NBA playoff predictions

East 1st Round:

Boston vs. Atlanta

The Hawks will give boston a sterner test than people anticipate. That being said, with no playoff experience and a poor coach (sorry, Mike Woodson) the Cs will come out on top.

Prediction: Boston in 6

Cleveland vs. Washington

The Cavs need more and different help for LeBron than they got at the trade deadline. The Wiz match up really well with the Cavs and will be able to impose a faster pace than Mike Brown wants. Unfortunately, I think this is the beginning of the end for his coaching tenure in northern Ohio.

Washington in 6

Detroit vs. Philadelphia

Philly has the heart but not the skill. I think Detroit may use this series as an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the East that Boston isn’t the only squad with championship aspirations.

Detroit in 5

Orlando vs. Toronto

A tough, hard series that could go either way. I’ll pick the Raptors in 7 because a) I love Toronto and always want the Raps to do well as karmic retribution for still having Vince Carter be their all-time most notable player and b) they have some, not many but some, players with top level competitive experience. Toss up.

Toronto in 7

West 1st round:

LA Lakers vs. Denver

The Nuggets should be able to compete with the Lakers on a talent basis but I don’t think they care enough to win close games. As good as the individual components are, there’s not a lot of team in the Rocky Mountain roundballers. The Lakers meanwhile are streaking and seem ready to make a sustained playoff run.

LA in 6

Utah vs. Houston

The Rockets were a great story while streaking but they’ll get one game in this series. Tops.

Utah in 5

San Antonio vs. Phoenix

The Suns feel this is their time to shine. I think they’re finally right. Shaq will make a difference but Nash’s late game savvy and the Spurs’ total inability to slow STAT will be the ultimate determinants of this series.

Phoenix in 6

New Orleans vs. Dallas

I know, I know, a playoff rookie can’t be your best player. Except Chris Paul violates all the rules. I anticipate massive momentum swings and unsung heroes in this series. Game 7 is in the Big Easy and as much as Dirk wants it, I think the good vibrations and voodoo spirits will give the C2I2H* one more reason to laissez le bon temps roulez.

New Orleans in 7

TP

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