Blogtable: Playoff upsets?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

With a little more than three weeks until the playoffs, who’s your pick for Top 4 team (either conference) most likely to be upset in the first round?

Steve Aschburner: I’m saying Dallas for a couple of reasons. First, over the past 2 1/2 weeks, the Mavericks have lost to five playoff-bound Western Conference rivals, dropping to 4-5 since March 6. But the bigger reason is Portland, the team Dallas possibly could face. The Blazers have depth and versatility, and are the most dangerous of the lower seeds in either conference. So I guess my real answer is: Whichever team draws Portland in Round 1.

Fran Blinebury: Is it really an upset if 5 beats 4?  The Thunder came into the season as everybody’s favorite flavor of the month after last year’s strong showing against the Lakers.  While I still love everything they’re doing for the future, the truth is their defense has taken a step back and they still have to find a way to get more than long Kevin Durant jumpers late in games.  They be playing either a Denver team that is looser than Charlie Sheen and with nothing to lose or a Portland team that has refused to roll over from more adversity and has LaMarcus Aldridge still with something to prove.  Watch out, Thunder.

Scott Howard-Cooper: The Magic, in a 4-5 matchup with the Hawks. Part of that is by default. A 4-5 is almost always going to provide the best chance for a first-round upset, unless a really good team has slipped to the bottom of the playoff standings because of injury. But part is that the Hawks have done well against the Magic. Orlando’s defense and rebounding should get it out of the first round, but Atlanta has the ability to make it interesting.

Shaun Powell: Oklahoma City is prime for toppling, if the Thunder meet the Nuggets. Not sure how far Denver can go in the postseason without a true superstar, but the Nugs are playing unexpectedly well since trading Carmelo Anthony and George Karl is pushing all the right buttons. Beating the Thunder wouldn’t carry the same shock as Denver beating the Sonics in the 1994 playoffs (“Let’s get ready to Mutumbo!”), but it would be a surprise nonetheless.

John Schuhmann: As scary as Philly can be, there’s just no upset pick to be made in the East. And in the West, as long as Tim Duncan is relatively healthy come April 16, the only choices are Dallas or Oklahoma City. The Thunder will probably get the Nuggets, who are playing great right now. But for some reason, I believe in OKC more than Dallas, which isn’t as good defensively as it was at the beginning of the season.  I’d still favor them in first-round series, but I think Dallas would be most likely.

Sekou Smith: The 4-5 matchup is always the best place to look for an upset victim. But the way the Hawks have played of late makes it hard to see them knocking off the Magic in the Eastern Conference. As well as the Nuggets have played sans Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, I still have a hard time seeing them knocking off the Thunder in the Western Conference. If any team should be a little nervous, it‘s the Magic. The Hawks might still be capable of turning things around in a playoff setting, especially against a team that skunked them 4-0 in the conference semifinals last season. It‘s just hard trusting a team that‘s been blown out as much as the Hawks have, especially on their home floor.

250 Comments

  1. the real J says:

    there’s a saying that a team is only as good (or will be) as its best player.. i think to some extent this is true, which is why dallas never seems to make it over the hump in the playoffs.. no offence to dirk, but he’s not kobe or lebron.. denver might prove themselves capable of playing better team basketball (which is what basketball should be about) than OKC, but i think durant and westbrook will find a way to make a difference.. u cant deny talent and dismiss it in favour of other intangibles like team spirit, chemistry.. if intangibles like that are to overcome talent they must be significantly substantial.. this is why i think the lakers will go to the finals again (and face either boston or miami).. as great as the spurs are they dont have the size to match up; and the bulls wont have enough in them (despite all the youth and enthusiasm) to overcome the gravity of talent of the celtics or heat.. the 3 best teams in the league are LA, Boston, Miami

  2. Amused says:

    Although Mavericks fans will be upset, it wouldn’t be the least bit of an “upset” to see Dallas knocked out by Portland; since when has this team ever been a playoff team? They have made it their claim to fame to be consistently ousted in the postseason…

  3. richuncle says:

    After watching Miami get beat by Clevland I would say Miami is going to get beat in the first round if they play Phil or N.Y. Miami is taking charges instead of trying to block shots in the paint. That means a quick player can get by Miami’s defense cause they don’t have guys trying to block shots but instead try to step infront of them to take charges. That puts alot of pressure on the refs to make the call of charge or block. In the playoffs if you leave the game to be decided by the refs instead of by the players talent then your going to be losing half the time. Against Cleveland LaBron got the benefit of 2 calls that should have been blocking because he was moving where it was called charge. Also have to agree Denver is a dangerous team that is getting better every game. If Denver can win one of the first two games in OKC then they will win the series. Denver is almost impossable to beat on their homecourt with the high altitute they play so many players that they will allways have fresh legs, while the other team is gasping for air.

  4. LakerFanatic says:

    If they(MIAMI HEAT) don’t win it this year, we all know that everything doesn’t get easier. It becomes harder. Somebody becomes the scapegoat. The pressure goes up. When you put that kind of talent together, I don’t think they’ll win a championship or two.

  5. blazerfan says:

    i dont get how anyone can believe in the hawks after their showing against the magic last year in the playoffs and their showing lately in the regular season. this team only wins when it doesnt matter and when the lights are on they cant get it done. definitely the most overrated team in the league. The magic will destroy them inside with dwight howard and crush them on the perimeter. that series will be a clean sweep or a one sided 5 game series.
    I think miami is prime for an upset just because they cannot win consistantly against the high level teams and when it comes to crunch time they can never find a way to win. Lebron is a weak clutch performer yet he demands the ball in the final minutes. the team has no clear #1 option and the knicks have all the tools needed to be an upset team. and carmelo has shown, as well as amare, that they perform huge in the playoffs and clutch situations.
    and the blazers can shock someone aswell.

  6. smart guy says:

    denver has better defense.. ty lawsons jus as fast as westbrook n denver has more height… okc has a bit of an edge in kd but dont be an idiot to say that denver has no chance or even little chance

  7. Capt. Smash says:

    The Nuggets have a chip on there shoulder everyone is down on them since the trade. Know one believes in them and everyone is putting them down because they have no superstar on there team. Everyone needs to remember Kmart, Nene and the Birdman will intimidate the front line of OKC. The Nuggets will be ready to go to war; get ready OKC heads will roll.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      This has to be the dumbest comment of the day, all i am hearing in here is how great the nuggets are, what do you mean everyone is down on them, if anything everyone is waaaay to high on them and expecting things that arent going to happen. Inimidated and Kendrick Perkins will never be i nthe same sentence, if anything he will be punking your front line. Pound for pound KP is one of the best defenders in the league, i think he can handle your front line!

  8. zay3001@yahoo.com says:

    1. OKC has a well balanced team 2. Durant can be onstoppable 3. Russel Westbrook! 4. they play team defense, very good all of this is very good… but can they beat denver in a seven game series No! 1. Ty lawson 2. Raymon Felton 3.jr smith… this combo gaurd attack is very dangerous surronded by great shooters with NeNe in the middle oh yeah Kenyon Martin don’t forget…The nuggets are not gone to quit they showed that against the spurs and if the OKC play and run and gun style which they do the nuggets will win that battle. They’ll be fired up the team overall all it will probably be one of the best series this year if they match up.

  9. hi says:

    ok blazers have a chance over the the mavs but nuggets arent going to pull it off. okc in 6. westbrook according to kobe fastest guard in the nba. i think kobe would know. KD top 5 player. he hasnt got tons of attention this year but if you remember they took lakers to 6 last year and they are better this year. add K P and their defense is already improving which has been lacking all season. and you also need to take into account that playoff time is different then regular season. the “stars” play more min. play harder becuase everything is on the line. the starless nuggets dont have that they are already playing their hearts out. i like to see them win its cool and all but come playoff time i dont see them winning agianst any of the top 4 teams in the west. sorry nugs maybe sometime in the future well probably not…

  10. pouer hibbler says:

    the nuggets are a beast i think they will go to finals

  11. jc says:

    man that okc35kd guy is tarded the thunder are a two man team thet cant beat a real team all he is doin is haten on den because there gunna merk o gay c in the playoffs and in the next couple weeks the nugs face them 2 times so well see if the team that just lost to the RAPTORS yes the RAPTORS at home to can hang wit fly lawson in da the mile high club.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      lol yes we lost to the raptors, now why dont you look at the rest of our record, you call your nuggets hot then talk crap about OKC who was a better record than them, has a better record “since the trade” then denver. you are building up role players, and yes you will see when we play you, just like all of the Portland people saying they are sooo dangereous, did they just lose to the thunder for the third time in 3 tries? i think so, Denver there is a reason you are not leading this division and the reason is OKC!!!!!. your time has come and gone, continue rebuilding and look for another star!

    • OKCKD35 says:

      that would be like me pointing out you lost to the clippers, yes the clippers, you are such a tard dude, you are 7-3 in your last 10, we are 9-1 :)

  12. Tenki says:

    I think Portland vs. whoever-is-there is a possible upset because Portland plays good in their home turf, and they can pull oit wins on the road. Aldridge is having his best season (although I don’t know if he’s gonna choke in the playoffs), Roy is playing, and Miller can be a bad matchup against the opposing point guards. It’s not impossible to see them come through the first round, especially with the way they have played after the all-star break.

    The East doesn’t have any upsets to predict, unless Miami will have some chemistry issues (after 82 games?) at the post-season. Whoever plays New York will have a good time, simply because they don’t have what it takes to be legitimate title contenders (defense). Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the Big Apple, it’s just that Big Apple have nothing as a threat aside ‘Melo and STAT. Seriously, if they play Boston now, I’m sure KG and Pierce would have their way, not to mention Rondo’s excellent manning of the point.

