The 2012-2013 NBA Season is in the history books, and now it's time to start the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Got some big match-ups in the East and the West. Today I will only do a first round preview an when the second round starts, i'll do a preview then. So let's get this preview started.
1. Miami Heat Vs. 8. Milwaukee Bucks: It's good to see the Milwaukee Bucks back in the playoffs. But unfortunately the Bucks have to play the best team in the NBA, the Miami Heat. There is no doubt the Heat will win this series. Sure the Bucks beat the Heat once in the regular season but the Heat beat the Buck three times. Monta Ellis and Jennings from the Bucks will struggle against D-wade and Mario Chalmers from the Heat and the 3 time MVP LeBron James will have a few monster slam dunks on Larry Sanders. Prediction: Heat in 5
2. New York Knicks Vs. 7. Boston Celtics: This is the match-ups I am most looking forward to in the East. It's and old classic playoff match-up between two teams great teams. The Knicks definitely surprised most NBA fans around America including my self on how they where able to be a real threat to Miami and how they are the second best team in the east when I thought they would end up seventh best like the Celtics. The Celtics will really miss Rondo in this series because they have no other point guard that can guard or score on Jason Kidd. Kidd is still a very tough and aggressive defender that should do well scoring and distributing in this series. The Boston Celtics will play with a lot of pride and motivation for the people that are hurt in Boston right now after the Boston Marathon bombings that killed 3 people last Monday. But the Knicks will play with pride and motivation for the people in New York and Jersey that are still effected from Hurricane Sandy that happened last October. So with all that being said, the Knicks should take this series in 6. Carmelo Anthony will just be to much for the old Boston Celtics to handle. Prediction: Knicks in 6
3. Indiana Pacers Vs. 6. Atlanta Hawks: This is an interesting match-up. Both the Pacers and the Hawks had a good season. But the Pacers season was just a bit better and will win this series. The Hawks are a good on offense, but are not that good of a team on defense. The Pacers are one of the best teams on defense in the league. Roy Hibbert and David West will dominate down low for the Pacers and will be very aggressive on defense. Prediction: Pacers in 6
4. Brooklyn Nets Vs. 5. Chicago Bulls: This is another match-up in the East that I am looking forward to. the Bulls Vs. the Nets. It is great to see the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs. Now everybody say that the Bulls should win this series in 5 or 6 games. But are people forgetting that the Bulls will now have their two best players in Derrick Rose ( who has not played all year with a torn ACL ) and Joakim Noah. The Bulls will be missing those two players a lot. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson will score in the back court for the Nets and Brook Lopez will score and be aggressive on defense down low. The Nets will win this series, enough said. Prediction: Nets in 7
1. Oklahoma City Thunder Vs. 8. Houston Rockets: This is probably the only time I have ever looked forward to a 1 vs. 8 playoff match-up. You have james Harden playing against his old team in OKC. A team that traded Harden to the Houston Rockets just days before the regular season began last October. Harden and Jeremy Lin where able to bring the Houston Rockets to the Playoffs. But it will not be enough as the Rockets will get beat by OKC. OKC is a more aggressive team on offense and should be able to stop the fast paced offense of Houston. Expect Kevin Durant to have at least a 30 point game once or twice in this series. Prediction; Thunder in 6
2. San Antonio Spurs Vs. 7. Los Angeles Lakers: This is the match-up I am most looking forward to in the West. Two teams with a lot of hype around them. L.A. did a great job making the playoffs without Kobe Bryant who is now out with a torn Achilles. Ready for an upset. The Lakers will beat the Spurs in a classic 7 game series. Think about it, the Lakers always beat the Spurs in the playoffs. Steve Nash for the Lakers is most likely going to return for game 1 and the Lakers just beat the Spurs last Sunday without Kobe Bryant. The Spurs are still dealing with the injuries of Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker. The Spurs are to old and will not be able to handle the Lakers offense to well. Prediction: Lakers in 7
3. Denver Nuggets Vs. 6. Golden State Warriors: This is a great match-up between two teams that suprised a lot of fans this year. The Warriors had a great year with Stephan Curry and David Lee. But the Nuggets are just a better team with a fast paced up tempo offense and a lot of teams during the regular season ( including the Warriors ) could not handle. Sure the Nuggets won't have Danilo Gallinari who is out with a torn ACL but the Nuggets have a good deep enough players in Andre Miller and Ty Lawson to fill in that hole. Expect those two players form the Nuggets to be the key in the Nuggets success this series. Prediction: Nuggets in 6
4. Los Angeles Clippers Vs. 5. Memphis Grizzlies: The big rematch from last year. Last year was a classic 7 game series between the Grizzlies and the Clippers with the Clippers winning in 7. Expect the same thing this year. This series will go to 7 games with the Clippers on top. Game 7 will be in L.A. which is a big advantage for L.A. and Memphis never show up for game 7 and always loose. Chris Paul is a great scorer and can dish the ball to his old buddy Blake griffin really well. Expect that in this series. I guess better luck next year Memphis. Prediction: Clippers in 7
Those are my first round playoff predictions. Some great match-ups to see on T.V. and expect the same throughout the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Let the Playoffs begin.
By: Andrew Harrington