Predicting the 2020 NBA & NHL Playoff Bubbles because…why not?

Two more of the major sports return this weekend and although I’m not a diehard fan of either during the regular season, usually I enjoy watching postseason basketball and hockey. But everything is screwed up thanks to the coronavirus in 2020 so the playoff bubbles in Orlando (NBA) and Canada (NHL) are the leagues’ only realistic opportunity to complete their seasons.

Predicting the NBA’s postseason seems like a fairly simple exercise because generally in basketball, the team with the better players doesn’t usually lose a longer series. The key words…”doesn’t usually.”

It’s not a lie when I say that I know absolutely nothing about the NHL’s restart. But after my o-8 first round playoff pick performance in 2019, I thought I’d give the league’s 2020 unique format an uneducated guess.

Take the following predictions with a grain of salt!

Seeds based on projected outcomes of completed regular season


1st Round
(1) Milwaukee Bucks over (8) Brooklyn Nets in 4 games
(2) Toronto Raptors over (7) Orlando Magic in 6 games
(3) Boston Celtics over (6) Indiana Pacers in 5 games
(5) Philadelphia 76ers over (4) Miami Heat in 7 games

Eastern Conference Semifinals
(1) Milwaukee Bucks over (5) Philadelphia 76ers in 6 games
(3) Boston Celtics over (2) Toronto Raptors in 7 games

Eastern Conference Finals
(1) Milwaukee Bucks over (3) Boston Celtics in 5 games

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks


1st Round
(1) Los Angeles Lakers over (8) Portland Trailblazers in 6 games
(2) Los Angeles Clippers over (7) Dallas Mavericks in 6 games
(3) Denver Nuggets over (6) Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games
(5) Houston Rockers over (4) Utah Jazz in 6 games

Western Conference Semifinals
(1) Los Angeles Lakers over (5) Houston Rockets in 7 games
(2) Los Angeles Clippers over (3) Denver Nuggets in 5 games

Western Conference Finals
(2) Los Angeles Clippers over (1) Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games

d2d7c6d9004f85ff0e19e66398fc7142NBA FINALS
MILWAUKEE BUCKS over Los Angeles Clippers in 6 games




Top 4 after round-robin
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Boston Bruins
3. Washington Capitals
4. Philadelphia Flyers

1st Round
(5) Pittsburgh Penguins over (12) Montreal Canadiens in 4 games
(6) Carolina Hurricanes over (11) New York Rangers in 5 games
(10) Florida Panthers over (7) New York Islanders in 5 games
(8) Toronto Maple Leafs over (9) Columbus Blue Jackets in 4 games

2nd Round
(1) Tampa Bay Lightning over (10) Florida Panthers in 5 games
(8) Toronto Maple Leafs over (2) Boston Bruins in 7 games
(3) Washington Capitals over (6) Carolina Hurricanes in 6 games
(5) Pittsburgh Penguins over (4) Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games

Eastern Conference Semifinals
(1) Tampa Bay Lightning over (8) Toronto Maple Leafs in 6 games
(5) Pittsburgh Penguins over (3) Washington Capitals in 7 games

Eastern Conference Finals
(5) Pittsburgh Penguins over (1) Tampa Bay Lightning in 6 games

Jake Guentzel, Philipp Grubauer

Top 4 after round-robin
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Colorado Avalanche
3. Las Vegas Golden Knights
4. Dallas Stars

1st Round
(5) Edmonton Oilers over (12) Chicago Blackhawks in 5 games
(6) Nashville Predators over (11) Arizona Coyotes in 4 games
(10) Minnesota Wild over (7) Vancouver Canucks in 5 games
(9) Winnipeg Jets over (8) Calgary Flames in 5 games

2nd Round
(1) St. Louis Blues over (10) Minnesota Wild in 5 games
(2) Colorado Avalanche over (9) Winnipeg Jets in 6 games
(3) Las Vegas Golden Knights over (6) Nashville Predators in 5 games
(5) Edmonton Oilers over (4) Dallas Stars in 7 games

Western Conference Semifinals
(5) Edmonton Oilers over (1) St. Louis Blues in 7 games
(2) Colorado Avalanche over (3) Las Vegas Golden Knights in 6 games

Western Conference Finals
(2) Colorado Avalanche over (6) Edmonton Oilers in 6 games


COLORADO AVALANCHE over Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games




Make sure to follow me on my new Twitter handle, @CohensCornerAZ.


4 thoughts on “Predicting the 2020 NBA & NHL Playoff Bubbles because…why not?

  1. Wow, a lot of thought went into these picks. I must have missed it; I didn’t see the Phoenix Suns anywhere in this article.


  2. You have a lot to learn on hockey, the Avalanche? Oy vey!

    Good luck in the new endeavor, gonna miss ya on 1580. You were fun to pick in I appreciated your ability to let it all roll of your shoulders.


    1. Thanks ChiefSkol for the kind words! Please know that I always enjoyed your humor and wit. Get on Twitter and interact with us on there. Or wait for my NFL picks and ‘critique’ them as you see fit here in the coming months.


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