Who Will Win Each NBA First Round Playoff Series? [POLL]
The NBA Playoffs are officially upon us. Starting tomorrow, sixteen teams will start their quest to win sixteen games and stake their claim to the Larry O'Brien Trophy and an NBA championship. However, before they get to the Finals, the teams have to win in the first round.
Below are quick previews of each NBA Playoff series, along with a poll for each series. Feel free to take one or all of them and weigh in on who you think will advance to the next round.
(1) Miami Heat vs. (8) Milwaukee Bucks
Miami went 3-1 against the Bucks this season, who possess a backcourt who I've never seen pass the basketball. Is that because I haven't watched a Bucks game this season? Yes. Is it also because Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis don't pass the basketball? Yes. Miami should be ashamed if they don't sweep this series.
(2) New York Knicks vs. (7) Boston Celtics
The Knicks have been unbelievable this season, while Boston has lost their best player and has seen the core of its roster age significantly this season. With that said, the Knicks have won one playoff game in the last 12 years. It came against the Toronto Raptors. The Knicks haven't won a playoff game since Vince Carter was considered a team's best player. That has to be scary for Knicks fans.
(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Atlanta Hawks
This series will probably go the same way that every playoff series the Hawks are in goes: they will put up a decent fight only to get absolutely destroyed in Indiana in Game 7. The thought of a potential Knicks/Pacers Eastern Conference semifinal series is so tantalizing by the way. It's like the 90s all over again.
(4) Brooklyn Nets vs. (5) Chicago Bulls
Chicago has looked flat out dangerous at times despite not having all world point guard Derrick Rose. Nate Robinson has shown the streaky and electrifying side of himself that Knicks and Celtics fans know very well over the last few weeks and, if he can keep up with Deron Williams, this series could very well go the Bulls' way.
(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) Houston Rockets
Prediction: James Harden is going to look really sad during the majority of this series. Also, Russell Westbrook is going to make Jeremy Lin look like the defensive liability that he is.
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers
Did the Lakers get a ridiculous amount of calls in order to even make the playoffs? Yup. Did someone put them all together into a convenient officiating lowlight video? Yup.
Without Kobe, the Lakers should have no chance to win this series. With that said, keep an eye on the free throw differentials in each game of this series.
(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Golden State Warriors
The over/under in each of these games should be somewhere around 230. These are easily the two most exciting teams in the NBA not named Heat or Thunder. Everyone should at least watch three games of this series. Denver's amazing home record (38-3) should see them through to the next round.
(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies
Mark my words: the winner of this series will put a serious scare into the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round. Both teams have reliable rebounders, and scorers that can match Oklahoma City's. The Clippers will want to get out and run, while Memphis should try and keep things in the half court to use their bigs to get Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan into foul trouble and Lob City on the bench.