Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 4/28/12

San Antonio Spurs [1] vs Utah Jazz [8]

The Jazz aren’t going to win, but they’ll make this more interesting than you may expect.  I’m not even going to say they take more than one game, but the match ups in Salt Lake will be close (this team has a way of ending up involved in thrilling finishes, especially at home).  Utah has a youthful team full of young talents and under-appreciated studs (Paul Millsap should be on an All-NBA team), and I suggest that you watch this series and enjoy the thought of their potential.  The Jazz could be a serious threat in years to come if they make the right personnel moves.  They can’t see the Spurs just yet, though.

NBA247365.COM Guaransheed: Spurs in 5.

Oklahoma City Thunder [2] vs Dallas Mavericks [7]

The fact that the Thunder led the NBA in turnovers while finishing 30th in assists certainly concerns me, as does their undersized frontcourt.  That being said, I’ve given up hope on the Dallas Mavericks.  The Dirk Nowitzki we’ve seen this season isn’t the basketball god from last spring, and the Mavericks don’t beat the Thunder and advance to the Finals if Dirk doesn’t play like he did.  So, they’ll lose this time, although OKC will probably throw a game or two away.

NBA247365.COM Guaransheed: Thunder in 6.

LA Lakers [3] vs Denver Nuggets [6]

The is the series in which a lot of folks seem to be calling for an upset.  As much as I’d love to see it, I certainly don’t expect to see it.  Honestly, I don’t even consider it a possibility.  Look, the Nuggets played pretty well against the Lakers this season.  They beat ‘em in Denver and would’ve beaten ‘em in LA if Danilo Gallinari and Nene could’ve made a couple of uncontested layups.  The Lakers simply have too much size for the Nuggets to handle, though.  I think Denver’s speed, athleticism, and hustle make them a threat to win a few games, but over the long haul LA will end up pounding them into submission.  I recall Timofey Mozgov having one good game against Andrew Bynum, but he’s not going to contain that monster for the duration of a series.  The other guys–Faried, Koufos, McGee–they aren’t big enough.  Denver’s only hope is to get crazy hot on the offensive end while the Lakers simultaneously self destruct.  I suppose that could happen, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

NBA247365.COM Guaransheed: Lakers in 6.

Memphis Grizzlies [4] vs LA Clippers [5]

Here’s my lone first-round upset!  Chris Paul’s groin and a two-game losing streak have left me feeling a little less confident, but assuming CP can move I still believe the Clippers take this series.  Marc Gasol will take a dump on DeAndre Jordan, but with Z-Bo in his current state the Grizzlies have no answer for Blake Griffin.  Chris Paul has been playing at an MVP level and I think he’s been this season’s finest performer under pressure.  My reasoning for calling the upset basically centers around Paul.  I think he’s going to put his team on his back and take them to the second round.  He’s done some incredible things in the past with virtually no talent at hand, and I think he’ll recognize this opportunity and seize it.  That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Grizzlies win, especially if they get big bench production.  This should be a hard-fought battle that goes seven games.  Tony Allen has already begun praying to the basketball gods, hoping that they’ll give him strength…

Note: I think Eric Bledsoe could be an “X Factor” in this series.  Can he come in and change the tempo?  Can he make those athletic, energetic plays that swing the momentum when the Clipps are stuck in a rut?  He’s done it somewhat regularly over the past few months, and I think it would be huge for LA if he could carry that over to the postseason.

NBA247365.COM Guaransheed: Clippers in 7.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker