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Which Team Is Most Likely To Be Upset In The First Round Of The NBA Playoffs?

Submitted by on April 14, 2011 – 3:52 pm4 Comments

Eight-two games down and now it’s time for the real season to begin.

It’s been an interesting regular season to say the least. The Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs took the #1 seeds despite everyone expecting the Lakers and either the Heat or the Celtics to take the Western and Eastern conferences top spots. The Nuggets played incredible basketball without Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks made the playoffs with the addition of ‘Melo. So now what happens?

Looking at the landscape of the first round, there are some potential upsets that could take place.

Not a chance: Indiana, Memphis, New Orleans

Sorry kids, thinking that any of these four teams can pull off an upset is unrealistic. The Pacers have absolutely nothing for Derrick Rose and the Bulls. The Memphis Grizzlies have talent, but we’re talking about a San Antonio team that has been there and done that several times over. The Hornets are good, but without David West they are sitting ducks for the Lakers to knockout quickly so they can rest.

Not likely…unless the stars align: Philadelphia

The only reason that Philadelphia has a better chance than the aforementioned teams is the fact that the Heat can be terribly inconsistent. But in all seriousness, LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh should be able to wipe out Philly. The Heat are 3-0 against Philly this season and don’t look like they’ll give them much of a chance in the post season. I do expect the Sixers to win a game at home on a basic brain fart. I also expect Elton Brand to have one monster game inside and everyone lets Chris Bosh have it for being soft as baby poop.

50/50 chance:  New York, Atlanta, Denver

The Hawks are terribly inconsistent, but the Magic aren’t much better in that department. The Hawks took three out of four games during the regular season and are a match-up nightmare when Josh Smith, Joe Johnson & Al Horford get it going. Remember, the Hawks were supposed to be a dark horse in the Eastern Conference but apparently that monster contract got to Johnson’s head and he played some underwhelming hoops this year. He has a chance to make it up now.

The Knicks have the talent, but not necessarily the chemistry to give the Boston Celtics some problems in their first round match-up. Sure, the Celtics beat up on the Knicks this year and swept the season series, but the playoffs are a different story. If they can find a way to keep Rondo from clocking 17 and 10′s, they have a legit shot. Chauncey Billups will have to come up big and the thin bench must put together strong minutes so the starters don’t get burned out in two games. It’s possible.

Who would have thought the Denver Nuggets would be playing this kind of basketball after the ‘Melo trade? Gallo, Lawson, NeNe and the rest of the no-name Nuggets have played some great hoops. This was the year that Oklahoma was supposed to give the Lakers a run for their money, but the Nuggets have got to be the last team anyone wants to play right now. Even though the Thunder beat the Nuggets twice in a week, having to see them for at least four games is no fun. You’re not sure who can go off on any given night (Ty Lawson with ten treys?) and they could make it interesting if they take a game in OKC.

I smell an upset: Portland

The Blazers have played some really good basketball this season and Lamarcus Aldridge will likely give Dirk Nowitzki fits in the series. Gerald Wallace is the real X-factor in the series. If he can get going and that Dallas defense – that we’ve come to know as Swiss cheese on any given night – falters, the Blazers have a helluva chance of upending Dallas. Not to mention that Dallas has only made it out of the first round one time in the last ten years.

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