  13. kristian says:

    I say Bulls-Lakers in the finals..Miami will choke in the 2nd round..boston is old..d-rose will eat them all..d-rose=mvp

  14. I think the West 4-5 team match-up will result in an upset. I think Denver can run and gun with the boys of OKC and if the bench of OKC doesn’t match that of Denver’s, it’s gonna be hard for them. And I’m worried about the Spurs in their match-up with Memphis, that is if Duncan isn’t playing. Right now, OKC and Denver

  15. Jon says:

    Western Conference Finals
    Spurs v Lakers

    Eastern Conference Finals
    Boston v Bulls

  16. Jon says:

    I think the Nuggets are pretty dangerous in the playoffs, they have a chance to go pretty deep…watch you’ll see

  17. China says:

    Man I love all this hate people are giving to the Celtics LOL!!!
    May I remind you that they were in this situation LAST YEAR losing a few games before the finish line, and look what happened…
    If it werent for Perkins; fall in game 6, then they would have had the ring last June in game 7.
    But Perkins is gone… Who cares! KG was injured as of the whole post season last year and Doc STILL rallied the men to a game 7 in the finals… WOW!!!
    But may I remind you that as of late KG is perfectly fine, as well as the other 3 and a fresh Nenad Kristic can hit the 15 footer, which Perkins will never be able to do in his lifetime. Nad doesnt look out of place on the D from what Ive seen Id like to add.
    Its all about conserving the vets to rally up W’s in the playoffs where they know what it takes to win.
    Dont worry boys, Doc has stuff under his sleeve…

    *cough Shaq and Jermaine are secretly fine and are awaiting to rally in the post season cough*

  18. NEAL says:

    I’m SUre that Portland/Nuggets/Grizzlies will Beat Dallas in the first round. I dont see Dallas advancing to the 2nd round. No one can play defense on their team no one can take over during crucial situations.

  19. Mr. Expert says:

    hey I think Denver has a great chance of beating the OKC they have a better and deeper Bench and they have more verterans on the team OKC is very young and i think they would shine soon but not this year its an upset DONT FORGET ABOUT JR SMITH HE”S SICK

    MY FINALS PICK
    BULLS VS SPURS
    BULLS VS MAVS
    CELTICS VS SPURS
    CELTICS VS MAVS

  20. JIPIGI says:

    PACERS 4 BULLS 2

  21. Hellsk8erz says:

    There will be no upsets in the first round… I think it would be a rematch of the 1991 Finals Chicago vs. Lakers or 2006 Finals Heat vs. Mavs…..

  22. NBA Crazy says:

    Nuggets vs Bulls Finals
    nuggets in 7

  23. Jason99 says:

    I think Denver over OKC.. Nene and Martin can match can match thunder inside physically and can see them outscoring OKC in the paint. Explosive perimeter players…. Really impressive how well Chandler/ Felton have gelled.. thats the only one I see. IMHO

  24. TYRONE says:

    I say Boston vs NY or any other team. Don’t get me wrong, Boston’s my favorite team since the big three was formed but the way they are playing right now, (losing to Memphis and other non-playoff teams???), there’s a very huge possibility that their opponent might pull off an upset.

  25. PilipinoAKO says:

    East Finals:
    Bulls vs Miami

    West Finals:
    Lakers vs OKC

    Finals:
    Bulls vs Lakers
    ! ! !

  26. Roy says:

    As much as I like the Thunder, I think the Nuggets would beat them in a BO7 series. People say “who’s going to guard Durant?” And the answer is simple, nobody. I don’t give a rats *** if KD scores 40 points every game, just because he’s going off it doesn’t mean they’ll win. (Besides, Kenyon Martin is quite capable of slowing him down. If he guarded Durant the whole game, every game. He would probly score around 20-25 ppg on 35%-43% shooting. He would still score a fair bit but not efficiently.) I know the Thunder have improved a lot in the paint, with Ibaka’s overall improvement and the addition of Kendrick Perkins, but defense is ALL they supply, which is good, but if Westbrook and the other guards struggle to score and (or) defend their man, it’s going to put a lot of pressure on them. Pressure which I am sure they can’t handle. Nene, K-Mart, and Birdman will supply enough stats to have an edge over the Thunders post.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      are you kidding me? Kenyon Martin is a good Defender but is nowhere near quick enough to keep up with Durant, maybe 8 years ago, he is too old to chase durant around screen after screen. K-mart defensive power is in the paint, he is an in the box enforcer and we all know that. if anythin it will be Chandler and Galinari splitting time chasing him, And k-mart, birdman, and Nene average a combined 23ppg. Not too efficient. K-mart is 36, old legs lol

      • Roy says:

        They still would pull off more thats then the Thunder’s post players lol, and i guess your right nobody would slow down KD, but as a team effort Denver will prevail. Just stating my opinion.
        GO TRAILBLAZERS!!! 2011 NBA champs!!

  27. numyummy says:

    Denver, bitch ;)

  28. Heat&Magic fan says:

    Idk why evryone hates on the heat ok they said they would win before even playing but if it wasnt for that 5 game screw up no one would even think of an upset happening i personally hope lakers get upset by portland if they fall to third and The hawks beating the magic thats just stupid

  29. xwkkx says:

    dallas have to prove something after losing to number 8

  30. Ari says:

    I think we can all agree that watching OKC vs DEN is gonna be a lot of fun

  31. xwkkx says:

    i see heat losing on second round

  32. John says:

    theres a lot of room for upset this year. this is the best year for the upset in my opinion, ive ever seen. Every team going in to the playoffs has a lot of potential for upset. Teams going in are better than they have been in a really long time… the sheer fact that the NBA is the best its been as far as the number of solid teams is enough to make for a great upset margin (last year for instance we knew exactly what was going to happen in the post season, even including PHX. This year would be the year I wouldnt be surprised if Portland made a big run or Memphis or PHX if they can get in.

  33. NBA crazy says:

    Ok lets talk about Den vs Okc in my mind the nuggets are a better team but kd is almost invinsible if the nuggets find a way to stop him the nuggs can pull out the win the nuggets have a good bench JR smith, Al Harington, Felton, two 7 ft. big men and a good starting line up the nuggets have shared the ball more since the melo trade and has an improved D okc has a good team but not good enough to handle the nuggets, I could also see the nuggets upseting the spurs and lakers so just maybe they could go to the finals and win the whole thing.

  34. Man luk alot of u ppl sound so so stupid okay da playoffs r gona b gud okay luk tho miami is not gona lose in the 1st round idc who dey pla when lebron is in da playoffs he turns it up a notch an will again the trailblazers are a very very dangerous team nobody in the west wants 2 pla execpt the lakers probaly an i hate the lakers i luv the nuggets an thunder series but its simple the thunder will win because of westbrook an durant the nuggets can not contain them in a 7 game series probally 1 or 2 games but not a whole series an u ppl talkn bout the 76ers paces please shut the hell up they both will lose in the 1st round an the Magic will sweep My hometown team Hawks 1nce again an i would love tu see the mavericks not turn into the cavs lik they do every year in the playoffs but i dnt c it they willl lose again west finals lakers thunder thunder winning in 7 bcuz of perkins people dnt see what that trade does to them give them a big body n da middle under the rim that could mak them a champion an in the east bulls heat sorry celts yall time is up but the heat will win in 6 because just watch the way lebron plays this year in the playoffs he wont b stoppd an the champs will b THE MIAMI HEAT

  35. KIngKobra2 says:

    You Heat haters are just stupid *** holes. They need to realize the heat have figured out late game closure and dominant defense. The new knicks will stay in 7th and lose to boston in the first round. Boston stop choking and stop crying over kendrick crap perkins and play ball. THE HEAT WILL GO TO THE FINALS AND BULLS YOUR IN FOR A SHOCKER IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS. YOU HEAT FANS WHO THINK THEY CAN CAN’T MAKE IT ALL THEY WAY TO THE FINALS ARE PATHETIC! HEAT! HEAT! HEAT! HEAT! HEAT!

  36. east upsets—> the heat lose in first round, celts lose in the 2nd round

    west—–>spurs lose in second round and the mavricks lose in first

  37. hahahaha says:

    The only upset that can possibly happen for me in the west is the nuggets to beat okc and blazers beating dallas. For the east the only possible upset is where NY matches up. The cohesion of the new denver nuggets is scary. And you’ve got to look at their bench depth. The blazers just matches up pretty well vs the mavs.(even if b.roy ain’t the same anymore.) Now lets go to the east. The only upset i see is if the knicks matches up with chi or mia. They’d be eaten up by the boston D. And i think they can’t handle dwight and the depth of the magic.(as seen in the recent game.). They can beat chicago with just their offense. Chicago is just a below-average offensive team with d.rose having the ball 60% of the time. So the only threat to the knicks offensively is D.rose, boozer and the 3s of korver. With miami? they’d just do some matchups. Both teams lack bench and big man depth. Amare would abuse bosh, Carmelo actually owns Lebron for some reason.( It got me thinking too.) Wade is fields problem. But the real factor to the Mia-Ny matchup is the PG play. NY PGs would abuse the Mia PGs. What the hell would bibby do besides hitting open shots. Especially to douglas.

  38. kobefan #1 says:

    Everyone knows that Kobe is a beast. they are obviously gonna pown until con finals. even then, Kobe is gonna shut the spurs or whoever down. Finally, Lakers- Bulls/ Heat for finals. Like last year, its gonna be Kobe all the way. But, Bulls are strong so will be interesting. Also, Lebron and Wade are gonna battle it out with Kobe.

  39. noobsause says:

    WOW JOHN CENA WILL WIN THE PLAYOFFS AND KoBE MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. OKCKD35 says:

    umm lets see there are Eric Maynor ( a capable starter on many teams) Cook (last yers 3point champion) Harden (should be in the talk for 6th man award) Collison who is always top 5 in the league for taking charges, Nate Robinson when we get him back, Quit talking with your blinders on, not too many teams have a more “complete” team than OKC, you may look at wesbrook and durant as ball hogs or whatever, but obviously it works, everyone else on the team is a “role player” and play their roles well, yes Ibaka and Sefolosha and Perkins do not score much but that is because they dont have to, if you knew anything you would know that Thabo Sefolosha was a huge offensive player in the european league, he has accepted his role as the defensive stopper he is, Serge Ibaka too, he can get in the pain and convert when he wants to. His focus is on rebounding and blocking shots, not to mention he is posting a double double almost every game since he became a starter. I got nothing but love for George Karl as he coached Seatlle (my fav team, followed them to OKC) but to say scott brooks doesnt coach is rediculous, he took the same team PJ carlisemo ran into the dirt and had the best turn around in the NBA last year, also look at OKC’s efficieny out of time-outs, if thats not coaching i do not know what is, if he was so bad how did he win coach of the year last year. Just something for you to ponder, i really suggest you do some research before trying to speak on my squad!

