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UPDATE: Article has been updated to go along with the current NBA playoff seedings now. 

The NBA season is finally back, underway, and in full swing now. 22 teams have been invited to the bubble at Disney World in Orlando to compete for the eight playoff spots.

The coronavirus pandemic halted the 2019-20 season back in March, but after a four-month layoff, seeing live NBA basketball again has been a treat, as each game has been competitive.

There are questions that come to mind for many diehard basketball fans, especially for those who gamble on websites where they learn all you need to know about NBA betting.

Will any teams outside the eighth sneak their way in? Can some teams make a push? Does Giannis Antetokounmpo still have the MVP award locked up, and can he finally lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Eastern Conference Finals?

Check out our NBA bubble preview and predictions for seeding, awards, playoffs, and the Finals.

Playoff Seedings


Many of the teams in the playoff seedings are already set or clinched. 

The Eastern Conference is all but set at this point, besides some seeding projections in the middle. In the Western Conference, seedings 4-7 will be tricky, and there is an all-out battle happening for the eighth spot. 

Eastern Conference

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Toronto Raptors
3. Boston Celtics
4. Indiana Pacers
5. Miami Heat
6. Philadelphia 76ers
7. Brooklyn Nets
8. Orlando Magic

Western Conference

1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Los Angeles Clippers
3. Denver Nuggets
4. Houston Rockets
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
6. Utah Jazz
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. Portland Trail Blazers

Awards


Giannis has had the MVP award locked up for a while. LeBron had a chance to take it away right before the COVID hiatus hit, but now the favor is back in the Greek Freak's hands.

The other awards are interesting. Most Improved could come down to Brandon Ingram or Bam Adebayo, but there have been cases made for others like Luka Doncic and his huge stride this season. 

Giannis could lock up DPOY and MVP, but who knows if the voters will go that way due to fatigue. Sixth Man could come down to a pair of Clippers teammates in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. 

Zion had a chance at Rookie of the Year, but Ja Morant has simply played way more games and has been undeniably amazing in his first season, leading the Grizzlies to a playoff push. 

Meanwhile, Nick Nurse has done a phenomenal job keeping the Raptors up to par and still being a championship contender despite Kawhi Leonard's departure. 

MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Most Improved Player: Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans

Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers

Rookie of the Year: Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies

Coach of the Year: Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors

Eastern Conference Playoffs


The East looks like it'll be a battle between the Bucks, Celtics, and Raptors for who will represent. But the likes of the Pacers lately and the Heat could be sneak attacks, or at least give trouble for the top three. 

First Round

(1) Bucks over (8) Magic in 5
(2) Raptors over (7) Nets in 5
(3) Celtics over (6) 76ers in 5
(5) Heat over (4) Pacers in 6

Semifinals

(1) Bucks over (4) Heat in 7
(2) Raptors over (3) Celtics in 6

East Finals

(1) Bucks over (2) Raptors in 7

Western Conference Playoffs


Many are expecting the Battle of Los Angeles to represent the West. But the Nuggets' well-rounded squad is not far behind. The Rockets and their superstar duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden will obviously make noise as well. 

First Round

(1) Lakers over (8) Trail Blazers in 5
(2) Clippers over (7) Mavericks in 6
(3) Nuggets over (6) Jazz in 6
(4) Rockets over (5) Thunder in 5

Semifinals

(1) Lakers over (4) Rockets in 6
(2) Clippers over (3) Nuggets in 7

West Finals

(1) Lakers over (2) Clippers in 6

NBA Finals Prediction


This is why LeBron came to LA, and why he pushed for Anthony Davis to come along with him. James has been here before. This will be Giannis' first time. There's more pressure on him to deliver as the reigning MVP and representing the best-record team in the league. 

All-in-all, the combination of talent and experience with the Lakers will outmatch the Bucks. It will be close, but the purple-and-gold should pull away for their 17th franchise title. LeBron will win his fourth ring, as well as winning with three different teams. 

There's a good chance Davis could end up with Finals MVP, but we know how voters can work sometimes. James may be the one that has to step up and deliver in the end to make sure victory happens, though. He's a good, safe pick for the award here. 

Lakers over Bucks in 6

Finals MVP: LeBron James

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