficiently or inconsistently which led to the team’s overall record. All and all I just don’t see this team providing much difficulty to the more talented teams in the playoffs given they average the fewest PPG of all the playoff teams and don’t seem to apply much pressure causing the least turnovers per game as well. If I was Memphis I would be proud of the season I put together, but don’t expect much come playoff time. Prediction: Losing to Portland in 3 LGBA FINALS – Philadelphia 76ers v Phoenix Suns Barring some crazy meltdown by either of these teams I think most of us would agree (sorry other playoff teams) that this whole season has been leading to a Philly and Phoenix match-up. The two regular season meetings were split by these two teams with Philly needing to mount a 10 point comeback to win game one in the 4th and Phoenix picking up a win when one of Philly’s players had to leave the game due to a family emergency and mounting a comeback of their own. The lines thrown out in those two games overall looked fairly even and could go either way (assuming we are calling those lines the “ones” for the sake of this prediction). What I personally believe will make or break this series will be the “twos”. On paper one would have to argue that Phoenix has the advantage here boasting an undefeated line who played everyone in the league but Philly. However this is not to count out guys on Philly who are having a stellar season in limited time like @nickyP1999 who is averaging 21.5ppg and 8.8 apg and @Akonvict21 who is putting up 11.3 ppg on 70% shooting, 8.8 rpg, and 3.9 apg. Prediction: I won’t pick a winner here because obviously I am bias, but I would be SHOCKED if it was a sweep either way and really believe it will come down to a game 5. NOTES: For all Player stats ranks a 4 Games played Minimum was applied to rule out TCs or outliers. For all Team per game stats FFs were removed to not skew proper game play data. Player per game stats were not changed for FFs because I don’t have the time to go through all that information.