    • nada says:

      Scott Brook have to monitor the game very tight in order for the OKC to win the series. In the past I saw many game where Westbrook thinks he is Michael jordan end up losing the game. It will be the most exciting game in the first round.

    • nuggetsfan says:

      u know u talk alot of shi* about the nuggets as i have scrolled down all these comments the only inside defender truly i can see that can stop nene is kp nene is the best at field goals in the league keep that in mind but are u kidding me bringing up nick collison on defence on guys like nene seriously and what ever his name is i think most people could only name like 5-6 players on the thunder roster u say whos gonna gaurd durant id say chandler if u didnt notice durant is tall but skinny or he isnt that well built i should say chandler is what an inch shorter then him hes stronger but furant still would be able to drop 25-30 a night BUT is that nesicarily a good thing when hes shooting 11-29? as for westbroke i love this guy to tell the truth but if were faced up against him hes probably gonna have 1-2 big games max what karl is gonna do on defence against him is gonna be “oh look hes shooting well lets put felton on him because of height or oh look hes going in with ease lets put ty on him because ty is one of the fastest players in the nba (faster then westbroke) cough cough also to tell the truth kp hasnt been playing that well since the trade its gonna be intresting to see how the best player in the league at fg matches up with him all and all id say the thunder have a better starting lineup but the nuggets have a better bench also the nuggets have a better offence (debateable) while the thunder have a beter defence (also debateable) i see either team winning this in 6 or 7 games

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Oh stop it, we all know Lawson is not faster than Westbrook, you probably dont even watch OKC play at all, just for the record here are some stats.
        Westbrook Vs Lawson 2 gamesthis year

        Lawson 15ppg 4ast 1.5 reb .5 stl
        Westbrook 23.5ppg 7 ast 2.5 reb 2.5 stl.
        Hmmm doesnt even appear to be close, once again nugget fans building up another “role player”

      • OKCKD35 says:

        I bring up Nick Collison as he is a great rebounder and defender, obviously you have no knowledge so i dont even know why i am wasting my time, all you Denver fans talk about Nene like he is the second coming, its hilarious, i think i even saw one say “the most athletic big man not named Dwight howard” Too funny, What about Amare’, Chris Bosh, Marcin Gortat, damn even Javale McGee is more athletic, Emeka Okafor, the list goes on. Go Thunder!

  41. jc says:

    na kd and westbrook are beast but who else is on ur team huuhh lets see harden all he doses is shoot threes and misses ibaka who just stands at the other end and cant do nothing but block oh yaa and mr.ankles wheres the reat of your team all durant and westbrook do his hog it up in hillbilly city

  42. lilrip133 says:

    I’ve seen plenty of comments here about the coaching and the matchups so I’ll stick to that:

    Coaching: Denver by a hair. George Karl actually has an offensive system in place, but doesn’t coach the defensive end of the floor at all. Scott Brooks doesn’t really coach either end, but has gelled with his players. Neither coach is outstanding but I give the edge to Denver.
    Bigs: OKC: Nene, Martin, and Birdman make a formidable front line, but they’re no match for the depth of OKC’s bigs. Perkins was the best one on one defensive big man in the league last year, Ibaka is 4th in blocks, Collison is a great positional defender and always leads in charges taken, and don’t forget about Nazr Muhammed, who is more than a capable center.
    Bench: OKC: OKC’s bench is one of the best and most complete in the league bar none. Denver’s bench is respectable, but nowhere near as effective as the Thunder’s.
    Point Guard: OKC: I Love Ty Lawson, but Westbrook has typically had more success against smaller guards over the course of the season. The Westbrook- Maynor tandem and the Lawson- Felton combo will be a very interesting matchup though.
    Kevin Durant: Wilson Chandler is a streaky shooter, but as far as both ways goes he’s no match at all for KD. Big Advantage OKC.
    X-Factors: For Denver, there’s not really a big X-Factor. Harden is averaging over 18 a game since all-star break, and Cook can come in and give a great 10 minutes. Robinson’s impact is still yet to be seen, but could also be a big deal. It’ll be easier to judge the matchup after new look OKC plays new look Denver twice before season’s end, but as of now, I’ll call OKC in 5.

  43. OperationZoom says:

    If New York somehow gets Miami, there might be an good upset…only because I think Carmelo plays well against Lebron… That’s just a hunch though so don’t start arguing crazily over it. Looking at the top 4 teams of each conference, I don’t know if there’s any good chance of an upset. Come to think of it, if there’s a high chance of an upset… how can it be an upset in the first place???

  44. PJ says:

    Whoever the Knicks play mark my words

  45. jc says:

    number 8 defense how dose ur defense change form 21 to 8 in a week kendrick perkins is over rated he cant make a defense from one of the worst to one of the best besides one person cant stop an entire team

    • OKCKD35 says:

      where did you come up with # 21? on NBA.com today we are ranked #8, Wow J.C. i know where you are coming from, for a long time i was a delusional Rams fan who thought we would be good every year. Then i had a reality check after bad year after bad year, hopefully you get your reality check soon, Position by Position we are the far superior team, we have better guards, forwards, center, and bench. All Perkins is going to do is make life in the paint tough and start to force shots from the outside. If you read my comments i am not saying 1 person will stop a team, i am saying Westbrook will stop felton, Sefolosha will stop lawson, KD will burn Galinari all day, Ibaka will shut down Martin and Perkins and Nene should average themselfs out. Not to mention the first 3 games we had Perkins on our team we were holding teams under 80 ppg

  46. OKCKD35 says:

    Wow with all the love for ty lawson on this page you would think he was a usa baskeball gold medal winner (we have 2 including the MVP) or an all-star (we also have 2). hmmm i wonder if he is over rated by nuggets fans.

  47. zacdaddy says:

    Perkins value as an addition to the Thunder is via two areas. BIG MAN DEFENSE and locker room stability (as one who has ‘been there’)
    He wont be much help to Denver against their big men, since Denver bigs have a different style of play, but he will keep their heads steady if OKC lose a game or two.

    Denver vs OKC is a very good matchup and the high altitude of denver may be a factor.
    Nate Robinson is a wildcard here. I think Durant can be easily neutralized ( prevent 3’s, foul shots, but otherwise let him get his points -contested- at the expense of the team)

    A point to consider: OKC is going in as the favorite. Will it affect their psyche? will they ‘sphincter up’ in close games?

    VERDICT:
    TOSSUP, with advantage OKC

  48. DNugs5 says:

    The Denver Nuggets have all the talent to beat the Thunder! I think it will be the best series in the first round, So what Denver dont have a Superstar they have something better in a full roster of GREAT talent. Now, who is gonna gaurd KD hmmm, Aaron Affalo he gaurds kobe well so i think he will do fine, But if he doesnt there are 2 more good defenders to put on him. The only thing that i think OKC has a bit of advantage is the size because of Perkins and Serge they are 2 great big men. Speed is a toss up because they are both young and fast but i lean on Denver. I have a question what happens to the Thunder defense when Serge or Perkins or even both of them foul out? Denver has the huge advantage over all the teams in the playoffs is their roster all of their second team could be starters on other teams in the NBA.

  49. flashback says:

    1991 Finals = 2011 Finals…^_^ just watch…..! ! !

    • ROFLakers says:

      Are you crazy. Sure most of the playoffs will be the same, but Chicago over New York. I don’t think so. Come the playoffs, the Knicks will be a different team. And even if Chicago does reach 1st seed, they are most likely going to get upset. Chicago is not good enough. Even with Rose. And if they do make it to the finals(that’s a BIIIG IF), the Lakers are going to be there ready to sweep them. Compare the Bulls to any playoff worthy team. They’re not worth anything.
      Now off of Chicago, to New York. NY has all the pieces and players, they are still learning to play together. They will not, I repeat NOT, drop to 8th seed. They’ve got 7th lowest. Any team playing them will be given a run for they’re money. And now they still compete with Philly. The Eastern Conference Semifinals should include a matchup between Philly and NY. NY winning 4-3. Then they will probably lose in the Conference Finals to Boston. The only way NY won’t make it to the Conference Semifinals is if Boston is 2nd or 3rd seed. Boston will make it to the NBA Finals. Although I am a Lakers fan, I want to Finals matchup be Lakers-Boston, with Lakers winning 4-2 or 4-3.

  50. Entric a.k.a Mr. NBA says:

    I hate to this and come off as bias, but do not forget about the knicks. I see a similar trend in newyork like we saw with miami in the first part of the season. It is harder to incorperate two high volume scorers like billups and anthony to a pretty established team (this season), than it is to through a whole bunch of quality role players on a good team (like denver). The thing about denver is this they are as good as they will ever be with this team because role players are quick fixes and you do not build teams or run plays for them. With Carmello and billups you need to find were they want the ball and how to not take looks away from my MVP candidate Amare Staudamire (yea I said it). My point is Miami finnally jelled and went on a ridiculous winning streak when the games were not even close. If I am chicago or boston I will fear them if they are on the same page. Unlike Miami new york can go inside the post with amare and anthony and then kill you with three’s. In other news people need to stop talking like the hawks will upsett the magic. I cannot remember a time when the hawks and joe johnson have not gotten blown out by a top four seed in the playoffs.

  51. OKCKD35 says:

    You Denver fans crack me up, let’s base an entire season and playoffs off of what? 15 games? You all say Perkins is nothing,, just wait. Why dont you attempt to look up some numbers, if KP can bring down Dwight howard’s scoring and rebounds i do not think Martin, Anders,or Nene will be much of a problem. For the record Serge Ibaka has been coming off the bench minus the last 12 games and he is # 2 in the league in number of blocked shots (only 5 behind Dwight Howard) your may think you have the advantage in guard play as well. Havent seen any nuggets fans even mention Thabo Sefolosha (Mr. Defense, Kobe Kryptonite) OKc # 5 offense and # 8 Defensie in the League. Denver # 1 offense (Carmelo anthony had much to do with this) and # 13 Defense. And the nice thing is we are # 8 in Defense and got much better with the Perkins Trade and moving Ibaka to the starting rotation. The Birdman will be shot down in Congo, and K-mart will be just that K-mart, the once potent scorer with a bad body, as for Nene, i like him, he is good, but he will be shut down by our big man rotation (perkins,ibaka, mohammed, Collison, aldrich.)

