John’s NBA Playoff Predictions

Updated: April 20, 2013

Eastern Conference First Round Predictions:

[quote_simple]Heat over Bucks in 5

Key Matchup: Chris Bosh vs. Larry Sanders

X Factors: Ray Allen, Ersan Ilyasova

Difference Maker: Lebron James

The Bucks played the Heat well enough to give the Bucks a game here as all four games this year, Heat winning three, were somewhat close and the pesky Bucks had fight.  If the Bucks can handle the Heat pressure and not turn the ball over excessively than they could make this interesting.  The Heat will win this series simply because they have more talent and better coaching.[/quote_simple]

[quote_simple]Nets over Bulls in 6

Key Matchup: Brook Lopez vs. Joakim Noah

X Factors: Joe Johnson, Nate Robinson

Difference Maker: Deron Williams

Williams will control the series with his speed and quickness while Joe Johnson finds his stroke to help offset the Bulls Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng.  This series will be won by the turnover battle so if the Nets can take care of the ball and continue to outrebound the Bulls like the regular season they win the series.[/quote_simple]

[quote_simple]Pacers over Hawks in 6


Key Matchup: Roy Hibbert vs. Al Horford

X Factors: Paul George

Difference Maker: George Hill

The Pacers faded down the stretch this season although I think they have enough to take the Hawks pretty easily.  The Hawks backcourt will not be able to handle George and George Hill will surprise people with his defense and shot making.  Josh Smith will go off into the sunset with another first round loss to add to his Hawks career and move on to another team.[/quote_simple]

[quote_simple]Celtics over Knicks in 6


Key Matchup: Carmelo Anthony vs. Paul Pierce

X Factors: Avery Bradley, JR Smith

Difference Maker: Jeff Green

The Celtics have been playing possum a bit this week with the Knicks pumping them up in the media.  The events this week in Boston will ignite a fire under the veteran team and with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce doing what they normally do to the Knicks should help them make the upset.  The Celtics defensive backcourt of Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley will hold the Knicks backcourt silent and force Anthony to shoot too much and hurt the Knicks in the end.  The Knicks lack of health will also be a factor.[/quote_simple]


Western Conference First Round Predictions:

[quote_simple]Thunder over Rockets in 5


Key Matchup: Thabo Sefolosha vs. James Harden

X Factors: Russell Westbrook, Chandler Parsons

Difference Maker: Kevin Durant

Harden will do everything in his power to take down the team that traded him but the deeper and more talented Thunder will impose their will on Houston and win the series.  Westbrook should have a huge advantage on Jeremy Lin in this series and if he gets the ball to Durant the series will be quick.  Serge Ibaka and Omer Asik will battle inside but the offense of Oklahoma City is just too much for the defenseless Rockets.[/quote_simple]

[quote_simple]Clippers over Grizzlies in 7

Key Matchup: Zach Randolph vs. Blake Griffin

X factors: Tony Allen, Jamal Crawford

Difference Maker: Chris Paul

The Clippers are clicking right now with a healthy Paul.  The leader of the Clippers will get everyone involved early and the combo of Griifin and Jordan will hold their win against Randolph/Gasol to leave the bench to be the deciding factor.  Crawford will have to have a big series for LA to win but this series will go the distance for sure.


[quote_simple]Nuggets over Warriors in 5


Key Matchup: Ty Lawson vs. Stephen Curry

X Factors: David Lee, Jarrett Jack

Difference Maker: Andre Iguodala

The Nuggets have homecourt in this series and the entire NBA became witness to the Denver altitude and homecourt advantage this year so the young Warriors will have their hands full.  The Warriors changed their franchise with new coach Mark Jackson and Curry will have his moments in this series but the Denver depth and bigs will supercede the Golden State shooting to win easily.


[quote_simple] Spurs over Lakers in 6

Key Matchup: Howard/Gasol vs Duncan/Splitter

X Factors: Kwahi Leonard, Steve Blake

Difference Maker: Greg Popovich

The Lakers are full of confidence right now after winning their way into the seventh seed and everyone is burying the old Spurs – but I am not.  The Spurs will come together under the best coach in the NBA and show their championship pedigree to put work and send te Lakers home.  The bigs of LA will give the Spurs a few problems but being that Steve Nash is not playing at full strength the Lakers cannot win this series. Spurs too much.[/quote_simple]


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