Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions

Eastern Conference First Round

1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 8. Detroit Pistons

Is this the best LeBron James team we have seen? No it is nowhere close to it, but the fact that he is on the team with elite help like Kyrie Irving and Kevin love makes them a lock to advance past the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs. Reggie Jackson could potentially out-score his counterpart Irving, but he won’t out-play him. Tobias Harris won’t be able to keep up with James at all. Andre Drummond could have success, but the Pistons are quite a bit away from truly being able to contend with a top team in the playoffs.

Prediction: Cavs in 4

4. Atlanta Hawks vs. 5. Boston Celtics

We have two teams with incredible balance and no true stars in this series, which makes this one a very interesting matchup. Paul Millsap and Al Horford should win the front court battle for the Hawks, and Jeff Teague is the best overall player in this series, but the Celtics are a very, very dangerous team. Defensively, Avery Bradley will make Teague’s life miserable and they have a lot of guys who can score. Isaiah Thomas has a ton of physical limitations, but none of them every seem to matter as he scores in punches. Evan Turner has found his niche, Kelly Olynyk can spread the floor and Jaw Crowder might be their best player. But it’s the Celtics coach that makes them so interesting. Brad Stevens runs a great system and in a close series that will be the difference-maker.

Prediction: Celtics in 6

2. Toronto Raptors vs. 7. Indiana Pacers

Paul George has flown under the radar in his return but he is great enough to make any team dangerous. And with proven scorers like Monta Ellis and George Hill running next to him out on the wing, the Pacers are the most interesting team in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But the Raptors have so many guys who can take over a game. DeMar DeRozan is a star, and this could be the postseason series that casual fans get to see just how good he is. Kyle Lowry too can take over any game he plays in, both scoring and passing. Plus, with Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors have a true advantage inside, both on the boards and defensively inside.

Prediction: Raptors in 7

3. Miami Heat vs. 6. Charlotte Hornets

We’re getting to see the real Miami Heat team post LeBron James now with Chris Bosh able to play. Bosh and Wade are still able to score as good as anybody and the Heat have plenty of guys to help out behind them. Hassan Whiteside is tough as nails inside, Goran Dragic is a tremendous athletes who can create offensive opportunities and both Joe Johnson and Luol Deng are gifted scorers. The Heat have a lot of talent on their team. The Hornets are a collection of good, but not great players. nobody is a star on that team. Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Al Jefferson and Marvin Williams are all good players, but every one of them (except maybe Jefferson) would be a top reserve on Miami.

Prediction: Heat in 4

Western Conference First Round

1. Golden State Warriors vs. 8. Houston Rockets

The Warriors have to have less pressure on them now than as they went to the end of the season trying to capture the regular-season wins record. There is no chance this team loses four games to this Houston Rockets team. Maybe last season, that Rockets team could cause them problems, but while James Harden is an elite scorer, the Rockets have been a mess all year long.

Prediction: Warriors in 4

4. Los Angeles Clippers vs. 5. Portland Trail Blazers

As good as Damian Lillard is, and while C.J. McCollum can shoot the lights out, the Portland Trail Blazers just don’t have enough, especially not inside, to beat the Los Angeles Clippers. This might be the last time we see this Clippers team together with the core they have, but Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are great enough to get by the Blazers.

Prediction: Clippers in 5

2. San Antonio Spurs vs. 7. Memphis Grizzlies

Does anybody else find it crazy that this Spurs team is one of the greatest in NBA history? The all-time greatness of the Golden State Warriors has overshadowed them, but Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge have taken over this Spurs team and have them capable of beating any team out there, including the Warriors if they meet. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Many Ginobili have taken a sort of a back seat to the young studs, but those three veterans can come to life in the playoffs and their give the Spurs the extra edge they need. Memphis is an always tough team with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph inside, but without Mike Conley there to run the show, the Grizzlies don’t have much chance at pulling an upset.

Prediction: Spurs in 4

3. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 6. Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are a team that look better on paper than in reality because the reality is that Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams are far past their prime, Wesley Matthews is no longer the elite 3-point shooter he once was and Chandler Parsons is actually a role player, not even close to a max contract guy. The Thunder, though might have one last go with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook running together. They are going to go out there to make it count with a deep run.

Prediction: Thunder in 4

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Comments are closed.