Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sportz' NBA First Round Predictions

Here we are again!  The two month trek to find out who will be the 2013 NBA Champion.  And, in reality, this is all much ado about nothing.  To me, only Miami and Oklahoma City have a great shot at it with San Antonio and New York having a puncher's chance.  From there, it is just extra basketball.

#1 MIAMI HEAT vs #8 MILWAUKEE BUCKS:  It seems that every year, some Eastern Conference team sneaks into the playoffs and we have no clue how they got there.  Usually, we don't hear from them after the fact either.  This one is easy:  Heat in 4

#2 NEW YORK KNICKS vs #7 BOSTON CELTICS:  In most years, this one would be the premiere playoff series in the East.  Well, at least historically.  Boston is a bit down with Rajon Rondo out, but this is still a great series.  The Knicks are riding high ... which is the good part of their streakiness.  Boston, like I said, is older and banged up and are obviously emotional after the events at the Boston Marathon this past Monday.  Remember that Game 3 in the Garden will be the first Celtics home game since the horror of the day.  Still, I think New York is playing so well that I have them in 5.

#3 INDIANA PACERS vs #6 ATLANTA HAWKS:  The Pacers are a very good team with no real star power nor are they some team offensive juggernaut like the Nuggets.  The Hawks are that team that just shows up in the playoffs every year and doesn't do much.  This will be a closer series than people will initially believe it to be, but the Pacers are just better and will win in 6.

#4 BROOKLYN NETS vs #5 CHICAGO BULLS:  Probably the best series in the East.  The Bulls have done very well for themselves despite not having Derrick Rose this season.  The Nets have come back from a very slow start to the season to get home court in the first round -- Brooklyn's first time hosting the NBA postseason.  The Nets are the more talented team, but the Bulls get a lot out of what they have.  I have to go with talent and the Nets in 7.

#1 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER vs #8 HOUSTON ROCKETS:  The Thunder will win this series as they are the best team in the West.  Still, the Rockets and former Thunder James Harden will make them work for it.  OKC in 5.

#2 SAN ANTONIO SPURS vs #7 LOS ANGELES LAKERS:  This is an intriguing matchup of two veteran squads that have won 9 of the last 14 NBA titles dating back to 1999.  They are also two banged up squads.  The Spurs have seen Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in and out of the lineup; the Lakers have seen Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace miss time of late and, obviously, will be without Kobe Bryant for the entire postseason.  The Lakers are playing very well right now, but I got to give the nod to the Spurs.  San Antonio in 5.

#3 DENVER NUGGETS vs #6 GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS:  I don't care what team you root for (unless it is one of these teams) you should just watch this series because it will be something to see.  The Runnin' Nuggets against those young Warriors.  Both teams' leading scorer is their point guard (Ty Lawson and Stephen Curry), both teams have high flying dunkers (Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes).  Both teams are deep, they work hard and they crash the boards.  Both teams hustle it.  Great series, but I'll go with the Nuggets in 6.

#4 LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS vs #5 MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES:  These two played one of the best postseason series of last season.  I think it happens again.  The Grizz are still tough despite a roster upheaval of sorts during the season (the Rudy Gay trade) while the Clippers are as flashy as they can get.  This year, though, I think Memphis gets its revenge.  Grizzlies in 7.

So to recap, my second round matchups will be:

1-Miami vs 4-Brooklyn
2-New York vs 3-Indiana

1-Oklahoma City vs 5-Memphis
2-San Antonio vs 3-Denver

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