It’s playoff time! 16 teams, one goal, an NBA Championship. Here is how I feel the first round will go down.
1. Chicago Bulls vs 8. Indiana Pacers
Chicago boasts the league’s best regular season record 62-20 and best defense. They also have the MVP and Coach of the Year. Chicago’s size and strength will be too much for an under matched Pacers team. Chicago should win in four.
4. Orlando Magic vs 5. Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta won the season series and match up real well with Orlando. That being said I think Dwight Howard will be too much down low in a seven game series. The series can get very interesting if Atlanta is able to steal one of the first two games in Orlando. In the end I feel that the Magic will win the series in seven.
3. Boston Celtics vs 6. New York Knicks
Many people feel this will be the best series of the first round. The Knicks finished the season strong and have 3 stars who can take over a series. While the Celtics limped into the playoffs once again, but still have 3 hall of famers. As the Celtics proved last season all that goes out the window in the post season. I feel that the Celtics will take advantage of the Knicks’ lack of defense and take the series in five games.
2. Miami Heat vs 7. Philadelphia 76ers
Miami may be playing their best ball of the season, and play a rather inexperience 76er team. The one advantage Philly has is Elton Brand down low over Chris Bosh. Jrue Holiday may have a breakout series also. That will get Philly one or two wins but that’s all, Miami will get out in transition and take down the 76ers in six games.
1. San Antonio Spurs vs 8. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis’ youth and speed will aggravate the Spurs. San Antonio needs to watch out because Memphis does have veteran experience with Zach Randolph and Shane Battier, and Championship experience with Tony Allen. The Spurs should overcome that with all of their Championship experience and win in fives games.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder vs 5. Denver Nuggets
This may be the most exciting first round series out west. Denver has been one of the best team’s in the NBA since the trade deadline and are very deep. OKC is also deep and have the league’s top scorer. Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka will man the middle and lead the Thunder to a series win in six games.
3. Dallas Mavericks vs 6. Portland Trailblazers
This series may not be the most exciting, but will be very interesting. The Blazers are the healthiest they’ve been all season and are clicking on all cylinders. Dallas is dealing with some behind the scenes issues and have stopped playing defense. In the end Portland gets the upset and wins the series in seven.
2. Los Angeles Lakers vs 7. New Orleans Hornets
The Lakers are surely concerned about the health of Andrew Bynum and will need them to make a title run. That being said, the Hornets have no shot without David West and the Lakers should sweep the Hornets.