NBA playoffs: Bold predictions and potential upsets

The 2022 NBA playoffs are upon us, and the race to the Finals is wide open. Which teams and players are facing the most pressure? Which first-round series has the most upset potential? Our writers weigh in.

Which team is facing the most pressure in the playoffs?

Howard Beck: Can I say the Lakers? No? OK, that’s it. Then it’s the Jazz. This is Year 5 of the Donovan Mitchell – Rudy Gobert era, and they have yet to break through as a serious contender. We live in impatient times. Five years is an eternity for an NBA franchise. Utah has a new owner (Ryan Smith) and a new head of basketball ops (Danny Ainge, who has a rep for audacious dealmaking). Add in the rumors of a potential Quin Snyder departure, and you have the recipe for a fireworks show if the Jazz falter again.


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