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DAR Sports: NBA First Round Playoff Predictions





Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-The NBA playoffs are here. With all the fanfare and craziness of the regular season over with, we have arrived at the most fun part of the year. The playoffs. Today, we talk the first round and give our predictions. Let's get into it.

WESTERN CONFERENCE




1. Golden State Warriors vs 8. Houston Rockets
-Steph Curry, the MVP of this season will lead his record breaking team into the 1st round against the Rockets and James Harden. Who will win?


@ShokusApollo
The team that now holds the all time best NBA season record and the defending champs (for now) will make light of this Houston squad, who were destined to fail since they fired Mchale. Houston can take one or maybe two if they go all out.
Warriors in 5 or 6.

@SpeedontheBeat
The Warriors take this one easily. I'll say in 4 or 5. Goodbye Rockets.

@IUseCondoms
The Warriors will sweep the Rockets. Hands down.

@1natethegreat4
Golden State wins series 4-0
This should not be even be disputed. Golden State has gradually went from a first round team to a champ, and when Stephen Curry said years ago “We’ll be back”, he meant it. Golden State should be able to blowout Houston in at least 3 of the 4 matches. These are two completely different teams after last year as Golden State won the title and Houston lost it’s engine. Golden State wins the series if they play like they have been all season long. Houston is very unlikely to win this series unless Houston flipped the switch with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Houston can only win this series unless the movie “Space Jam” is re-enacted exactly like the movie.

@TrueGodImmortal
The Warriors will take this series easily. I predict a sweep. They are hungry for another championship and they will make quick work of the Rockets. Bye James Harden.

2. San Antonio Spurs vs 7. Memphis Grizzlies
-The Spurs had a historic year themselves, but can Kawhi and LaMarcus overcome the tough yet injury stricken Grizzlies?


@ShokusApollo
Spurs will make easy work of these injury ravaged Grizzlies.
Spurs in 4.

@SpeedontheBeat
I have to go with the Spurs. This team is the biggest threat to stop GSW from repeating. They will make quick work of the Grizzlies.

@IUseCondoms
No explanation needed here. Spurs sweep the Grizzlies.

@1natethegreat4
Spurs win 4-0.
San Antonio is the most respectable team I have ever seen in all of sports. They are a no-nonsense, no favorite type of team. No player is safe, even Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. The Spurs win if they play like they have been playing. Even though overshadowed by Golden State, San Antonio is also a title contender in my eyes. Their suffocating defense is insane as it ranks number one in the league. Offensively, they are too much for Memphis to handle. Kawhi Leonard should be observed closely in this series. Memphis stands no chance in my eyes. This year, the injury bug has found its host and has preyed on Conley and Gasol, two starters for the playoffs. Defensively, they can hold up, but that becomes a mystery on offense. San Antonio would have to witness an alien abduction of their star players.

@TrueGodImmortal
Ideally, the Spurs would get taken to 7 games in this, but the Grizzlies are due to get swept. Injuries are plaguing this team, but the concept of seeing Vince Carter advance to the 2nd round one last time would be great. However, Spurs in 4.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder vs 6. Dallas Mavericks
-Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant both had amazing years. The Thunder could be a dark horse to win it all, but will Dirk and the Mavs give the Thunder an early exit?


@ShokusApollo
A pretty good matchup, but I think the Thunder take it.
OKC in 5.

@SpeedontheBeat
Very obvious to me that the Thunder advance unless they choke, which I doubt happens. Thunder advance.

@IUseCondoms
The Thunder win this series in 5. The Mavs don't have a chance here.

@1natethegreat4
OKC wins 4-2.
Oklahoma City will be guided by Westbrook, Durant, and Ibaka. They will win the series if they can execute on both ends of the floor and stop blowing big leads. It’s embarrassing regardless the team when they give up a fifteen or more point lead. That’s just asking for an ass-whipping. Billy Donovan will be observed the most for his late game decisions as they have not been stellar like Scott Brooks. The role players must help KD-WB and gain their trust for the big shots and defense. Dallas wins if they played their February games on offense and defense like in April. JJ Barea must also breakout as he’s known for doing that on the big stage (2011 against my Heat). Chandler Parsons must be able to carry the team out to help out Nowitzki. Defensively, they must be able to slow down the second best offensive unit. There’s no way Dallas can win without no defense. Every possession will count.

@TrueGodImmortal
I almost feel like the Thunder will choke in this round. I feel like the Mavs winning in an upset could happen. However, I'm going to go with the Thunder in 6.

4. Los Angeles Clippers vs 5. Portland Trailblazers
-Dame Lillard and the Blazers bring the fight to CP3 and the Clippers. This is the first round matchup to watch. Who advances?


@ShokusApollo
This should be an interesting matchup. I could see this going 6 or 7 games off the guard battle alone. Lillard is my favorite young point in the league and I see him making a statement. CP3 will be balling as usual as this may see him wanting to get off of the Clippers after this season.
Clippers in 7.

@SpeedontheBeat
The Blazers win in a very hard fought series.

@IUseCondoms
The Blazers in 6. As evidenced by last year, you can't trust the Clippers in the playoffs.

@1natethegreat4
Clippers advance 4-3.
This is going to be intense. Point blank. Clippers have the advantage at the front court, but Portland has the advantage with the backcourt. If the Clippers want to advance, Blake and DeAndre have to be wild on the boards and score when they get a chance. Jeff Green and Paul Pierce have to contribute as well, as they could be X Factors along with Jamal Crawford. CP3 needs to stay as a floor general and Reddick needs to catch fire at the start of every quarter. Blazers could sway the series if Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum can play lights out. They will  have to play that way because the makeup of their team isn’t the best and someone is going to have to step up. The coaching in this matchup will be like a old-fashioned game of chess. Your move.

