The NBA playoffs are finally starting on April 16th and many NBA fans are looking forward to this years playoffs. Even this years regular season was interesting as the Lakers didn’t know the seeding until they beat the Kings in OT on their last regular season game to clinch second seed in the West. Alright, to get to the point, these are the 2011 playoff first round match ups:
#1 Chicago Bulls VS #8 Indiana Pacers
The Bulls lead the regular season series by 3-1 and I feel the same way many Bulls fan feel. There is no chance the Pacers are going to beat the Bulls in a four game series and I believe the Pacers might get lucky and steal one game away from them. The Pacers offensive is just not good enough against the Bulls defensive and they have no answer to guard Derrick Rose.
Prediction: 4-1 Chicago Bulls
#2 Miami Heat VS #7 Philadelphia 76ers
The Heat lead the regular season series by 3-0 and even the 76ers have been playing great as a team, I still can’t imagine 76ers beating the Heat in the first round. There is no way they can stop LeBron James, Chris Bosh, AND Dwayne Wade. As above, 76ers might be lucky get steal one game.
Prediction: 4-1 Miami heat
#3 Boston Celtics VS #6 New York Knicks
The Celtics swept the Knicks during the regular season by 4-0 but I believe the playoffs will be different. Even though the Knicks haven’t win a single game against the C’s I think this would be an interesting series. Carmleo Anthony and Amare will make a difference and give a hard time to the Celtics defensively and you can’t leave out Mr. Big Shot Chauncey Billups.
Prediction: 4-3 Boston Celtics
#4 Orlando Magics VS #5 Atlanta Hawks
Surprinsgly, the Hawks lead the regular season series by 3-1 but the playoffs would be definitely different. The Magics are hungry for a championship and so is Dwight Howard. And it is scary when Dwight Howard steps up offensively when you already witness what he does in defense.
Prediction: 4-2 Orlando Magics
#1 San Antonio Spurs VS #8 Memphis Grizzlies
The regular season series are tied 2-2 between these two teams and I would say I’m really impressed in how the Grizzlies are playing without their star player Rudy Gay. Even though the Grizzlies are the definite under dog, I believe this wouldn’t be a total domination series due to Zach Randolph’s offense, Tony Allen’s defense, and Marc Gasol’s presence down low.
Prediction: 4-2 San Antonio Spurs
#2 Los Angeles Lakers VS #7 New Orleans Hornets
The Lakers swept the Hornets during the regular season 4-0 and I believe this would repeat in the playoffs. Even though the Lakers are not playing like champions recently, the Lakers will be right back for the playoffs. The Hornets are missing their leading scorer David West and there is no chance the Hornets can match the Lakers big. I won’t even need to mention about Kobe Bryant.
Prediction: 4-0 LA Lakers
#3 Dallas Mavericks VS #6 Portland Trailblazers
The regular season series are tied between the two teams 2-2 and this would be another interesting series as the numbers behind these two teams don’t matter. Both of the teams are well coached, have talent at every position, but are probably one or two player off the championship caliber team. Dallas players better offense through Dirk but the Blazers play better defense.
Prediction: 4-3 Dallas Mavericks
#4 Oklahoma City Thunders VS #5 Denver Nuggets
The Thunders lead the regular season series by 3-1 but I believe this series will be interesting. The Nuggets have blossomed ever since Carmelo got traded and are getting the most from their talent. But the Thunders bring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook from offense and Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins from defense to the table. This game could possible go to game seven but I believe the Thunders have too much to bring to the Nuggets.
Prediction: 4-2 Oklahoma City Thunders