So its that time of year again. My Lakers limped into the playoffs in spite of being marred with injuries all season. Moreover, we got the seventh seed, which means we get to avoid OKC and the Clippers, who are horrible matchups for the Lakers. Anyways, here are my predictions for the first round:
Heat v. Bucks - Heat win 4-0
*I am rooting for the Bucks, however, because I don't like the Heat.
Nets v. Bulls - Nets win 4-3
*This should be a good series. The Bulls will give the Nets a good fight, but D-Will will be the difference maker in the end (man I wish Rose was playing).
Indiana v. Atlanta - Indiana win 4-1
*Meh, not too excited for this series.
Knicks v. Celtics - Knicks win 4-3
*The Pierce-KG era Celtics have always been a tough out. However, I think the Knicks will prove too much for the Celtics this year. Melo wins his first playoff series.
Thunder v. Rockets - Thunder win 4-1
*The Thunder are just too good for the Rockets. I will be rooting for the Rockets, however, because the Thunder are a touch matchup for the Lakers.
Clippers v. Griz - Griz win 4-3
*I am not to sure who will prevail in this series. Both teams play drastically different styles. The Clippers are up-tempo (Lob City), while the Griz like to "grind-it-out." I think whoever can impose their style on the other will prevail. I am rooting for the Griz because they are a better matchup for the Lakers, and because it would be fun to watch some old school big men battles between Zebo-Gasol and Howard-Gasol.
Nuggets v. Warriors - Nuggets win 4-2
*The Nuggets are scary good and they are possibly a sleeper that could win the 'Ship. I don't want to see them in the Second Round. Thus, I am rooting for the Warriors.
Spurs v. Lakers - Lakers win 4-2
*Of course, I am bias. However, I think the Lakers have a good shot against the Spurs, a team that isn't healthy right now. Howard and Gasol will matchup against Duncan, and I think that matchup could wear Duncan out in a seven-game series. Duncan, after all, turns 37 on April 27th. Parker and Ginobili's health is a key question in this series. Obviously the Spurs will have a big advantage on the perimeter if Parker and Ginobili return to form. However, it looks like Nash will return for Game 1 as well. Although Nash is limited due to his age, he is still a great passer and scorer in spurts (and clutch too). He should be able to get Gasol the ball early in the offense, which has been a key issue for the Lakers's offense since Kobe went down.
Who do you predict will win in Round One? Who are you rooting for?