It’s been a great start to the 2022 NBA Playoffs as there have already been plenty of exciting moments and terrific games. This was to be expected, though, and it’s a trend that should continue throughout the final three rounds of the postseason.
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are the first two teams that punched their ticket to the conference semifinals, and Boston was the only team to sweep a first-round series. There hasn’t been a big upset take place yet, but some of the top seeds are getting challenged more than they were expected to.
The best First Round series up to this point has been the matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Those first five games have all been thrilling contests, and the Grizzlies currently hold a 3-2 series lead.
Of course, the biggest playoff news was the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on the postseason entirely, and that took a betting favorite away. That also opened the door for some young up-and-coming teams, and that always makes things more exciting.
Nets Swept in Four Games
The biggest news story from the First Round of the NBA Playoffs is that the Brooklyn Nets were the first team eliminated. Brooklyn was the title-betting favorite nearly all season long, and they couldn’t even win a single game in the postseason.
The Nets actually had a chance to win the series opener against the Boston Celtics, but Jayson Tatum won Game 1 at the buzzer. Everything went downhill for the Nets after that, and they weren’t even very competitive at times.
It was a tumultuous season for the Nets, and it was one that saw both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant miss significant time. There was also a trade at the midway point of the season that sent James Harden to Philadelphia and brought Ben Simmons to Brooklyn.
There was hope that Simmons would make his season debut in this series, but that was not the case. This loss leaves the Nets searching for answers heading into what will be an important offseason.
Injuries Continue to Impact Teams
Injuries are always a concern when it comes to the NBA, but several teams have already seen the loss of big stars this postseason. These injuries could ultimately have an impact on the teams that are able to win a championship, but they will definitely impact the results of the First Round.
Devin Booker is currently out of the lineup for the Phoenix Suns, and he is likely to miss the entire First Round. Phoenix is currently up 3-2 over the New Orleans Pelicans, but this series has been tougher than most predicted.
The Miami Heat are now without both Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, and it’s unclear if they will be ready to go in Round 2. Miami was able to get past the Atlanta Hawks in five games, but things get tougher from this point.
Khris Middleton of the Miami Bucks is also out of the lineup with an MCL sprain, and that could hurt the title defense of Milwaukee. The Bucks are up 3-1 over the Chicago Bulls, but they will need Middleton as the playoffs go on.
Odds to Win NBA Championship
The odds to win the NBA Championship have been changing every single night, especially as injuries have impacted what has gone on. Teams are also starting to drop off of the list after being eliminated, and that changes the odds for the entire board.
Here is a look at the 14 teams still remaining in the NBA Playoffs entering Wednesday:
- Golden State Warriors +320
- Boston Celtics +460
- Phoenix Suns +460
- Miami Heat +550
- Milwaukee Bucks +650
- Memphis Grizzlies +900
- Dallas Mavericks +1400
- Philadelphia 76ers +1500
- Utah Jazz +6000
- New Orleans Pelicans +13000
- Toronto Raptors +13000
- Minnesota Timberwolves +16000
- Denver Nuggets +24000
- Chicago Bulls +49000
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