  52. jc says:

    ty lawson is gonna break kendrick perkins other ankle and home court dosent matter if ur gonna get swept by denver

  53. Blazer fan says:

    I am a Portland fan, but looking at the first 4, Portland has the only chance to advance over SAS or may be Mavs, all others will win over Portland. Looking at the schedule, Portland may end up not even making the playoffs or be the last team (8th seed), on the other hand they can move up to 5th seed. Portland has talent but after the trade they yet to bond, the hole team is the broken engine, they still haven’t figure out the rotation, day in and they out it is different and injuries just don’t let go. Changing line ups could be good think to experiment during regular games but in the playoff it has to be set, each roll has to be established and players have to know each other, I just don’t see it in Portland. Plus Portland has the only one consistent player (Aldrige) all others have to step up and be consistent for the remainder of the schedule and if they do make it than during playoffs.

    Portland has no chance over Lakers and almost no hope over Thunder.

  54. Mr. eleven says:

    This is for sure…

    OKC vs DEN is a 7 series match, whoever wins proves they are a dangerous 2nd rd. team

    ORL vs ATL is a 4/5 series match in favor of magic.

  55. Alex says:

    I have to agree with Steve Aschburner on this one. Dallas has been a team suceptible to first round defeats over the past few years. It started with that big upset to the eight seeded Golden State Warriors a few years ago, and since then, they’ve only climbed out of the first round once, before losing to the Nuggets in the semifinals. The Mavericks have a habit of losing in the first round, losing to the Warriors, Hornets and Spurs over the past few years.

    And while i’m not one to hang onto to the past, there are other factors. Obviously, losing Caron Butler, even if they have the talent to pick up his missed scoring, is still going to hurt them. He was the toughness, perimeter stopper of the team, in addition to his scoring. Also, this team tends to have trouble with some of the smaller, younger, quicker teams, like the Warriors of 07, like the Nuggets and Blazers.

    I also take one of Scott Howard-Coopers points about an injury riddled team sometimes slipping in the standings, and not playing to their potential. The Blazers have had yet another injury riddled reason, losing both of their centres. Camby for an extended period of time, Oden for the entire season. On top of that, they’ve lost their go to scorer over the past few years Brandon Roy, for quite some time. The fact that this team still sits in the 6th seed despite their injuries shows the adversity of this teams character, and yet another good coaching season for Nate McMillan. It also makes you wonder how good this team might actually be if they stayed healthy the full season, and everyone played to their potential. They now have 4 players who, when at full strength, can go for 20+ points on any given night, in Aldridge, Roy, Matthews & Wallace. Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Camby are all better then average role players. This team certainly has the depth, talent and growing confidence to make some noise come playoff time, and it could come at the expense of the unexpecting Mavs.

  56. vince says:

    BLAH2…YOU ALL TALK ABOUT THE HOW WEAK DENVER ..
    PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…CHECK THE GAMES AFTER MELO
    WENT TO THE KNICKS…PLEASE TRY TO SEE THE GAMES,…CMON

  57. vince says:

    HEY GUYS!! WHY DONT WE WAIT FOR APRIL 5 AND APRIL 8..
    wELL SEE HOW KENDRIK PERKINS DEFEND THE NEW NUGGETS…

    IVE BEEN LAUGHING ALL THE TIME SEEING COMMENTS HOW OKLAHOMA CAN
    OVERWHELM DENVER..LOL

  58. HellRider Dan says:

    OKC vs DEN is a great match up.. very comparitive teams. OKC young players and so is DEN as well. KD is a dangerous weapon. But OKC defend may have problem against DEN. DEN have alots of great shooters than OKC. So is hard to say though.. all i can say this is a great match for the 1st round.

    And this is my match up status comparison:

    Offensive players for DEN ; Harrington, Felton, JR Smith, Chandler, GArliniari (these are all great shooters)
    Defensives players for DEN ; Bird, Nene, Martin,

    Offensives OKC ; KD, Westbrook, Harden,
    Defensive OKC ; Perkins, Ibaka,

    DEN have the sizes and shooters than OKC. Unless KD on fire from long range. Is hard for OKC going inside the paints.
    And yeah i say DEN 60% OKC 40%

    For this seasons I’ve watch how Westbrook plays… recently he wanted to be the mega star…. im feeling he starting to be a balls hogs to showing off lately.. if he continue like this…. then i beleive OKC will be in trouble during playoff.

    • HellRider Dan says:

      Forgot to mention.. even though OKC brought in with Perkins’ trade. Perkins cant last long during the game. And he often having fouls trouble. their defensive size in OKC is still lack. Ibaka still not good enough against Nene, Martin or even Bird. OKC facing big problems for inside paints both ends.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        hmmm we have plenty of big guys now, yes we got perk and ibaka, what about nazr, nick and cole, we got plent of size and fouls to throw around, we will laugh watching your Bigs try and make a free throw, unfortunatley for Denver OKC is the #1 free throw shooting team in the NBA (% wise) that will play a large role in this series, i’d just foul Nene or anderson any time they have a chance to score and watch them clank free throws off the rim!

  59. got_watcha_want says:

    loud not load

  60. got_watcha_want says:

    MOST OF THESE BUTT_NUGGETs FANS FORGOT ABOUT HOME COURT ADVANTAGE AND how load the Ford Center got for the Laker series last year.

    RISE TOGETHER, OKC

    OKC-Denver series ends with OKC in 6. Denver gets props for being better than the sum of the whole. I watched them be the Spurs (without Duncan) last night and they look good, but not that good.

    I am a little scared of the Blazers though, but still think OKC has the advantage.

  61. KD#35Thunder says:

    I don’t see how the Thunder get upset by Nuggets or Portland. We have beat Portland every game this year we played them. With Roy and Aldrige. We beat them in Portland too. Denver is playing good, but people forget thier record against good teams. The fact is we might draw Portland because we play denver twice in april. Portland is injury prone and I don’t see us losing to either team.

    Kevin Durant will get his and so will Westbrook. Denver will be dissected at the pg position, because Westbrook plays D, he will take it to Ty Lawson and outsize him. He is to quick for Raymond. He doesn’t go under screens. Which Felton shows up makes a big difference. Portland is playing great, but Besides Aldrige, who will constantly provide big offense. Sef will lock up on Matthews. Roy may be able to give a little spark off the bench, but OKC is just too deep for Portland.

  62. jordan L says:

    The OKC Thunder better watch out if they face Denver or Portland! Becuz if they face Denver the Nuggets can run with the Thunder becuz they are young and they have a point guard (Ty Lawson) that loves to push the ball in transition. And I agree the OKC defense has taken a big step back even with Perkins. I’m no Thunder hater but I think this Perkins trade is overrated Perkins brings no offense and lately not good defense and rebounding. Also Perkins is not 7 ft he is 6’10 so I still think the Lakers r just too big for the Thunder to handle if they face in the WCF. Also Portland has a chance to upset Dallas and OKC because they matchup great with both of those teams. I don’t think they can upset the Lakers because the Lakers have beaten Portland every time they’ve played this season and they even beat them without Bynum one time! My opinion in possible upsets. UPSET 1:Boston(or Miami if the Knicks claim the 6th spot) vs NYK: if the Knicks figure out their problems and play defense in the 4th quarter they have the talent to upset whoever they face except the Bulls the cannot beat the Bulls because Chauncey Billups will get murdered by D-Rose also the Bulls are too big. UPSET 2: Spurs vs Grizzlies: They Grizzlies have blew out the Spurs this year and with the way the are playing they can beat anyone rite now just like how they went into Boston yesterday and beat the Celtics. UPSET 3: OKC vs Denver I already explained above why I think Denver can upset OKC. UPSET 4: Miami Heat VS Phillidelphia 76ers: Philly has arguably the best bench in the NBA and Miami has no bench and Philly has been playing crazy good as of late and Andre Igudola is a good tough defender that can slow down Lebron also he is just as athletic as Lebron so he can stay in front of him and not let Lebron dunk on him. I would say Atlanta could upset ORL but the Hawks are horrible this year and they just can’t win as of late.

  63. jc says:

    denver all day all durant can do is put up contested jumpers all day when the game is on the line besides okc hasent won in denver for like 5 years denver has the no.1 offense and okc’s defense is one of the worst in the league i know they got perkins but honestly can he really stop the fastest and deepest team in the nba????

  64. MJ says:

    i think okc thunder is better than dever nuggets
    because thunder become strogger team since they have got KP
    thunder has Blocka and KP under the rim, good deffensive player tabo sefolsha, and two unbelieveable players
    westbrook and KD. also thunder got young and good bench players like james harden

    • Chaz Anthony says:

      I entirely agree with you in the defensive standpoint for the Thunder. I also am an avid believer of the Thunder, I am behind them all of the way, but since they only have two STARTING scorers in Russ and KD I believe they will need another person in the starting lineup to score whether it be in KP or Thabo. All in all, I hope they get it sorted just in time for the playoffs, because quite honestly I see them making it to the semifinals at the very least.

  65. JONATHAN says:

    DEFENCE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS and lets not forget the leading scorer in the game OKC winns that

  66. Phil says:

    Really guys? Have none of you learned your lesson over these past few years? If you are going to choose a “good” team to be upset it has to be without any doubt the Dallas Mavericks! This team is a joke in the playoffs, all the while Dirk has shown us all that he is not a legitimate superstar in this league. I am still shocked, like I have been most of this season, when people honestly buy in to the Mavs. I mean I know you fellas in the media have short memorys but come on. Also as someone who actively roots for the Thunder (as long as they are not playing the Lakers) I’m offended that so many of you are choosing them to be upset but the Melo-less Nuggets. Once again you guys must be getting old because your memorys are fading. How many times in NBA history has a feel-good team like the Nugs really accomplished anything in the playoffs? Yes I know it’s great what they’ve done since losing Melo, but without a true star they stand no chance in going anywhere. Feel free to respond back and defend your opinions!