@TrueGodImmortal
Fuck the Clippers and anybody who love them. Blazers in 7.

EASTERN CONFERENCE



1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs 8. Detroit Pistons
-Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers take on Andre Drummond and the hungry Detroit Pistons. Who advances to the 2nd round?


@ShokusApollo
The reigning Eastern Conference c
Champions will make quick work of this young team. Cavs in 4.

@SpeedontheBeat
Let me keep this one simple. The Cavs win.

@IUseCondoms
This may shock some people, but I have the Pistons knocking the Cavs out in the first round in 7 games. Pistons in 7.

@1natethegreat4
Cleveland wins series 4-1.
Cleveland will win the series only if Kevin Love can contribute evenly, as in the past, he has been criticized for inconsistent play. James and Irving need to do their parts with Tristan Thompson given the 5 as a strategic move by Tyronn Lue. Detroit winning this series is highly unlikely with the makeup of the team. Jackson and Drummond in my eyes is not enough firepower to carry a series.

@TrueGodImmortal
I would love for the Pistons to win this, but the Cavs will take this in 5. Lebron in the playoffs is a whole different animal.

2. Toronto Raptors vs 7. Indiana Pacers
-The vibrant and tough team of the Raptors take on the Pacers. Can the Raptors show up in the playoffs?


@ShokusApollo
Might be a pretty good series. The Raptors are a good team and have been on Cleveland's heels all season. I think they win in 6.

@SpeedontheBeat
I think the Pacers pull off an upset of sorts and win this series. The Raptors are not playoff tested.

@IUseCondoms
Pacers in 6. I don't trust the Raptors in the playoffs regardless of how good they've been playing.

@1natethegreat4
Toronto wins series 4-1.
Hopefully Toronto doesn’t repeat their poor playoff performance and actually play as the seed that they are seeded. I expect to see Toronto dominate with their premier backcourt. The addition of Demare Carroll is still one of the best new additions for the Raptors this year. Carroll must help out with the backcourt as he’s a variable to their success.  If Indiana could even try to beat Toronto, Paul George must lead the show as David West and Roy Hibbert aren’t there by his side. However, the rest of the team must contribute and PG can’t do it by himself. Monta Ellis is a streaky shooter and the shots have to fall for him for at least a fighting chance. Also, George Hill must contribute.

@TrueGodImmortal
I believe the Raptors are a different team mentally this year. They will advance and defeat the Pacers in 5.

3. Miami Heat vs 6. Charlotte Hornets
-Dwyane Wade and the Heat go against the Hornets. Can Miami advance to the 2nd round?


@ShokusApollo
I think the Heat could meet Cleveland in the East finals. I think they win in 6.

@SpeedontheBeat
The Hornets are pretty good this year, but I've got to go with the Heat.

@IUseCondoms
The Heat are the better team and unfortunately, they will advance. Heat in 6.

@1natethegreat4
Miami wins series 4-1.
This is an important experience builder for the new Miami Heat. Charlotte has kept the same makeup from their previous rodeo. Miami wins this  if my favorite D-Wade can be the chief and guide the team through. This also means I expect the veterans of Joe Johnson and Deng to help out if Wade isn’t on the floor. The third seed is important for Miami so they could feel comfortable. Also, Josh Richardson, Winslow, and Whiteside are the X Factors for Miami. If they can contribute and stay calm with all the flashes and white hot and purple crowds, its a wrap. For Charlotte, Kemba Walker has to be spectacular and put on a show against the Miami Heat. They will need a series of counters to punch back at Spolestra, as I think Spolestra is the best coach on this side of the conference. Batum, Jefferson, and the wing players must counter the defense of Miami with the three, as they are playing a top ten defense in the first round.

@TrueGodImmortal
Charlotte has been on a roll and surprised me. I think this series will be tougher than expected and go 7 games. The Heat win, but the Hornets push them more than we expected.

4. Atlanta Hawks vs 5. Boston Celtics
-The young Celtics are trying to advance beyond the Hawks. Can they do it?


@ShokusApollo
Pretty nice matchup. Boston is very young, but super impressive and tough. Atlanta isn't as good as last year, but they still are a nice team. This will give us some hard fought battles between the young up and comers. Boston in 6.

@SpeedontheBeat
I like this Celtics team, but I think the Hawks take this series.

@IUseCondoms
The Celtics in 5. The Celtics are a better team. They were swept last year by the Cavs, but they gave them a fight every single game. It wasn't a cakewalk. Celtics win this one easily.

@1natethegreat4
Atlanta advances 4-3.
This series is going to be gritty, aggressive and see a lot of arguments on this round. This will be the most watched first round this year in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta wins if Jeff Teague can return back to All-Star form as the team does well with him. Al Horford and Paul Millsap will be a nightmare for Boston’s bigs. Kyle Korver needs to do what he’s known best for. Atlanta’s defense needs to slow down the speedy Celtics backcourt because if not, Boston wins. Boston needs to stay calm. They can’t get ahead of themselves as the playoffs is like a pendulum swing. Boston’s bigs must be able to control the paint and avoid easy entries. Boston could win the series if they can’t be stopped on the transition.

@TrueGodImmortal
I have firm belief that these Celtics are a problem and a force to be reckoned with. Celtics win this series in 6.

What are your predictions? Post them below in the comments section.

-DAR 

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