Saturday, April 20, 2013

NBA Playoff First Round Predictions

With another basketball season behind us, it's time to turn our attention toward the NBA playoffs, which start today.

Eastern Conference
Heat (1) vs Bucks (8)
Bucks have that great backcourt scoring tandem with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, but they're no match for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh--Heat in 4

Knicks (2) vs Celtics (7)
Even without Rajon Rondo, the Celtics are still a dangerous team with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and Jeff Green. The Knicks either crush them, or Boston grits its way through a hard-fought series and wins with its experience and veteran leadership. As a Celtics fan, I have to believe in the latter--Celtics in 7

Pacers (3) vs Hawks (6)
For all their talent (Al Horford, Josh Smith, and now Jeff Teague), the Hawks never make it out of the first round--Pacers in 5

Nets (4) vs Bulls (5)
With Derrick Rose still out and Joakim Noah banged up, the Bulls don't have enough guns to stack up with the uber-talented Nets--Nets in 5

Western Conference
Thunder (1) vs Rockets (8)
Houston doesn't stand a chance against the mighty Thunder but probably steals a win when James Harden goes off--Thunder in 5

Spurs (2) vs Lakers (7)
With Kobe Bryant the Lakers had a puncher's chance, but without him they really don't (unless Dwight Howard dominates the paint and shuts down Tim Duncan)--Spurs in 5

Nuggets (3) vs Warriors (6)
This series could go either way, but I say the Warriors prevail when Stephen Curry shoots the lights out--Warriors in 7

Clippers (4) vs Grizzlies (5)
Two great teams squaring off in what should be a great series. Could go either way, but I see Chris Paul and Blake Griffin moving on--Clippers in 6

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