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.
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)
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)
With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).
Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.
His swagger certainly remains intact.