NBA First Round Playoff Predictions

17 Apr

I’m back to preview all 8 NBA playoffs series. A few days ago I broke down the NHL playoffs, and the NBA playoffs are starting up as well, so get excited!!!

Portland Trailblazers (6) vs Dallas Mavericks (3) WEST

The Blazers have been decimated by the injury of Brandon Roy for almost half the season. The brightside of this injury was that LaMarcus Aldridge was able to step up and play well. With the mid-season trade getting Gerald Wallace this team may give the Mavs some trouble. For the Mavs, it’s the same old story. Great regular season, poor postseason performance. This is always the case. If they want to get back to the conference finals, the key will have to be the role players which will include Terry, Marion and Chandler. Dirk will be Dirk. He will get his 25-30 PPG. The role players must help out. The Mavs will be fine in the first round. As long as Roy doesn’t go, off this series will be won’t be too much of a problem but Roy is known for doing that. Dallas in 6

Atlanta Hawks (5) vs Orlando Magic (4) EAST

A rematch of last year’s 4 game conference semifinal series and I believe that not much will change from last year. The Hawks didn’t really do anything to make themselves better and they don’t seem like a contender. Joe Johnson is their best player and he statistically had his worst season as a Hawk. The Magic have talent but I’m not sure if they can use that talent to their advantage in the later rounds. Dwight Howard has been a beast though. He has put up MVP numbers and has carried his team through some rough times. With the firepower the Magic currently have I think that they will have little to no problems against the Hawks.  Orlando in 5

Memphis Grizzlies (8) vs San Antonio Spurs (1) WEST

The Spurs own the best record in the conference and a lot of the thanks should go to Manu Ginobili. He is arguably having his best season and most importantly, he has been injury free. Duncan has been reliable even though he is a year older and guys you have never heard of have been stepping up like George Hill and Gary Neal. The Grizzlies are finally back in the playoffs and they are led by Rudy Gay who is very very close to all-star status. Randolph looks remotivated and Conley has shown signs in being a starting point guard in this league. If the Spurs shoot well from beyond the arc, this series should be short. Otherwise Memphis may steal a game or two. The Fed-Ex Forum can get loud come playoff time but the Spurs will play good smart basketball to send the Grizzlies home early. San Antonio in 5

Philadelphia 76ers (7) vs Miami Heat (2) EAST

The 76ers have played really well of late and due to some decent defense and good teamwork, they find themselves in the postseason. Guys have stepped up for them like second year player Jrue Holliday and Elton Brand. The Heat are the Heat. Yup, that’s how I’m going to describe them. They have the two superstars (Wade and LeBron), the flopper (Bosh) and the other guys. Because this will be the Heat’s first playoff series with the new guys around, NBA fans will be eager to see how they do and they will respond. The 76ers play with heart this season but the Heat will do what they do best, beat up on bad teams. Philadelphia (I really wanted to pick them) Miami in 4

Denver Nuggets (5) vs Oklahoma City Zombie Sonics (4) WEST

Yup, I called the Thunder the Zombie Sonics. Confused? Youtube, SonicsGate. The Zombie sonics have played really well this season riding their superstar Kevin Durant who is the 2nd best basketball player on the planet behind Kobe Bryant. Yeah I said it. Also Russell Westbrook has made strides to become one of the best point guards in the NBA. The mid-season acquisition of Kendrick Perkins should help out a lot if they play the Lakers later in the playoffs too. The Nuggets have surprised many people with their awesome play after the Melo deal. Ty Lawson looks like a starting point guard and all the other players have improved too. Most importantly their defense has stepped up too. This will probably be the only close series in this first round and it should be entertaining to see Lawson and Westbrook duel it out. At the end though, the team with the superstar that knows how to close out games will prevail. Zombie Sonics in 7

New York Knicks (6) vs Boston Celtics (3) EAST

This will be the series to watch in this first round. You have the aging yet very good Celtics team vs a star studded Knicks team. The Knicks didn’t seem to get much better from the Melo deal but they have proven they can beat good teams (and lose to bad ones). The Celtics are a dominant team bet they have been loafing lately. If they are able to flip the switch and turn it on again like last year, they will be fine. One thing they may have to worry about is the possibility of Melo or Stoudemire going off for 40+ and putting the Knicks on their back. They are the best players in the building at any time and have that ability. The Boston defense needs to get it together really quickly. I will compare this series to the Bulls Heat 2006 series where Chicago outplayed Miami in the first four games yet the series was tied at 2. Then the Heat outplayed the Bulls in the final two games to take the series in 6. I think history will repeat itself in this series. Boston in 6


New Orleans Hornets (7) vs Los Angeles Lakers (2) WEST

The Lakers like the Celtics have being loafing of late a little bit but this team will be ready. Lamar Odom looks really good and he will provide great minutes off the bench. Gasol and Bynum should be able to control the paint and play great defense. Finally, don’t forget that Kobe Bryant is still the best NBA player today. He has the ability to take over a game with ease, even with strong defense being played on his. If the Hornets want any chance at stopping the Lakers, Chris Paul must be at his best and David West will have to take it to another level. Also Okafor will have to stop both Bynum and Gasol which will not happen. The Hornets will take a token game at home when he goes off and Bryant struggles but the Lakers should have this series in the bag. Lakers in 5

Indiana Pacers (8) vs Chicago Bulls (1) EAST

The Bulls own the best record in the NBA and a lot of that is because of Derrick Rose who is my pick to win MVP. He is easily the best point guard in the NBA. Other reason why the Bulls are good is the defense they get out of their bigs. Noah and Boozer are playing stellar defense and they rebound well. The defense they play is one of championship pedigree and if they can continue it, they will be playing in June. The Pacers… I have nothing good to say about them. They suck. Danny Granger is good but he cannot carry a team. Expect the Bulls to use this series are practice for the rest of the playoffs. Bulls in 4

Not many fun series out there but I promise the second round will be better.

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