    • Dan says:

      The nuggets dont have a true superstar, but they have plenty of players who can step up to that status on any given night. JR smith is a darkhorse here because in the past he has played with his head in a place where the sun doesnt shine. But. All season long he has been consistent, played good D, and taken good shots. I could see JR taking the leap, because he is easily one of the top 15 most athletically talented/OFFERNSIVELY talented players in the NBA, he just needs more minutes and looks and to stay consistent. Westbrook can score well on Lawson cause of size, but if you saw the last nugget thunder game, lawson took westbrook to the hole on a few occasions and played well also. a look at match ups is easily favoring denver
      Ty Lawson-Russel Westbrook(westbrook)
      Raymond Felton-Eric Maynor(Felton)
      Aaron Afflalo-Thabo Sefoloshia(Aaron Afflalo)
      JR Smith-James Harden(JR Smith)
      Wilson Chandler-Kevin Durant(Durant)
      Kenyon Martin-Serge Ibaka(even both defensive players)
      Nene-Kendrick Perkins(Nene has better offense, perkins better defense)
      The starting five of each team matches up pretty well
      Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Nene
      Russel Westbook, Thabo Sefoloshia, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins

      But the bench is favoring denver with JR, Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington, Birdman, Felton
      the only thunder bench player who is actually a offensive threat is james harden….

      Anyways, love the nuggets, big thunder fan also, but i say nuggets in 6, stealing a game in OKC, and winning all at home at the Pepsi Center

      • melo who says:

        im a true nuggs fan know every thing about them but okc35 you have a true scorer in kd and rusell wastbrook but it takes alot more people to help you carry the load . and that is what denver has .and if harrington can produce this is denver in 6.

  67. ThePelican says:

    If theres NYK Heat get on the Knicks, shoot out straight away and defs back NYK to get up!

  68. adlsdfl says:

    I don’t know why people keep dissing the mavs. I think they have a legitimate chace at winning it all. The’ll get it together in the playoffs. Caron Butler is coming back.

    • jordan L says:

      Caron Butler ain’t comin’ back wat r u talking about!? If he does he’ll be far from 100% and if the make it to the second round he’ll have to guard Kobe and someone who is not 100% can’t guard Kobe actually no one in this league can guard Kobe.

      • cj2010 says:

        Shawn will guard Kobe, it will help if he comes back, nobody is worried about Kobe, just like he gets his shots, Dirk gets his. Team sport remember!!!

  69. Hungry Sloth says:

    Watch out, Spurs! The Memphis Grizzlies are ready to take you on for a split season series!

  70. ROD'S BLOG says:

    Serge Ibaka vs Lebron James
    Category 1 – Defense
    Man to Man – Serge has deceptive strength and paint presence. Lebron is weak at times and his ego means he gives up on plays.
    Winner: by sheer determination, Ibaka
    Blocks – Serge’s rejections are made through a good eye for the game and anticipation. Lebron gets limited chase down blocks now that the league is aware of them.
    Winner: Ibaka
    Rebounding – Serge is a designated rebounder (rebounds out of necessity, part of paint presence). Lebron is forever seeking triple-doubles.
    Winner: Ibaka
    Transition Defence to Offence – Ibaka rebounds and dishes. Lebron rebounds and drives.
    Winner: Lebron

    So for defence the result of Ibaka vs James is:
    Overall Winner: Serge Ibaka

    Stay tuned for next week’s Offensive analysis and comparison of Ibaka vs Lebron.

  71. Jude says:

    And also, Wade and Lebron play intense basketball in the playoffs. Lebron has a lower average in points last playoffs compared to the regular season (29.7 and 29.1 respectively) but he hustles for rebounds (8.6 to 9.3), steals (1.6 to 1.7) and blocks (1.0 to 1.8). He might have struggled on the field (0.503 to 0.502), but his 3-pt attempts are quality shots. Wade, on the other hand, improves in all but steals in his season-playoff stats [stats as of 2009-10 season].

  72. Tonia says:

    Lmaoooooo are you kidding me ? OKC>>>>>>>>DENVER ??!?!?!?! GET OUT !

    I dont think people have been seeing how good DEN has been playing as of late. And you want to say OKC has more defense ?
    You buggin HARD. Thats what the NEW Nuggets is known for, putting the D in Denver.
    I can def seei it going to a 7 game series, but DEN has a higher chance of winjning that OKC. Just saying.
    && I think Portland will be more of a upset then OKC. I still think DEN can beat them both out though

  73. coffee bryant says:

    nyk were dropping in standing!
    NYK vs BOS = knicks will probably upset the celtics
    NYK vs HEAT = first round exit by the knicks

  74. Mr B says:

    When some of you put the label ‘great’ on OKC you have to wonder why. What have they done? Same with Miami. Proof it on the court. When you win the title, now you can be called a great team. That is like saying Bruce Lee can beat Chuck Norris. Only in your dreams and in the movies. Bruce was a movie star, while Chuck did it in real live. It comes back to tell many how many trophy’s did Bruce win? Right, none. How many for Chuck, enough to fill 5 rooms. That is why the Lakers haters live in a fog, shrouded by their hate for Kobe and the Lakers. They have the titles and all your reason to put that down will only impress the 10y old. So, until Miami and OKC have proven that they are great by winning it all, they are just an average team in my book. Talk is cheap guys, but do it on the court in a seven game series is like all the coaches have been saying. That is a different beast altogether. Only the best will survive. I present to you the Lakers, the Chuck Norris off basketball.

  75. nbafan says:

    watch out everyone the bulls are the shiz this year….heat will struggle with any team with a descent point guard..knicks out early and watch out for the nuggets they have a great system atm and everyone is putting in not relying on one or two players…portland dangerous aswell….who would have liked to seen the clippers in the post season the highlights peoples

  76. Jude says:

    I would say: if Chicago tramples down to second, the Knicks might have a slight chance of doing a MAJOR upset this postseason.

  77. DENVER!!!! says:

    OKC is a better team
    but Denver can BEAT OKC
    better watch out

  78. Manh says:

    Wow are you out of your minds?!?!

    If I remember correctly the Hawks got swept last year by the Magic? I thought these were opinions of professional writers and not Fans. Sekou *winkwink

    This Hawks Team had absolutely no answer last year against Dwight and still don’t have one this year. I’m not a Magic fan but this is ridiculous.

  79. Chris says:

    Look at Portland’s remaining schedule. They will pay for their recent easier match-ups. Time Local TV Nat TV Radio
    Fri 25 vs San Antonio [BUY TICKET] 7:00pm KGWHD
    Sun 27 @ Oklahoma City 5:00pm KGWHD
    Mon 28 @ San Antonio 5:30pm CSNNWHD
    Wed 30 @ New Orleans 5:00pm CSNNWHD
    April Opponent Time Local TV Nat TV Radio
    Fri 01 vs Oklahoma City [BUY TICKET] 7:00pm CSNNWHD
    Sun 03 vs Dallas [BUY TICKET] 6:00pm CSNNWHD
    Tue 05 vs Golden State [BUY TICKET] 7:00pm CSNNWHD
    Thu 07 @ Utah 7:30pm
    Fri 08 vs LA Lakers [BUY TICKET] 7:00pm KGWHD
    Tue 12 vs Memphis [BUY TICKET] 7:00pm CSNNWHD
    Wed 13 @ Golden State 7:30pm CSNNWHD

  80. Jack B says:

    Hold on, OKC showed last season in the first round that they can put up a fight, They took the lakers and battled them making it an unexpected 4-2 series. THIS season they have had a great record with the improvement of Westbrook, Harden and they have more toughness in the middle. The only big loss OKC have suffered in my mind is losing Jeff Green. There will not be an upset.

  81. 1amlegend says:

    Denver-OKC is very interesting, I think the Nuggets could make a possible upset against the Thunder. They good at offense since they always share the ball and most of them are very good scorers and facilitators, and with Chandler, Martin, Afflalo, their defense is strong both at the inside and the outside. I just hope no one in them would get injured.

  82. Legend23 says:

    A Denver – OKC first round matchup would be very interesting. Each team is playing very well, especially Denver, since they were expected to have a meltdown after Melo left. Each team had their own strengths, OKC with KD, Westbrook, and its enhanced frontline with Ibaka and Perkins. Denver, on the other hand, have K. Martin, Nene, Birdman for its strong frontcourt, and George Karl. However, it would just boil down to two things, Clutch and Playoffs pressure. OKC would have KD and Westbrook to fully lead them, esp. in those important moments where the clock is ticking down.Denver would need to identify fully the new alpha male in their team, the one to rely upon during those important moments. Until that player is fully established, I will pick OKC in this matchup.

    I still think that the Heat are the most susceptible to a playoff upset. Players win games, but Teams win championships

  83. Heat2k3 says:

    My Playoff PIcture:
    1st round:

    WEST

    1. S.A. vs. N.O.H. = N.O.H. for sure, if Duncan’s SUPER unhealthy!
    2. L.A. vs. MEM = L.A. for sure, no Rudy Gay!
    3. MAVS vs. POR = Another upset for the MAVS, POR’s gonna own them unless Chandler can match-up!!!
    4. O.K.C. vs. DEN = An intriguing Match-Up!! Gallinari vs. Durant!!! or Westbrook vs. Lawson and Felton!!!

    EAST

    1. BULLS vs. PACERS = Might be an upset, nahhhh!! What am i saying, D-ROSE will own them!!!
    2. CELTICS vs. NYK = The best upset that there will/might be!! Unless NYK is gonna bring their problems to the playoffs!!!
    3. HEAT vs. PHI = Meh, this series is a no-brainer, OR IS IT???
    4. MAGIC vs. ATL = Just like the 4 and 5 of the WEST, of course an automatic win for the Magic, but ATL can change the series for sure!!! Or NOT!!!

    Just OPINIONs!!! Remember the ball is round, you’ll never know what might happen!!!

