Eamon’s 1st Round Predictions

Now that the regular season is over, it’s time to turn our attention to the playoffs. After my March Madness experience, I’ve started to doubt my bracket prediction skills. However, I’d still like to try, so here it is.

Playoffs Collage

Eastern Conference:

Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks:

Pacers in 6

Indiana has not had the best last few months. If there was going to be huge upset this postseason, this would be it. However, the Hawks have had a horrible season and definitely should not be in the playoffs this year. They’re 38-44. There are 10 teams with better records in the western conference.  There is no way the Pacers, or any team in the playoffs for that matter, would lose a series against the Hawks. The reason I have it taking 6 games, though, is that they’re 12-13 since the beginning of March. Still, the Hawks are so bad that I think it’s inevitable that the Pacers will win.

Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats:

Heat in 5

This is a very obvious choice. The Heat have the best player since Michael Jordan in Lebron James. It’s possible Lebron could pass Jordan soon if he keeps winning champions. The only reason I have the Bobcats winning one game is because there is no way Charlotte could make it this far and not win a game. It would not be cool. The Heat have not been doing very well lately, but that is only because they were trying to get the 2 seed. Mainly because they were trying to avoid the Nets and the Bulls in the 2nd round. Unfortunately for them, they might still have to play the Nets in the 2nd round, but they will at least win the first round.

Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets:

Raptors in 7

This will be a very good series. A fast young scoring team in Toronto. They were 13th in the NBA in scoring this year and have 2 slam dunk competitors, namely Demar Derozan and Terrence Ross. Both of whom can put up big amounts of points. They have the 2nd highest scoring backcourt in the NBA in Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan. Most importantly, they’re average age is 26.5 years old. This is against an experienced and accomplished team in Brooklyn. They have a combine 35 all-star appearances among their starting lineup. However, their average age is 29.2, making them the second oldest team in the NBA. It’ll be interesting to see athleticism versus experience, but I believe the young legs eventually win out, and the Raptors will win the series.

Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards:

Bulls in 6

I honestly have no idea why, but the Bulls are so good. Sure, they have Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, but they traded away Luol Deng, Derrick Rose got injured, and Jimmy Butler is not good enough to be your 3rd scoring option. But still, they get it done. The Wizards are young, and many of their players haven’t been in the playoffs yet, so this isn’t their year. Maybe next year, though, if they get lucky with injuries, and John Wall and Bradley Beal continue to improve.

Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks:

Spurs in 5

This will be the best series in the best round in my opinion, even though it will only go 5 games. And I don’t think so because Both teams are very similar. Both teams have been cast off, and been told they are too old to win. Both have aging power forwards, who are some of the greatest of all time. Both have won a championship in recent years, and have proved everybody wrong for saying they’re too old. However, there are 2 huge differences between the team. Tony Parker vs. Jose Calderon, and Greg Popovich vs. Rick Carlisle. Because of these 2 differences, the Spurs will easily win the series.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies:

Thunder in 4

The Thunder are going to win this series hands down. They are one of the best if not the best team in the NBA right now, and Kevin Durant just can’t be stopped. Don’t get me wrong, the Grizzlies are a very talented team, but they just don’t stack up to Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. The Thunder has the best chance of beating the Heat out of anybody, and I’m sure they would like to after their loss in the finals to them 2 years ago. That will motivate them enough to sweep the team they lost to last year in the Conference semifinals.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors:

Warriors in 7

There is a lot of bad blood in this game. After Klay Thompson called Blake Griffin a “bull in a china shop,” it’s hard to imagine a scenario where large numbers of fights break out during this series. Both teams are young, fast, and more scoring oriented. It will be fun to see Stephen Curry face off against the veteran Chris Paul. It will be a great series, but I think the Warriors just have too much offensive firepower for the Clippers, and they end up winning in 7.

Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers:

Rockets in 7

It will be a close series. Lillard vs. Harden, Aldridge vs. Howard. Those are star caliber match ups right there. It will come right down to the wire, with Lillard and Harden going back and forth. Both teams were surprises this year, but in opposite ways. Many picked the Rockets to be a 2 or 3 seed this year, and many said the Blazers would not even make it to the playoffs. But here they are as 4 and 5 seeds facing off in the 1st round of the playoffs. Eventually, after a long and grueling series, the Rockets will win.

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