Last time we checked, the so-called “sports experts” weren’t very good at making predictions, so since we’re far from being considered experts, we thought we’d try our hand out on a little playoff forecasting.
We’ve come to the end of the NBA regular season, so luckily, the postseason picture is pretty much painted. All that’s left is a bit of “playoff pick ’em” with the contests that are set. So, check it out as we run through the matchups from the first round and give our best guess as to who is poised to advance to the next round.
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Technically, the Bucks aren’t even considered a “winning” team. Matched up against a Miami Heat squad centered around possibly the biggest ‘Big Three’ of all-time, there’s virtually no chance the Bucks will advance to the next round.
New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics
It’s been 5 years since the Celtics won an NBA title, and since then it’s been a slippery slope downhill. With Ray Allen bolting for South Beach, Rajon Rondo out for the season with a knee injury and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett not getting any younger, the Knicks basically just have to show up in order to make it to the next round.
Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Although these teams are the 3rd and 6th seeds, they’re the most evenly matched on paper with the series having the possibility of going either way.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls
Despite having a slight edge in the form of home court advantage, the Nets don’t quite seem to have what it takes to hang in the playoffs, whereas the Bulls are considerably experienced in the postseason. Even with Derrick Rose expected to sit out until the start of the regular season, the Nets don’t have what it takes to overcome Chicago and advance.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. LA Lakers
This is too easy. The Lakers have stunk it up in grand fashion this season, and with Kobe watching from the bench this time around, it’ll only be an upset if the Thunder doesn’t sweep the Lakers soundly.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets
The Spurs have somehow found a way to defy the aging process and remain dominant for a number of years. Going up against a young Rockets squad, the only thing that will stop them from advancing to the next round is their recent acquisition of Tracy McGrady.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
It’s been almost 2 full seasons since the Nuggets parted ways with Carmelo Anthony, and surprisingly, they haven’t been doing too badly since. They’ve locked in the 3rd seed in the West, and have a solid core of players that should keep them in contention for years to come. The Warriors are on their way up as well, so we don’t expect this to be a cakewalk for Denver.
LA Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Not only are these teams the 4th and 5th seed, they also happen to have the same record. For two teams so evenly matched, it’s likely that this series will go down to the wire, ending in either six or seven games. Playoff experience will come into play in this situation, and the Grizzlies roster is well versed in that department, having shaken things up in the postseason the past two years.
With that being said, make sure you check out this year’s NBA Playoffs to see how accurate our predictions were, and also check back here in a few weeks as we tackle the next round. Before you do, make sure to pick up some of our new NBA Gear at Finishline.com.