  84. doctor 'k' says:

    all you people hatin on miami look what lebron did by himself in cleavlend I know he didnt win SH.T but wade did and they had similar scenarios and know put wade and bron together add bosh they will be hell i know they didnt have a great year but in the playoffs wade and bron are business so watch at NBA

  85. dylan says:

    lakers win whole playoffs. kobes a beast

  86. amore says:

    what? sixers over heat? you haters gotta be kidding me…

  87. eepss1 says:

    new orleans for dark horse in the west. when healthy and cp3 playing like the old skool cp3 this team is gna make some noise + they shored up thier glaring weakness in backup big men by acquiring underrated carl landry

  88. NBA fan says:

    The team that can really pull the upset is when the New York Knicks face the Miami Heat…

  89. adrijan says:

    I’m a celtics fan and i’m seeing my favourite team struggling a lot.So I think the celtics will be out early I dislike their game more and more I see them.I mean Perkins was good but why were they more succesful when he was out(injured) than now that he is in OKC?

  90. 4trackdemo says:

    I agree 5th beating 4th is not an upset.

  91. Legacy says:

    For me not being bayous to my home team everybody knows if u play Portland every year your gona have a tough time in the 1st round especially with our new acquisition of Gerlad Wallace that just gave us more depth and flexibility. Now this year as well we have more options unlike last year we had to always relay also on B-Roy but now he has lesser pressure L.A. is a stud then u got Wallace and the gang. Dallas or whoever the Blazers will get will get will give them a good fight.

    For the other teams I could see that might be able to pull of an upset is the Nuggets with their game even better without Melo they could surprise the Thunder. It will be a good series.

    In the East the Hawks have a good chance its a toss up between Orlando and Atlanta it can go either way both teams are good.

    My dark horse pick will be the Knicks if the Knicks that beat Miami the other week show up in the Playoffs then fo sho they gona beat whoever they play but if the present team that is playing there is no chance.

  92. Viper139 says:

    For sure Dallas has to prove something – no matter who they face. But they have been far away from full strength in either of those 4 losses you mentioned. First Chandler was not available, then Peja, then Marion, …. ! If healthy they would not have lost most of those games. But that is the important thing – stay healthy – not just for the Mavs – for all Playoff Teams.
    You saw what happend to SA last night without Duncan.

    DALLAS – I believe in you :)

    An upset will most likely happen when on of the key peaces are missing.

  93. BeReal says:

    Are you guys kidding me ? Denver will smash OKC.. in 6 games i say .. U worry bout Westbrook speed ? I say Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton .. U worry bout size and agility of Ibaka and Perkins ? I say Kenyon Martin and Nene .. U worry bout who will stop Durant ? I say Danilo Galinari..man hes a beast .. he is faster and stronger than Durant..maybe not a good shooter as Durant but that will do it and i say he will limit KD to 25 pts throught the series .. remmember what i said .. TEAMWORK WINS CHAMPIONSHIP

    • BeReal says:

      i also forgot to mention that OKC will be playing againts the team who is 3rd defensive team in the league after Melo leaving..also the is one tough bench to play against..u got JR , Birdman , Chandler ,Felton and Harrington of the bench .. i mean just be real and see the situation how it is

      • OKCKD35 says:

        be real, take your own screen name to heart and “be real” Denver in 6? that is hilarious. first off OKC very rarely gets “smashed” Let alone to a team that is not nearly as good. but i get it, i root for the rams in football and i think their players are good, so i understand, but i also dont expect the rams to reach the super bowl either, be “real”isitc man

    • OKCThugs says:

      but what u’ve done is list who’ll match up on who… sooooo it doesn’t mean one side will “smash” the other team
      ur logic works for both teams

    • KD#35Thunder says:

      Lmao… Nene plays weak against good low post big man. K- Mart and Ibaka is even K-mart will be in foul trouble just off the mere fact that he is a hack. Thats they way he intimidates players, but that won’t work against Perk or Ibaka. Westbrook is too big for Ty Lawson. Westbrook is too quick for Felton. Westbrook plays better D than both of them. Advantage Westbrook. Kevin Durant will have trouble with Chandler, but he will absolutely Destroy Galo.

  94. Rob says:

    With all the flameouts Dallas have had in recent years, I don’t think they’re going out early this year. You can bet that while they’re going to go all out every game, they’ve got a plan on how to compete with any team in the playoffs. OKC could be vulnerable if they believe that the result last year against the Lakers automatically means they’ll go deeper. I agree with Fran, is it really an upset if 4 defeats 5? Particularly if they’re split by less than a game?

  95. watcher says:

    Dallas can’t really be considered an upset when you look at their odd record in the past 10 years of often winning when they’re the lower seed and losing when they’re the higher seed. Memphis would be happy to finally get just one playoff game v the Spurs as will indiana in getting two home games. I can’t really see one in the West but think New York (if the penny drops) or Philly are both up for an upset. Boston and Miami both look vunerable at times, Miami with depth and the Celts starting to look a little fatigued.

  96. Steven says:

    Well, the nuggets just beat the spurs. It’s only one game in the regular season but really, who saw that coming? I see no reason to believe they couldn’t upset. Also, this talk about the Hawks beating the Magic is ridiculous.

  97. OKCThugs says:

    the Nugget’s has the deepest roster in my opinion, and since melo has left i really think that JR has steped up and made big buckets over the last 10 games. With that being said, i always found that JR is a streaky shooter, he can win the game for you, or he can lose the game for you. Also, me and my frien realised that Denver cannot keep a lead of more than 10 pts… they just can’t.
    okc’s defence is the only thing that is leaving a doubt in people’s mind right now. compared to the defence we showed in late last season and in the playoffs, people would say our defence downgraded. but it’s not like the defence is horrible, just not AS good as we’ve proven before. stay healthy and we can win potentially the whole thing

    • docula says:

      The Nugz can’t keep a lead of more than ten? Seriously? We just set a record for 30+ point wins at home in a month! True, we couldn’t keep a lead with Marshmelo, but that’s because we didn’t play defense. Have you seen our defense? Check out the end of the Spurs game. Nobody seems to be talking about K-Mart… he dominates anybody he plays on D, whether they be a guard or a center! We will have Afflalo on Westbrook and K-Mart/Bird/Chandler teaming up on KD. Domination! The only reason KD dropped so many on us on Christmas was…ahem…. CARMELO ANTHONY. When you have even one player on the court who doesn’t play defense, it makes it so much easier to score all over the court. Watch the Nugz.
      We lost last second in overtime to Portland, lost a close game to the Clippers without Gallo or Afflalo, lost on a ‘no-call’ goaltend by Howard against the Magic, and a close second night of a back to back against the Heat.
      People are trying to write off the game against the Spurs because Duncan was out. Guess what? Afflalo, who is probably our best player right now (debatable), was out also! Oh, and we beat the Celtics.
      Bottom line is this: KD and Westbrook will score, but that’s it for OKC. Denver is averaging 8 players with 10+ PPG since the trade. When we have Ty and Ray-Ray on the court together, we outscore our opponents by 20 points per 100 possesions. They will not be able to stop us.
      I know I am a homer, but check out the Hollinger rankings on ESPN… Nugz are number two based on statistics alone. I like the Thunder but D-Town (the real one) is going places this season.

  98. LIbro Ni James says:

    HEAT 2011 champions !

  99. Thunder over Nuggets says:

    Sorry Nugget lovers but running and gunning doesn’t beat solid defense. With the additions of K-Perk and Nazi, along with Serge and Collison, the Nuggets are going to have to hit a lot of threes because they will get little in the paint. Plus the Thunder can run toe to toe with the Nuggets. The Nuggets couldn’t even beat the Heat recently. Don’t forget the new-look Thunder held the Heat to 85 points as they crushed them. Bring it Nuggets.

  100. Phillyfan says:

    everyone is seriously doubting the sixers, yes we’ve had trouble before against the heat but that was early when we sucked. we have good D in brand against bosh, iggy agaisnt wade or lebron, opposing players avg. 10 points per game against iggy.

    The sixers beat the celtis recently, almost beat okc who got a lucky shot to go to overtime. Bibby plays no D whatsoever and Jrue holiday wil be having a field day against him

    • OKCKD35 says:

      the sixers almost beat the thunder after we traded away green and krstic and did not have kendrick perkins, and still no nate robinson, good job, you almost won again a team who was without 2 starters lol, and still lost to the Durantula!

  101. josh swenson says:

    i like the nuggets. great series. thunder vs nuggets goin to game 7 hopefully nuggets

  102. Lovable says:

    where is the love for the bulls in the comments? they can beat anyone and are in 1st place in teh eastern conference? the heat are an emotion filled team, if they lose game 1 in the 2nd round to boston or my bulls they will lose because of their streaky record. Back to topic, in the western conference, the thunder are not going to be upset by anyone in the 1st round, KD wont allow it, plus westbrook is rediculous anyways, i can guarrantee it, Portland is bound to upset anyone except the lakers. What is this crap? Denver vs Thunder??? well its interesting, but the thunder will win, denver in the long run will run out of fuel, although i do like their team chemistry

  103. Watch out OKC says:

    Denver is playing team ball. And when Denver starts to play team ball they are one of the top 3 teams in the league. Who is going to stop Kevin Durant, well last time I checked this is a team game, and the Nuggets team is better than the Thunders is. Denver will win this series in 6 regardless of homecourt.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      you should check again and see who has a better record, better division record, and 2 all-stars, then tell me who has the better team

  104. To alex.

    whats the heck thunder vs bulls. The lakers are going the finals and win if they do not play the heat. i hate the heat but lakers have big trouble with the heat

  105. idontgiveA says:

    Bulls vs Lakers in the Finals

    Similar records (as of right now). The Bulls have a better record at home, Lakers have a better road record. Bulls are a better defensive team, Lakers better offensive. This will be a very exciting series.

    Prediction:
    Chicago Bulls – 2011 Champions

  106. Nollo says:

    Hah ok~ You read it right here, No way Thunder are gonna be upset in the first round. I foresee a Dwayne Wade like performance out of Russel Westbrook the entire playoffs, If he gets too the Western Conference Finals he is gonna outshine Durant.

  107. Sunsman says:

    @ Anton: Christmas day means nothing in this conversation. Denver has been re-invented and now Chandler will be guarding KD not Melo, a serious upgrade for Denver. Nene is skilled, They have speed at the guards, and as long as JR is in the right frame of mind, Denver can win any game. They are well coached and run efficiently on the court playing team ball (rather than Superstar isolation ball).

