Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 NBA Playoffs: 1st Round Picks

The HEAT and Spurs should get plenty of rest waiting for their next opponents after the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

HEAT vs. Bobcats
Prediction: HEAT in 5

Explanation: HEAT have the advantage at every position except center. Al Jefferson will be a problem for Bosh in the middle. Kemba Walker and Mario Chalmers will go back & forth, but 'Rio and the HEAT defense should keep the series relatively drama-free.

Pacers vs. Hawks
Prediction: Pacers in 5

Explanation: The Pacers were terrible after the all-star break, but they still have the advantage over the Hawks at every position. I assume Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague will be able to steal a game.

Raptors vs. Nets
Prediction: Raptors in 7

Explanation: The Raptors have the advantage at 3 of 5 positions. Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson should get Toronto into the 2nd round for the first time since Vince Carter wore the uniform.

Bulls vs. Wizards
Prediction: Bulls in 5

Explanation: The Bulls have the advantage at every position except point guard. John Wall's good for 1 playoff win. Maybe Ted Leonsis thinks that's worth a max contract.

Spurs vs. Mavs
Prediction: Spurs in 4

Explanation: The Mavs have the most productive bench in the NBA and they'll lose that advantage when Rick Carlisle shortens his rotation for the playoffs. The only advantage that leaves them with is vs. Tiago Splitter. That won't be enough for them to win a game in the playoffs.

Thunder vs. Grizzlies
Prediction: Thunder in 5

Explanation: If Russell Westbrook is Westbrook, then the Thunder have the advantage at every position except center. Marc Gasol gets the Grizzlies one game before Kevin Durant gets revenge for last year's elimination from the playoffs.

Clippers vs. Warriors
Prediction: Clippers in 5

Explanation: The Clippers are weak on the wing, so Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala should be good enough to prevent the sweep. The only hope the Warriors have to win the series is Steph Curry outplaying Chris Paul and I just don't think he's ready for that.

Rockets vs. Blazers
Prediction: Rockets in 7

Explanation: The Rockets have the advantage in the backcourt if Beverley's healthy, the Blazers have the advantage at the forward positions and they're dead even in the middle. As long as Robin Lopez can neutralize Dwight Howard the Blazers will have a chance to win the series, but in the end, James Harden has the biggest advantage in the series and he should take advantage to get the Rockets out of the 1st round.

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