2021 NBA Playoffs Round 2 Predictions & Series Picks

Here are The Game Day’s 2021 NBA Round 2 Playoffs predictions and picks with previews for each second-round 2021 NBA Playoffs series. 

2021 NBA Playoffs Round 2 Picks & Predictions

NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Round 2 Predictions

(1) Philadelphia 76ers vs (5) Atlanta Hawks

The main storyline for this Eastern Conference series is the small tear to the meniscus of Joel Embiid. It is unknown how many games he will miss, or if he will try to play through the injury and be limited. In the regular season, the Philadelphia 76ers were 10-11 in games where Embiid was out. During those games, their average points fell from 115.4 to 109.3, and their point differential per game dropped dramatically, from 8.0 to -0.4.

The Atlanta Hawks just overcame a strong defensive-minded Knicks team, but they should see a bit more freedom offensively in this series. Still, the 76ers were the top overall seed for a reason, and they have the depth and flexibility to switch up their lineup. Ultimately, the presence of Dwight Howard should be enough to prevent Atlanta from dominating the paint. Ben Simmons can also disrupt the strong play of Trae Young, forcing the role players of Atlanta to step up. 

76ers vs Hawks Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers over Atlanta Hawks 4-2


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(2) Brooklyn Nets vs (3) Milwaukee Bucks

This has the chance to be one of the better series of the second round. The Milwaukee Bucks won the regular-season series 2-1, including wins in the final two matchups. However, the Brooklyn Nets never had all three of their superstars against Milwaukee in the regular season. 

The success Jrue Holiday has had guarding James Harden is well documented. Unfortunately, the Nets still have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remaining, not to mention Blake Griffin. Both teams have defensive lapses, but the Bucks have been known to allow opponents to shoot many rhythm three-pointers. The loss of Donte DiVincenzo will make this aspect even worse. The difference between the Heat and the Nets is that Brooklyn will make these shots, winning a tough series.

Nets vs Bucks Prediction: Brooklyn Nets over Milwaukee Bucks 4-2


NBA Playoffs Western Conference Round 2 Predictions

(1) Utah Jazz vs (4) Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers survived Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks to barely edge out their series, while the Jazz took care of the Memphis Grizzlies in only five games. Donovan Mitchell appears to be fully back from his injury, while Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are coming off a strong end to Round 1. 

While the Clippers were once viewed as a strong defensive team, the defensive lapses last series showed this is no longer the case. They let Luka Doncic do whatever he wanted to, and they already aren’t strong in the paint. This is bad news for this series, as they do not appear to have an answer on their team for Rudy Gobert and may not be able to stop Mitchell. With a much strong cast around Mitchell than what Dallas had, Utah looks to have too many weapons for LA to handle. 

Clippers vs Jazz Prediction: Utah Jazz over Los Angeles Clippers 4-2

(2) Phoenix Suns vs (3) Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets overcame dominating performances from Damian Lillard in the first round, while the Suns dismantled the Lakers, despite point guard Chris Paul suffering a shoulder injury. Whether or not he is able to continue playing at a high level is the big question for this series, and the overall outcome could come down to that. 

While the Nuggets looked good in the first round, they faced the Trail Blazers who are another team that struggles defensively. Facing the Suns, Denver must play disciplined basketball and fight through scoring droughts.

While Nikola Jokic is a force that cannot be stopped, a single player cannot defeat this Suns team. CP3 will also destroy this Nuggets team with the pick and roll, putting Michael Porter Jr.’s brain in a pretzel. They will overcome any MVP performances from Jokic to win this series. 

Nuggets vs Suns Prediction: Phoenix Suns over Denver Nuggets 4-1

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