    Too often the Superstar tries to do too much and the team fails (See Nash vs LA in 3OT) – Denver with it’s smart coach and smart team defence will trap opponents into that pattern – watch all those long jumpers from KD.

    • Chaz Anthony says:

      A long jumper from KD doesnt mean anything negative if he hits them, as he often does. It’s still two points in the end, and the name of the game is scoring. Besides no one can guard Russ in the point and if a 2 guard does, who’s gonna guard James? Riddle me that

  108. pishka says:

    Perkins doesn’t make a factor at all for the nuggets he cant guard nene and afflalo will be guarding kevin so its all good plus chandler can guard him the only problem will be westbrook cause lawson and felton are small but whoever plays sg will probably move over and guard him. This will be the best playoff matchup if okc doesn’t move to 3rd and i don’t see how it would be an upset the nuggets are good its not like they suck

  109. Rick says:

    I honestly don’t beileve memphis will be the 8 seed, but the most likely upset will be the spurs against the likely 8 seed, NO’s. NO’s matches up well against SA. Paul can keep up parker, an unhealthy duncan will have west to deal with, and okafor can do a lot of damage against an old McDyess and Blair. The other two in my mind are Dallas losing to Portland, since Portland has a bit more depth than Dallas, and maybe a shock, but whoever plays Boston, which I say will be Philly. Look, Boston is old. Rondo is the one young guy starting, even kristic is getting there. Philly can play faster, stronger, they are on fire atm. I like them in that matchup as another shocker. These playoffs are looking too upset bound to be locked into 4 teams in each conference. It’s too easy.

  110. Smelo SUCKS says:

    Ha Qutiness, I say the NUGGETS ARE GONNA ROLL IN THE FIRST ROUND, Raymonds gonna ROCK the house.

  111. Qutiness says:

    Go CAVS…!!!

  112. watchdog says:

    I’d say sixers / pacers over the bulls.

  113. Realist says:

    *Hand to face* People who think Miami will lose in the first round have got to be kidding me…there are only 3 serious teams in the East in Boston, Miami, and, to a lesser extent, Chicago (only reason I say that is because the Bulls are still too young, it’s just not their time yet). I don’t even need to explain this, I mean come on, Philly over Miami??? LOL.

    Anyways, whoever gets Portland and Denver are the most likely to be upset in either conference. I can see either, or possibly both teams, advancing to the second round. They are most certainly the two teams to watch come playoff time.

  114. xwkkx says:

    nick collison,nazr muhhamad,KP, and iblocka will make sure it will be hard for denver

  115. Alex says:

    OKC? Pleaseee…
    Nuggets have no closer, OKC has TWO in Durant and Westbrook.
    Nuggets are just having that “confidence surge.” They will bottom out.

    My bet would be whoever plays Portland. After everything they have been through, it’s amazing.
    If Memphis had hopes of getting Rudy back, they would be a candidate to, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. They will put up a fight though.

    As far as the East, probably not.
    The Sixers have played very well, but they just don’t have the depth.
    Maybe the Knicks will shock the world, but they ain’t there yet.

    Although, I can see Dallas or Miami choking.
    Though, I’m sure the Heat will do whatever they can to at least make it out the first round, you can count on that.
    They are not going to let the world ridicule them like that…

    I’m looking forward to a Thunder v Bulls Finals!

    • Symokoto says:

      thunder v bulls would be amazing. much much more interesting that celtics v lakers.

      • MigRig says:

        thunder bulls, would love that. sixers actually have got a pretty good bench.. young, williams, speights, turner are all extremely dangerous players. they carried them over the hawks the other day

  116. marcus says:

    Has Fran Blinebury been watching the Thunder lately? What does he mean the Thunder have taken a step back on defense? They have aquired Perkins and Ibaka has been moved to PF.

  117. Kdbe@st$$$ says:

    Are u kidding me? DEN>OKC? No way! Thunder now got defense with adding perkins along with air congo. And the nuggets dont got anyone to stop Kd or Russ. Kd is just too good of a scorer for denver, afflalo cant guard kD cuz of his length. And russ is way too quick and explosive off the dribble and is a great finisher. He also got some mid-range game in his arsenal.

  118. hello says:

    i think celts win

  119. celtic says:

    if the knicks play the heat in the first round, thats my pick for a possible upset. you’re an idiot if you deny the knicks’s ability to play legitimate basketball. with lebron’s inability during the play offs, bosh’s lack of true play off experience, and a bench thats insufficient in the long run, the knicks really have a good chance at upsetting them. the miami big three will be exhausted come play off time and they dont have strong enough back ups. now sure, the knicks have yet to prove their consistent defense and they don’t have a complete bench, but they have proven themselves against miami. stoudemire will be hard for them to guard, even with bosh. melo has been superior in most match ups against lebron, and chauncey has more play off experience/success than anyone on miami except d-wade. the NYK big 3 really could upset the MIA big 3. you cant question that.

    • josh swenson says:

      the knicks and heat are almost the same. 2 superstars and 1 star. billups and bosh being the starts instead of superstars but anyway yeah they both have a terrible bench in my opinion. NYK slight bench advantage and thye both strugled early with new aquisitions. the knicks could advance in the 2nd round. but at the moment just not sure

  120. Portland fan says:

    I think anyone taking on Portland could be in for a tough time. Also like to thing Memphis will go one further but its not looking likely.

    • doctor 'k' says:

      iam a heat fan iam from miami but POR got a great team ALDRIGE MILLER ROY WALLACE MATTHEWS BATUM CAMBY if roy didnt bust his knees at the begining of the year they probably will be the 4th seed any way fell bad for whoever plays em first luckily the heat dont got to face em.

  121. Manny says:

    I really think that Miami will have a hard time in the 1st round. Don’t get me wrong, their “big three” or “big two” are great players together on the court, but you have to admit they are just one of the worst teams when it comes to having pressure. I mean sure OKC is the same but really, at least they have 2 good shooters (Westbrook and Durant) who can turn things around along with Perkin’s defense in the last minute.Heat may have a good defense but they don’t have a single good shooter. Wade and Lebron are scorers, not shooters. They just choke too much when being relied on.

    • Pad says:

      Don’t get me wrong, but remember whole games under pressure. I mean Chicago and Boston have been losses, which shouldn’t happen, but as long as Wade isn’t guarding Rose and the refs don’t make calls on Rondo for fouling James all the time it will stay like that. But after this 5 game skid, coming out with a huge win over the Lakers and an even more impressive win over the Spurs (Uh, 60 points turnaround, remember?) I think the Heat are capable of doing everything. From First-Round Dropout up to winning a ring (although that would include a healthy Haslem, a Jones with more minutes and a higher percentage of Mr. Miller).

  122. Anton says:

    OKC has defence issues? Christmas day KD shot 14-20 on his way to 44 pts over the Nuggets.

    The Nuggets are the team that will need to improve their defence if they want to win

    • josh swenson says:

      um dude they have improved thier defense A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!! im not saying the nuggets will beat the thunder in the play offs but they could. that will definetely be the best series in the entire play-offs i am a nuggets fan. to me they have been playing a lot better since the trade and right now i cant decide who will win the series but i garentee it will be a great one

    • GFunke says:

      I’m glad people like this exist because they fail to see the new nugs. They are stuck on the nugs of the past that failed to play D and relied on Melo and offense only. The fact of the matter is the nugs are now playing TEAM defense and they have 10 players that could be legitimate starters on any NBA team. The OKC vs. DEN match-up will be the most interesting match-up of the playoffs, which it should be as it is the 4-5 match-up. However, I could see either team making a run in the playoffs. WATCH OUT FOR HOME COURT ADVANTAGE PLAYING A KEY ROLE.

  123. arnel says:

    We may likely see an upset in the West, since the East’s Top 4 will likely be playing against .500 or below teams. OKC and Denver is really an even match-up. Dallas vs Portland may stretch out to game 6 but with Dirk and Kidd to lead the Mav, the Blazers will likely chalk this play-off experience as a momentum for the next season.
    The Heat may lose the 1st round only if they will be bracketed against NY, since none of the other 5-8 playoff contenders have the talent to shake the Heat in a 7 game series.

    The real debate here is which teams will go to the conference finals?

  124. awesomeman says:

    I sure hope Dallas wont get upset.

  125. Johnathen Davis-Green says:

    The guy who wrote the piece about the Hawks possibly being able to beat the Magic obviously is unaware of how horrible the Hawks have been playing lately. The Hawks are currently the worst team out of all the current playoff-contending teams. The Magic are going to do nothing less than beat the breaks off the Hawks in the first round. You Mr. Howard-Cooper deserve to lose your job for that one!

  126. Mak says:

    Miami being upset will be great news for basketball

    Horrible news for Super stars

  127. DeAndre says:

    If the Nuggets draw OKC in the 1st round and it looks like that will happen, im taking the Nuggets! Nuggets are deep at every spot and has a ton of speed.

    If Dallas draws Portland, im taking Portland, Dallas is known for meltdowns. I just don’t believe in the Mavs.

  128. 80s90sBaller says:

    Everybody is sleeping on OKC, talking about the big 3, the defending champs, the spurs and how well the nuggets are playing!?

    A Big 3 is not better than a Solid 5 plus a solid bench,
    OKC almost took the champs to 7 games in the playoffs and if it weren’t for a lucky last second put back, who knows what would have happened,
    The spurs are now without duncan, and they may be undersized compared to Perk, Iblocka, Mohammed & co.
    The nuggets are playing good because they are now free, the ball is free, and they are finally playing as a team but they aren’t good enough to beat OKC. They can’t stop both Westbrook AND Durant (and Harden off the bench), especially all at the same time.. defensively OKC still has the advantage with Sefalosha, Perk, iBLOCKa, Mohammed, Collison and even Durant at 6’11”.

    Bottom-Line: OKC may be a young team but they play like a veteran team, they have high flying stars, excellent role players and defensive minded plays. Don’t sleep on OKC cuz you might CKOs left and right. Also with their excellent free throw percentage (like pros should have) they have an advantage down the stretch. OT? Game 6 or 7? They have the advantage with their young legs. If you doubt that look at their free throw pct. and their record in OT Games this year and compare it to your team and see who has the advantage.

