1st seed Chicago Bulls Vs. 8th seed Philadelphia 76ers
- The 76ers are a good team, but are nowhere near the Bulls in terms of talent and potential. Yes, the 76ers are deep, well coached and have a great defense, but their lack of a go-to-player and an explosive offense will hurt them. For Chicago, this will be an easy series as they are simply the better team overall. However, if Rose is not completely healthy and struggles, the 6ers could have a chance to win a game or two.
Bulls in 4 Games
2nd seed Miami Heat Vs. 7th seed New York Knicks
- This may be the most entertaining series of the first round. Two star powered teams will go at it, but the Heat are the far superior team. The Knicks are not the defensive pushovers of years past, but they simply have no answer to Wade and Lebron, which should make all the difference in the series.
Heat in 5 Games
3rd seed Indiana Pacers Vs. 6th seed Orlando Magic
- The Pacers should dominate the Howard-less Magic, but the Orlando role players have the potential to win a couple of games. The Pacers are a complete and deep team, but their inexperience could hurt them, while the Magic have all been in this position before. Talent should definitely win over in this scenario, so expect the Pacers to advance to the next round.
Pacers in 6 Games
4th seed Boston Celtics Vs. 5th seed Atlanta Hawks
- There is still a chance that the Hawks could get Al Horford back at some point in the series, but even he would not be enough to beat the surging Celtics. The Celtics have been one of the NBA’s best since the All-Star break and have the experience and talent to easily knock out the Hawks.
-Celtics in 5 Games
1st seed San Antonio Spurs Vs. 8th seed Utah Jazz
- The Jazz must be commended for a surprising run and making it into the playoffs, but they are playing a team that is way out of their league. The Spurs have too much talent, depth and experience for the Jazz to handle, which should make for a very short series.
Spurs in 5
2nd seed Oklahoma City Thunder Vs. 7th seed Dallas Mavericks
- This is a great first round series, as it is a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals. The difference of course is that these two teams are very different from where they were 12 months ago. The Mavericks are older and worse defensively, while the Thunder have matured and have arguably the league’s most talented roster. It is highly doubtful that the Mavericks win this series and get a chance to repeat as champs.
Thunder in 6
3rd seed Los Angeles Lakers Vs. 6th seed Denver Nuggets
-The Nuggets are a fantastic offensive team and can score at will, but Denver is simply playing a better team. It is simply impossible to bet against Kobe in the playoffs and with the way Gasol and Bynum are playing, the Nuggets do not have much of a chance in this series.
Lakers in 6
4th seed Memphis Grizzlies Vs. 5th seed Los Angeles Clippers
- One of the more intriguing first round match ups, this series has two very young and talented teams trying to move up into the West Elite. The Clippers may have the two best players in this series, but Memphis is an incredibly balanced squad, with talent and depth at every position. Memphis also has the far superior coach in Lionel Hollins, which all ads up to a Grizzlies series win.
Grizzlies in 7