No. 1 Celtics vs. No. 8 Bulls
Interestingly, this season series is actually tied at 2-2, and the simple fact that we get to see the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford against Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade in round one is pretty awesome. While the Bulls aren't likely to pull off the stunning 8 over 1 upset here, they should be able to win a few games.
Both teams won their home matchups, so home court advantage should come into play. Expect something like a 4-2 series in favor of the Celtics, but don't be shocked if it does wind up ending 4-3.
No. 2 Cavaliers vs. No. 7 Pacers
Seeing the Cavaliers play the Bulls would have been nothing short of epic, but they didn't get any break by playing Paul George and the Pacers. The Cavs won the season series 3-1, but two of Indiana's losses came by single digits. George is going to be able to will the Pacers to at least one or two victories, and I see this one ending on the 4-2 mark also.
No. 3 Raptors vs. No. 6 Bucks
The Greek Freak is in the playoffs and NBA fans should be excited. Unfortunately, the Raptors won the season series 3-1 and will probably wind up winning this series in five games more than likely. The firepower that the Raptors have across the board (specifically DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry) is going to be too much for the Bucks, and we should expect some early-series jitters from Milwaukee as well.
No. 4 Wizards vs. No. 5 Hawks
This matchup may prove to be the best of the first round, as two of the four games between these teams were within four points. The Wizards won both of those and took the season series 3-1, but the only reason to really have faith that they can get out of the first round against a tough Hawks team is because they have the home court advantage.
Give me John Wall and Bradley Beal in an intense seven-game opening round series.
No. 1 Warriors vs. No. 8 Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard said the Trail Blazers can win this series in six games, so... alright, it's not happening. The Warriors rolled through the season series with a 4-0 sweep, and this probably won't go more than five games at most. The Warriors have too much firepower, and while the duo of Lillard and CJ McCollum could help the Blazers steal one game, that'll be about it.
No. 2 Spurs vs. No. 7 Grizzlies
The injury to Tony Allen for the Grizzlies may not seem like a big one, but it really is. He was the main defender to attempt to lock down Kawhi Leonard. Without him, Leonard should have a field day and it'll throw the 2-2 season series split right out the window. The Spurs are going to win the series, but it won't be a sweep. Expect the Grizzlies to steal two games and for San Antonio to take it in six.
No. 3 Rockets vs. No. 6 Thunder
Get ready for the best series of the bunch, obviously due to the Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden situation. If there's ever a time where you've seen Westbrook take over a game, just imagine that times 10 and it's what you're going to get through this entire series. The Rockets won the season series 3-1 and unfortunately for all the Westbrook fans, I believe they win the playoff series 4-2.
No. 4 Clippers vs. No. 5 Jazz
For the first time in recent memory, the Clippers actually enter the playoffs with their big three being healthy. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are all good to go. Think there's any chance they don't take advantage of that in at least some form or fashion? No way. The Clippers will get past the Jazz in five games.News Now - Sport News