BEN SIEBERT, Staff Writer
The lockout shortened regular season is finally over and the real season began on Saturday afternoon. Ben Siebert drops by to give us his first round predictions.
The first day of playoff basketball was overshadowed by Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose tearing his ACL with a little over a minute left in their playoff opener against the 76ers. This shouldn’t stop the Bulls from taking the series in five games. Bulls in 5
The series with the most late-playoff implications is the Grizzlies-Clippers match-up. After the Spurs lost the Grizzlies in the first round last year, I doubt their ability to make it deep in the playoffs. Using that logic, the winner of the Grizzlies-Clippers series will be playing in the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers have enormous potential. We’ve known this all year. But it all comes down to toughing out games, and that’s the Grizzlies strong suit. Behind supposed marijuana dealer Zach Randolph, defensive freak Tony Allen and names like Mayo and Gay, the Grizz will prevail against the highlight-reel Clips. Grizzlies in 7
Metta World Peace’s elbow to the back of James Harden’s head landed him a suspension for the first five games of the first round. It may take the Lakers more than five games to beat the Nuggets so we might see him again in the first round. Andrew Bynum’s presence will ultimately be too much for the circus act that is Javale McGee and the Denver Nuggets. Lakers in 6
The Heat are obviously going to destroy the Knicks. Did you watch Game 1? Heat in 5.
Kevin Durant hit a game-winner against the Mavs in Game 1. Some didn’t think the series would be a close one, but the experience of the Mavs comes in handy during the playoffs. That being said, the Thunder are a favorite to win the NBA Finals. Thunder in 6
The Celtics and Pacers both lost their first-round openers. The Pacers are considered the dark horse of the Eastern Conference, and they should be able to get it done against the Superman-less Magic. Pacers in 5
Sometimes, Rajon Rondo is a giant dumbass, his game one ejection proves this. But he is still the NBA leader in assists per game. The Celtics have to get their ish together to win this series, and I think they will. Kirk Hinrich’s goggles are pretty boss, but The Truth and KG get it done. Celtics in 6