The NBA season has come to a close and the playoffs open this Saturday. The playoffs feature many exciting matchups, so we are going to break down each one and make a prediction as to who will advance.
#1 Miami vs. #8 Milwaukee
The defending champions take on the worst team in the playoffs that even has a losing record. There is no competition whatsoever in this matchup. I would be very surprised if the Bucks won a game. Miami sweeps with ease.
#2 New York vs. #7 Boston
The Celtics vs. Knicks is a classic rivalry matchup. The leading scorer in the NBA Carmelo Anthony takes on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and a tough Celtics team. These teams met in the playoffs two years ago and the Celtics swept New York. Things are different this time, but I fully expect the Celtics to put up a fight despite all of their injuries. Containing Carmelo Anthony is going to be key, but the Celtics have to get good contributions from Pierce, Garnett, and Jeff Green. I think this is a hard fought series but the Knicks will win in 7.
#3 Indiana vs. #6 Atlanta
The Pacers have managed to get the number 3 seed despite not having Granger for virtually the whole year. The Hawks have managed to keep it together despite all of the trade rumors of Josh Smith being dealt at the deadline. In the end, I think Indiana is simply the better team and the Hawks havent put the pieces together to make a deep playoff run yet. I will take the Pacers in 5.
#4 Brooklyn vs. #5 Chicago
The new look Nets led by Deron Williams and Joe Johnson make the playoffs in their first season in Brooklyn. They will take on a Chicago team that will not appear to have Derrick Rose for the remainder of the playoffs. Despite this, I think Chicago’s tough defense and playoff tested veterans will lead the Bulls past the Nets in 6.
#1 Oklahoma City vs. #8 Houston
The storyline of this matchup is James Harden taking on his former team. Harden has a great season and is the main reason for the team making the playoff this year. However, Oklahoma City is a team with championship aspirations. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will simply be too much for the Rockets to handle. I will give them a game where Harden goes off for 40, but the Thunder will win in 5.
#2 San Antonio vs. #7 Los Angeles Lakers
For awhile it looked like the disappointing Lakers would not even make the playoffs, however a late season surge not only put them in the playoffs but gave them the 7th seed. However, taking on Tim Duncan and the Spurs without the injured Kobe Bryant is a tall task for the Lakers. I still expect this to be a good series, with San Antonio winning in 6.
#3 Denver vs. #6 Golden State
This will be a matchup of two very good offensive teams. Denver has put together a great season and is finally reaping the benefits of the Carmelo Anthony trade. The Warriors make their first trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 led by single season 3 point record holder Stephen Curry. Denver is clearly the more complete team here, and I expect them to take care of business in 5 games.
#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #5 Memphis
In a rematch of last year’s epic seven game series, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the Clippers take on Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have had to adjust to life without Rudy Gay, who was traded to the Raptors midseason, and O.J. Mayo, who joined the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers are one of the NBA’s deepest team this year, and I expect them to prevail again this year in 7 games.
So who do you guys think will win the NBA championship? Vote in the poll down below.
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