This NBA season has been one for the ages; the dynamic story lines have kept most of us glued to the television this year. Everything from Kobe’s retirement and epic 60 point finale! To Golden State eclipsing the Chicago Bulls regular season win total of 72 (73), San Antonio’s legendary home record this season (40-1 tied for best of all time) and Lebron’s road to redemption as he strives to reach his sixth straight finals. This season has been nothing short of legendary!
With the playoffs approaching this weekend, I will give you an in depth guide of the first round match-ups followed by predictions for every potential series leading up to the finals. Take a glimpse of this year’s postseason through my eyes!
EAST 1st Round
1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 8 Detroit Pistons
Cleveland will have no problem dispensing the pistons in their opening round series. The Pistons core nucleus is too young and inexperienced to slow down Lebron who has never lost in the first round of the playoffs. Cleveland 4-0.
2 Toronto Raptors vs.7 Indiana Pacers
Toronto will finally shed their opening round playoff woes as a higher seed and win this series. Paul George will go down fighting however; the Pacers will win 2 games. The dynamic duo of Lowry and Derozan will be the x factor in this series. Toronto 4-2.
3 Atlanta Hawks vs. 6 Boston Celtics
This will be one of the best opening round series with these two teams squaring off. Boston boasts a young nucleus which is a match-up nightmare for teams who use big men as their primary offense, I.E. Atlanta. They can go small and outrun almost any team in the league. With Isaiah Thomas leading the charge they will win this series in triumphant fashion. Al Horford and Paul Millsapp will be too slow to guard the active perimeter players once Boston goes small ball. Boston 4-2.
4 Miami Heat vs. 5 Charlotte Hornets
Another intriguing first round match-up, the Hornets enter the playoffs as one of the best teams in the NBA after the all star break. Kemba Walker is playing inspired basketball and is starting to become the all star point guard we envisioned. They have been playing great basketball but they are in for a challenge against this Miami Heat team. Miami however boasts a very solid lineup and the addition of Joe Johnson will be rewarding this postseason. Ultimately D Wades experience and Hassan Whiteside’s size will be the x factor and Miami will grind this series out. Miami 4-2.
West 1st round
1 Golden State Warriors vs. 8 Houston Rockets
Golden State marches on and enters the postseason with the best regular season record of all time (73-9). Their dominance is evident and no team in the west seems poised enough to stop them in their quest for a 2nd straight trip to the NBA Finals. It’s really just a matter of how many games they will lose in route to the championship. They won’t lose any in this series, Golden State is just too skilled and offensive minded for the defenseless Rockets to handle. James Harden will put up big numbers in a losing effort. G State 4-0
2 San Antonio Spurs vs. 7 Memphis Grizzlies
The Spurs have made history this season, tying the Boston Celtics for having the best home record of all time in a season at 40-1. Their dominance will continue in this series and an undermanned Grizzles squad will be no match. Spurs 4-0
3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 6 Dallas Mavericks
OKC has had an up and down season but the two constants on the team have been KD and Russ. They both have put up big numbers all year with Westbrook tying Magic Johnson for the most triple doubles in a season (in the last 30 years*). This dominance will continue in this first round match up with the Mavs. The Mavs simply don’t have the horses to keep up with OKC and Dirk is too old to bang in the paint with OKC’s youthful big men. Expect OKC to win big. OKC 4-0
4 LA Clippers vs. 5 Portland Trailblazers
This may be the most interesting opening series in the west but I still doubt it. The Trailblazers have had a great comeback story this year midst all the players they lost last year. It’s not easy to lose 80% of your previous starting lineup and still make the playoffs the next year. You can thank Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum for this year’s appearance. However with Blake Griffin back in the lineup for the Clippers this series will be relatively quick. Damian Lillard’s heroics will help them steal 1 or 2 games however the Clippers talent will inevitably trump them. Clips 4-1