NBA Mid-Season Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions: Sixers make surprising ECF run

Making mid-season Eastern Conference NBA Playoff Predictions.
Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers
Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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At the midway point of the NBA season, we make some way-too-eary Eastern Conference playoff predictions.

We have reached the halfway point in the 2023-24 NBA regular season. The trade deadline is quickly approaching. The playoff seeding is starting to cement its shape. It truly is an exciting time to be an NBA fan.

As the midway point passes, most of the work is already done in regard to roster construction and its influence on playoff seedings. Some teams will hope and battle for homecourt seeding, while others will battle for a spot in the play-in tournament in an attempt to make postseason noise.

Regardless if you are in the bubble or in the immediate thick of the playoff race, there is no denying that the NBA's postseason will be here sooner rather than later. With that being said, we are going to take a look at the Eastern Conference first and predict how the playoffs will play out.

For this exercise, we are only looking at the top eight teams from the East and not worrying about looking at the potential play-in tournament outcome. Let's take out our crystal ball and see what's in the Eastern Conference playoff's future!

First round: 1st seed Boston Celtics vs. 8th seed Orlando Magic

This is a great matchup in the first round. The Boston Celtics have been, albeit recently, historically not so great against the Orlando Magic. The Magic boast two exciting young forwards in Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. These two studs present multiple matchup problems for the Celtics, which the Magic will look to exploit in a seven-game series.

The Magic also have a ton of ancillary pieces on the roster as well. They have numerous guards and capable bigs and have the means to make this a very interesting series in round one.

The Celtics on the other hand, will finish with the best record in the NBA, and have their own pair of star wings in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The pair together combine for 52 career playoff wins, which averages to just a bit over seven games won each year they have played together.

Along with Tatum and Brown, the Celtics have a supporting cast that consists of fringe All-Stars Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis, along with All-NBA defensive caliber guard, Jrue Holiday. Not to mention serviceable veteran Al Horford stabilizes a bench unit that receives decent production from Sam Hauser, Payton Pritchard, and Luke Kornet.

The Magic have the players to make this an intriguing matchup on paper, but ultimately that is all it will be - a decent matchup on paper. This Celtics team has banner 18 seared into their brains and this playoff-battled core is not going to be tripped up in the first round by a young and inexperienced Orlando Magic team. Give me the Celtics

Prediction: Boston Celtics win 4-1