Larry O'Brien trophy

PBT’s NBA Playoffs first-round previews


This is what we’ve been waiting for. Through the desert of the lockout  and “how u” jokes. It’s the emotion and beauty of these playoff games that made us hope everyone would come to their senses and not kill the season. This is what we powered through a condensed, roller-coaster season to get to.

The NBA playoffs are here.

To help you be prepared for what is about to start this weekend, we present ProBasketballTalk’s NBA Playoff previews for the first round. All eight series will be broken down with stats and our insights so you can decide for yourself where that upset we all know is going to happen in the first round is going to come from. We throw in our predictions, too.

Read and enjoy.

Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls (1) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8)
Miami Heat (2) vs. New York Knicks (7)
Indiana Pacers (3) vs. Orlando Magic (6)
Boston Celtics (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Utah Jazz (8)
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)
Los Angeles Lakers (3) vs. Denver Nuggets (6)
Memphis Grizzlies (4) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (5)

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.

Derrick Rose’s eye still swollen, will rejoin Bulls Monday

Derrick Rose
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Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.

Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.