1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs 8 Houston Rockets – The Houston Rockets did themselves a huge disservice by not winning their season ending game against the Lakers. The difference is more than likely a early exit in their first round matchup rather than being able to try to take advantage of a beat up San Antonio Spurs team and squeak into the second round. That all is a forgone conclusion as this series will probably end in no more than 5.
Avery: Thunder in 5
Hans: Thunder in 5
Yiannis: Thunder in 4 – Took the Thunder in a sweep just to be different but I really think that the Rockets could possibly make it competitive with each game but come up short.
4 Los Angeles Clippers vs 5 Memphis Grizzlies – This may be an epic battle. The key here is that the Clippers were able to secure home court advantage in this battle of big boys. Honestly if you watch video of both teams, Grizzlies have a better half-court game than the Clippers. If the Clippers can get out and run like they would like, however, it may be a tough challenge for the Grizzlies. This has the makings of a very long series so we are going to keep a close watch on this one.
Avery: Clippers in 6- I want to say that the Clippers play above the rim can get them out of this series along with MVP candidate Chris Paul.
Hans: Clippers in 6
Yiannis: Clippers in 7 – Marc Gasol, provided he is healthy, can be the player to tip the scales in this series.
3 Denver Nuggets vs 6 Golden State Warriors – The Denver nuggets sure did pick a bad time to be dealing with injuries. Kenneth Faried is banged up with a bad ankle and Danillo Galineri is out for the season with a knee injury. The Golden State Warriors have absolutely nothing to lose as Head Coach Mark Jackson has them running through a brick wall for them. This gets the instant “Upset Alert” red flag. However, I think we all agreed that the Nuggets can pull this series out.
Avery: Nuggets in 7- Who is going to be taking the big shot for the Nuggets? Who the heck is going to guard Steph Curry? We will be watching the makings of a great player. Unfortunately, I think he will be on the losing end.
Hans: Nuggets in 6- A bit unsure of this one with Galo out.
Yiannis: Denver in 7- home court advantage seems as if it the only reason why I’m giving Denver the edge.
2 San Antonio Spurs vs 7 Los Angeles Lakers – This one is going to be a strange feeling series. For the first time in a long time you will not have Kobe Bryant playing in the playoffs even though his team is. Does anyone give the Lakers a shot? On the flip side of the coin the Spurs have limped in the playoffs. There will be no Manu Ginobali and an 80% at best Tony Parker. If Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol play at the level that we once have witnessed, this could be another potential upset. This is the match up that we are split on as a staff so let’s see who gets bragging rights after this one is done.
Avery: Lakers in 7- Yes I am going out on a limb with this one as I believe that the San Antonio Spurs are only a shell of the team that they were in the regular season.
Hans: Spurs in 4
Yiannis: Spurs in 4.
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