Saturday, April 20, 2013

0 NBA Playoffs first round predictions

By Shaee Flatt

Eastern Conference 

Heat vs. Bucks – Heat in 5

The Heat are the far better team, but I expect Brandon Jennings and Monte Ellis to avoid a sweep, and get one in Milwaukee.

Knicks vs. Celtics – Celtics in 7 

The Knicks had a terrific year, and unfortunately for them, got a very tough draw. The Celtics are so experienced, and won’t feel pressured at all and that is when they’re at their best. This series will go down the wire, and I expect the Celtics to win game 7 in New York when all the pressure is on the Knicks.

Pacers vs. Hawks – Pacers in 5

The Hawks just aren’t deep enough to contend in this series. The Pacers defense will suffocate them in each and every game. No problem for Indiana here.

Nets vs. Bulls – Nets in 6

The big question here is Derrick Rose, and if he will be able to play at all. Right now it clearly looks like that answer is no, and without him, the Bulls aren’t going anywhere this postseason.

Western Conference 

Thunder vs. Rockets – Thunder in 7

I think Oklahoma City will really be tested by Houston. I expect Harden to play out of his mind, and give the Thunder all they want, but in the end, Durant and Westbrook are too much.

Spurs vs. Lakers – Spurs in 6

The Lakers will put up a fight, even without Kobe, but they don’t have enough firepower to win a seven game series against Gregg Popovich and his Spurs. I expect San Antonio to limp into round two.

Nuggets vs. Warriors – Warriors in 6

I’m going with the upset here, and the sole reason is Steph Curry. Denver had a great year, but they lack the star player that is so desperately needed in the playoffs. I think Curry can step up and be that player for Golden State. 

Clippers vs. Grizzlies – Clippers in 7

Just like last year in the first round, this is going to be a battle. I wouldn’t be surprised with either team winning this series, but my gut is going with Lob City.

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