We’re back again with the second part of first round preview. Hopefully today’s games will follow the lead of the later games yesterday and provide a great game from start to finish. Check below for our thoughts on how we see things playing out and then let us in on yours.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Either the Thunder will give the Lake Show all they can handle or they’re going to get swept. Everyone and their Mom would love to see the Thunder take down the defending champs, but the they’re here a year ahead of schedule and will have to use this series as a learning tool. Durant may be able to match, and perhaps outplay Kobe, but who’s stopping Gasol and Odom on the inside? No one.
Orlando Magic Vs. Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats have had a wonderful year, so all kudos go to them. However, this Magic team is good. Real good. If they remember to get Dwight Howard touches and balance that out with their trigger finger mentality from beyond the three point stripe, this could be a quick series.
Just seeing the Bobcats in the postseason is admirable. With a formidable lineup including Stephen Jackson, Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace, Orlando might think twice about Michael Jordan’s boys. The Dwight Howard show will be in full effect but it will be consistent shooting from the rest of Orlando’s roster to ensure they prevail. I just have a feeling the scrappiness of Charlotte will stun the Magic.
Jason H. — Bobcats in 7
Dallas Mavericks Vs. San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio is always dangerous come playoff time. They’re a savvy, veteran team led by a future Hall of Fame coach. The buck stops here though. Obviously the Spurs won’t go quietly into the night, but Mark Cuban’s band of misfits should win this series mainly because they are the better team. This is where the Caron Butler trade should really prove its value.
A rematch from last year where the Mavs pulled the upset on the higher seeded Spurs. This year it’s the Mavs turn to choke away the lead. The difference? Manu Ginobili who ended the year playing as well as he ever has.
Patrick M. — Spurs in 6
Phoenix Suns Vs. Portland Trailblazers
This could’ve been an interesting duel if Brandon Roy didn’t need season ending knee surgery. Nash and the gang caught a HUGE break with Roy out considering their perimeter D isn’t anything spectacular. So basically the series boils down to the Suns abusing pick & roll sets matched with full court onslaughts ad nauseum against a much slower Trailblazers squad. Throw in Portland’s poor rebounding and this’ll be a layup for Phoenix despite Andre Miller’s usual playoff theatrics.