Now that they have started, what are my NBA Playoff predictions?

Yes, I’m quite aware that the NBA playoffs have already begun, but hey, like any informed customer, I wanted to get a taste for how things would shape up before I made any picks in terms of winners and losers.

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

Cleveland vs. Detroit (Cavs ahead 1-0): Is this Lebron’s year? No.  However, he and his teammates will easily handle the Pistons, especially when they’re sans AI. All in all, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Cavs sweep this series.

-Cavs over Detroit 4-0

Boston vs. Chicago (Bulls ahead 1-0): Boston is missing a key compenent, with superstar Kevin Garnett on the shelf with a knee injury. To makes matters worse, the Celtics likely will not have him back for these playoffs, and their are rumors that surgery is on the horizon for Garnett. Elsewhere, the Bulls looked greatin Game 1, and have obviously gained a ton of confidence through their win in the first game. That confidence could be a lot of trouble for Boston.

-Bulls over Celtics 4-2

Orlando vs. Philadelphia (Sixers ahead 1-0): Don’t be fooled, the Magic haven’t lost anything. And now they’re mad. Philly’s good, but not that good. Dwight Howard is an absolute superstar, and will prove that in the coming games. Expect the Magic to get things on track on Game 2, and eventually take the series. If Orlando can gain some swagger from this series, they could make a long run in the East, maybe even winning it outright.

Magic over Sixers 4-1

Atlanta vs. Miami (Hawks ahead 1-0): I was actually fairly shocked that the Hawks took Game 1. I know that they’re a higher seed, but I banked on Dwyane Wade being far too much for them to handle. This could go seven games, but six is more likely. However, the Heat will take it in the end.

Heat over Hawks 4-2

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WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Los Angeles vs. Utah (Lakers ahead 1-0): The Lakers are a dynamic group, and now that Andrew Bynum is back, they’re going to close to unstoppable. Kobe and Co. will handle the Jazz, likely sweeping them, and then eventually win the West .

-Lakers over Jazz 4-0

Denver vs. New Orleans (Nuggets ahead 1-0): Don’t get me wrong, I really love the Hornets, and Chris Paul. However, they’re one great player away from being an elite team in the conference, maybe even the NBA. Look for the mto make a big splash come free-agency time. But for the time being, Carmelo Anthony and his merry men will likely win this series, but not without a fight from CP3 and Co.

-Nuggets over Hornets 4-2

San Antonio vs. Dallas (Mavs ahead 1-0): This could end up being the most compelling matchup of the first round. The Spurs without Manu Ginobili are not the Spurs at all. Tim Duncan and Tony “Don’t call me Mr. Longoria” Parker can hold their own to a point, but Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry will prove to be too much for the Spurs to take.

-Mavericks over Spurs 4-2

Portland vs. Houston (Rockets ahead 1-0): If Tracy McGrady were playing in this series, I could probably give the Rockets the edge. However, he is not, nor will he be for the remainder of the playoffs. Aaron Brooks will not score 27 points again in this series, but the Blazers will score a ton. The series could go seven games, but Portland will come out on top.

-Trial Blazers over Rockets 4-3

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