A showdown between Gordon Hayward's Celtics and Joel Embiid's Sixers would be a compelling postseason matchup. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is still hopeful of resuming its season and conducting the playoffs, which is good news for fans who were looking forward to some very competitive series. There are some elite teams and exciting storylines that looked to be developing as we got closer to playoff time, and it would be a shame if those never came to pass.

We can still look ahead, however, and think about exciting playoff matchups that would be great if they materialized. Here are five that we really want to see.

5. Sixers vs. Celtics

It’s been a disappointing season for the Sixers, who were expected to challenge for an Eastern Conference title. The same could have been true of the Celtics. This has turned into a potential first-round matchup, and a very intriguing one. These are division rivals, with Philadelphia having won three of the four meetings this year. The Sixers would have to overcome an awful road record, but they’re hard to beat at home. This would be a fun one.


Jan 9, 2020; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) pressures Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3). Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

4. Rockets vs. Thunder

This one is simple: Russell Westbrook vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs. That alone is interesting, but there’s even more here than meets the eye. The Rockets started to find success with a new, smaller lineup, while the Thunder would be out to prove that they can succeed without Westbrook. Add in Chris Paul’s return to Houston, and you have a series full of interesting storylines. The records are close enough that it’s something that could happen in the first round, too.


March 6, 2020; Los Angeles, California; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo controls the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bucks vs. Lakers

It may be simple, but this would be a potential NBA Finals matchup between the two best teams in the league record-wise. We’d be treated to a storyline of LeBron James trying to fend off Giannis Antetokounmpo’s rising star, while the Bucks have to find a way to contain Anthony Davis. Milwaukee has yet to really break through despite their great season — the Toronto Raptors saw them off in last year’s playoffs — and this would be an incredible opportunity to prove that they’re every bit as good as their record indicates.


Feb 25, 2020; Toronto, Ontario; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to get around Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

2. Raptors vs. Bucks

A potential rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals would be one of the most exciting series of the entire playoffs. These two teams have only lost a combined 30 games this season, with Milwaukee winning both of the regular season matchups to date. The Bucks lost a tough six-game series last year, but have clearly used that to fuel their title charge this year. The Raptors, even without Kawhi Leonard, have their sights set on returning to the finals. It would spark a fantastic battle that would make for a fantastic conference final.


Oct 22, 2019; Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is defended by LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard in the second half at Staples Center.  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Lakers vs. Clippers

This is the Western Conference Final we all want to see. It would escalate the rivalry between the two Los Angeles teams to new levels. It would put James against Leonard in a matchup that has some intrigue of its own. It would put two of the biggest NBA superteams against each other with the Finals on the line. It would be heated and dramatic, much like the regular season games have been. It would give Leonard a chance to repeat, or James a chance to win a title with his third different team. It has the potential to be a seven-game classic between perhaps the two most talented teams in the NBA. It would honestly be a huge shame if we didn’t get to see this.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.



The Morning Bark Newsletter. Emailed daily.

You'll receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams.

Emailed daily. Always FREE!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Can you identify these NBA players by their nickname?

Nicknames come from basketball-reference.com. 

SCORE:
0/25
TIME:
5:00
Big Penguin
Andre Drummond
Boogie
DeMarcus Cousins
Brodie
Russell Westbrook
Buckets
Jimmy Butler
Chef
Steph Curry
Cool Hand
Luka Doncic
CP3
Chris Paul
Don't Google
Evan Fournier
Joker
Nikola Jokic
Maple Jordan
Andrew Wiggins
PG13
Paul George
Spicy P
Pascal Siakam
Spida
Donovan Mitchell
Superman
Dwight Howard
The Beard
James Harden
The Big Kiwi
Steven Adams
The Brow
Anthony Davis
The Claw
Kawhi Leonard
The Greek Freak
Giannis Antetokounmpo
The King
LeBron James
The Process
Joel Embiid
The Stifle Tower
Rudy Gobert
Threezus
Kyle Korver
Uncle Drew
Kyrie Irving
Unicorn
Kristaps Porzingis

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.