NBA Playoffs: First Round Predictions
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Saturday, April 28, 2012 13:04
With the NBA Playoffs kicking off, some of our sportswriters got together to give their predictions behind the first round of action. Here are their thoughts.
(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers
Ryan Tartaglia: Bulls over 76ers in 5 – Chicago’s defense will be too much.
Brandon Crosby: Bulls over 76ers in 5 – The 76ers weaknesses have shown since the All Star Break. They don't have the tools to hang with the Bulls.
Eric Russo: Bulls sweep 76ers – If Derrick Rose is healthy they could go all the way. The 76ers have no shot.
Andy Deossa: Bulls over 76ers in 6 – Rose missed 27 games this season due to injuries. I’m not that confident in Chicago, but they’ll surely get past the first round.
Ethan Hartley: Bulls over 76ers in 5 – Chicago is just better in every way.
(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) New York Knicks
RT: Heat over Knicks in 6 – The Knicks are playing amazing right now but there is no way they beat the Heat in a seven game series.
BC: Heat over Knicks in 6 – Knicks will make it a good series, but too much talent on the Heat.
ER: Heat over Knicks in 5 – The Big Three will have no problem with the underachieving, no-defense playing Knicks.
AD: Heat over Knicks in 5 – Miami went 3-0 against New York in the regular season. To add to that, the Heat only lost five home games this year. Enough said.
EH: Heat over Knicks in 7 – Melo is ready to step up to that next level, but home court gives the series to the Heat.
(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Orlando Magic
RT: Pacers sweep Magic – No Dwight, no chance.
BC: Pacers over Magic in 5 – Orlando has no answer for the Pacers down-low with Howard out.
ER: Pacers over Magic in 6 – The Pacers were a bit of a surprise this year and will make quick work of the Dwight Howard-less Magic.
AD: Pacers sweep Magic – Not only is Dwight Howard out, but Jameer Nelson, Quentin Richardson, Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu are also fighting injuries. Orlando is in no shape, literally, to even win a single game this series.
EH: Pacers over Magic in 5 – Indiana is super scrappy and a true team. Orlando is a shattered semi-contender without their Keanu Reeves.
(4) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
RT: Celtics over Hawks in 5 – Boston’s two best defenders, KG and Avery Bradley, will be all over Atlanta’s two best players, Josh Smith and Joe Johnson.
BC: Celtics over Hawks in 7 – Assuming everyone's healthy, the Celtics now have some depth, and that should be enough to get them past the Hawks.
ER: Celtics over Hawks in 6 – Boston had one of the best records in the NBA during the second half of the season and will use that momentum to cruise past the Hawks.
AD: Celtics over Hawks in 7 – This series will be a battle, but every time I count the Celtics out they prove me wrong. Those old guys are a completely different team in the postseason.
EH: Celtics over Hawks in 7 – This has all the makings of one of the ugliest, yet most enthralling and closely played first rounds for the Celtics since the title run.
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Utah Jazz
RT: Spurs over Jazz in 5 – Tony Parker is playing on another level.
BC: Spurs sweep Jazz – San Antonio is too deep for Utah.
ER: Spurs over Jazz in 5 – Experience will be the advantage here. Plus, the #1 seed doesn't lose to the #8 in the NBA.
AD: Spurs sweep Jazz – If it was possible to win a series in three games, I would pick the Spurs to do just that. They didn’t finish first in the West for nothing.
EH: Spurs over Jazz in 5 – I do like the Jazz but no sane person picks San Antonio to lose in the first round two years in a row.
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks
RT: Thunder over Mavs in 6 – No way Dallas can shock the world for a second straight season.
BC: Thunder over Mavs in 6 – Kevin Durant will lead Oklahoma City in eliminating the defending champs.
ER: Thunder over Mavs in 6 – Durant and this young Thunder squad will be too much for the defending champs.
AD: Thunder over Mavs in 7 – I think OKC is going to the finals, but don’t count Dallas out so easily. This series will go down to the wire.