    OKC is the closest I’ve seen to the great teams of the 80s and 90s.

    • DNugs5 says:

      Umm youre wrong on the Thunder Roster.
      Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, Nene, Kenyon Martin, Aaron Affalo… Thats just the starters.

      Everyone Under This Is A Bench Player: (HA)

      Chris “Birdman” Andersen (6’11”), Raymond Felton (Will gaurd R.Westbrook), Gary Forbes (rookie), TImofey Mozgov (Rookie 7’1″), Kosta Koufos (7 foot player), Al Harrington (as good as james harden)

      Danilo Gallinari (6’10) can gaurd KD but KD cant gaurd him and shoots just as good as KD.

      Oh yeah i forgot about our best bench player JR Smith. (Second Best shooter in this series behind KD)

      Now you cant tell me Denver has no size or not as good as OKC. They can counter everything that Thunder has.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Quote of the day. “Danilo Gallinari (6’10) can gaurd KD but KD cant gaurd him and shoots just as good as KD.” You would think if Gallinari was as good as KD he would avrage more than 15.9 per game, WOW KD has almost double that average. How can you compare someone who has never averaged above 16 pts per game to someone who averages 26 pts per game in his career. and really who the hell is Gary Forbes ,TImofey Mozgov,Kosta Koufos ? Now you are just reaching for something, i do not know what. And JR Smith come on, get over him. Do you realize he has a mere pedestrian 12 point per game average. i mean come on serge ibaka scores 3 less per game and he is our defensive stopper. Dream denver Dream, the honeymoon is almost over

      • 80s90sBaller says:

        @DNugs5

        Which statement is wrong?

        I agree with what you said about JR Smith though, HE is the wildcard, and I said that somewhere else earlier as well. The problem is how much will Karl go to him? Will he get the opportunities? I used to watch Denver a lot and I am a fan too especially without Melo and I knew they would play better without him. The problem is is that they are just going with the flow right now with no true identity, which could either be good or bad in a 7 game series.

        Anybody “can guard” pretty much anybody. The question is can someone “stop” KD? If someone can, why is he the league’s scoring leader? Even though every single basketball player out on the court knows he is the scoring leader and that he is going to try to score,.. guess what still happens? Same goes for Westbrook, all anybody can do with him is hope they aren’t hot, but that rarely happens at the same time. That’s just those 2 players, and much like the nuggets they have lots of players that are ready to contribute.

        I also didn’t say that OKC was taller, I said they have very defensive minded bigs. I agree that Birdman and Kmart are defensive minded as well but now that ibaka is at forward you have to admit, 4 to 5 blocks per game since the change is impressive and with Perk they are a tough interior. That is my point.

        I think OKC is a sleeper that is being underestimated, that is what I’m saying, and I understand that you are saying the Nuggets will upset them, noted.

        They are both great teams and may the best team win! OK? C? =D

  129. Kobebryantready says:

    i see lakers and the bulls in the finals

  130. Aldrin Tan says:

    Biggest upset will be Miami. PERIOD

    • MV3 says:

      I’ve watched all the Heat v Sixers games this year and if you think the sixers can win more then 2 games you are really navie or you should really stop hating. I agree whoever gets portland will be the most probable upset

  131. OKCKD35 says:

    maybe i am a little biased being an OKC fan, i just dont see Nene or birdman doing much against the interior D of OKC, yes we got KP and Air Congo, but we also have the role players in place, Nazr and Collison are real tough down low. Just wait, once the lineup of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Ibaka, and Perkins are on the floor together its good night! And there are only a select few i would put in the same speed category as westbrook and that would be D-Rose, and Rajon Rondo, thats about it

    • jj says:

      DUDE EVERYONE IS IN DANGER AGAINST PORTLAND

    • Gus says:

      @OKCKD35 – Dude you better watch the Nuggets more often…Ty Lawson is as fast as those guys for sure, plus he is stronger than Rondo, and Westbrook….

  132. Devin says:

    Can anybody imagine the Grizzlies upsetting the Spurs? I know this might be a long shot for them, but how awesome would that be? The Grizzlies have never won a playoff game, let alone a playoff series, in the franchise’s 16 year history. I really hope they can turn some heads upside down and make this a series, just like the Bulls-Celtics series back in 2009.

    • Heath says:

      If they had rudy gay the griz could beat anyone, sucks that he is out. I love the hang time griz but with no rudy i don’t see them beating the spurs. Too much poise, too much experience in bog moments with or with out duncan (I mean apart from tony allen and shane batier has anyone else in memphis seen serious plyoff action?)

  133. Kingsfan says:

    What an intersting topic. I agree with a lot of the analysts in that who ever draws Portland could be in trouble. But looking at the current top 4 of both conferences, I think Dallas and Miami are the most likely to be upset. Granted Dallas has had a great year and the huge addition of Chandler has actually made them play some defense, I still think if they get Denver or Portland they are in trouble. Now Miami is just a gut feeling. I’m not a Miami hater. I’m realistic. The Heat have the most talent in 3 players that I can personally remember. However, it’s a team game. Their role players don’t know their roles. Their coach doesn’t have the reigns on this 3 headed dragon yet. If Magloire and Jones get some more minutes, I think they will have a better chance.

    But to sum it all up, the only real threat for an upset is who ever draws Portland. The rest is speculation.

    • prix' says:

      totally agree..for the heat haters sometimes the best defense to win games is the best ofense…when you have a 3 headed monster in Miami thats very hard to match-up…Bulls-Miami and OKC-Mavs in the finals…Lakers-Boston wait for another ten years

      • seph says:

        Love it. Mavs in the finals. I dont think mavs will get upset this time. Watch out for the surprise. Mav will be in the finals.

      • Gary says:

        That’s the west matchup I’m hoping for. More exciting than seeing a bunch of Lakers flopping to draw calls all series. And who wouldn’t want to see Roe(Rose) vs Wade?

      • OKCKD35 says:

        RATHER SEE ROSE VS WESTBROOK, MUCH BETTER THAN ROSE VS WADE. OKC BALLIN!!!!!!

  134. KIngKobra2 says:

    Zardoz keep dreaming and go get a life. Also HeatH8r is the dumbest heat fan an in over 6 years. Really sixers in 7 games against the heat. They will get eliminated 4-1. The heat i think are ready for celts and bulls because for some reasons like they can control the late game situation FINALLY! Also they can defend at score with the two of three best players in D3-Wade and LBJ6. I have trust in my heat. I AM NOT SYIN THEY WILL WIN THE FINALS IF THEY GET THERE. GOOD LUCK HEAT! PIECE!

    • jamie says:

      were you a heat fan last year?

      • Heat2k3 says:

        Been a wade fan since garnett’s era was at halt, and joined the wagon when shaq came and still a fan since then, and i think this KingKobra2 guy just joined them heat when LeBron came, hahahahaha!

        And also whoever draws PORTLAND and NYK would likely be an UPSET!!!!!

    • sixersfan21 says:

      man come on atlanta is blowing themselves right now they wil drop to 6 and play the heat the sixers will play orlando in the first round

  135. HeatH8r says:

    I’d say the Blazers over the Mavericks, and then I think the Sixers will take Miami to seven games. The question then will be: which team has the depth to make that big push and clinch that decisive final victory? It doesn’t matter who wins that, because whoever wins Game 7 in that series is going to be eliminated in the conference semifinals by the winner of the Boston-New York series.

  136. Zardoz Brumley says:

    I’m gonna say sixers over the heat, not likley but i just wanna see the heat loose in the first round

    • Los says:

      lol Zardoz….my thoughts exactly…it would be nice to see the heat out in the first round, that way lechoke and d-“cry me a river” wade can sit at the mics and say “america is happy now, seeing that the Heat have lost in the first round”….lol

      • Carl Johnson says:

        “america is happy now, seeing that the Heat have lost in the first round”

        America, don’t you mean the world? : )

      • Srt-4 says:

        Sorry to disappoint you Carl, buddy….but nobody in the world really cares about NBA….People watch football, aka “soccer”. If they watch basketball, they watch their own leagues, not any American league…Trust me, I know this having lived in other countries…Great way to make yourself feel important, but in reality, nobody cares about USA or their basketball league outside of this country….

    • Ken says:

      Dude, you read my mind.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        CRY MIAMI CRY, THE ONLY REASON EVERYONE WANTS TO SEE YOU LOSE IS BECAUSE THEY WERE CALLING OUT A CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THEY EVEN STEPPED ON THE COURT TOGETHER, THE HEAT WILL LOSE SECOND ROUND, WE WILL HAVE TO HEAT D-WADE CRY, I’D RATHER WATCH THAT STUPID T-MOBILE COMMERCIAL “GET ME OUTTA HERE”

    • OKCKD35 says:

      lol if other countries dont care about the NBA why are the nets selling out overseas tickets? lol

  137. Gary says:

    First round I’d say Dallas over Portland. I also think Celtics will drop to 3rd and face the Nicks who will upset them.

    • Jake says:

      I underestimated the Celtics last year, and they made me feel foolish. The Knicks defensee (or lack thereof) will be abused by the Celtics in the playoffs. Unless the Knicks can figure things out in the next couple weeks they aren’t making it past the first round.

      • cant stop the STAT! says:

        eh im going to have to disagree with that. the knicks more then likely wont defeat the celtics in the first round (not this year at least) but I dont think that will mean they are out in the first round. If the knicks draw the bulls or heat in the first round I would say to look for an upset there because for some reason they play very very well against the bulls and with the heat they have motivation like crazy for their stars to outshine miami’s big 3. plus the motivation that miami thinks they can just walk to the championship and also the reason that they are a huge rival of the knicks

      • MigRig says:

        hang on guys.. celtics drop to third you say? i agree with that but that will probably put them against the sixers as there sitting 6th not the knicks who cant buy a win. might wanna check the standings..

      • JSBC says:

        Celtics drop to third in the east? Funny, they are a game and half up on the Heat with approx. 10 games left. They also play the Heat another time, and have beaten them three times previously by an average of 7 points a piece. Doubtful they can cover that much area in such limited amount of time.

  138. i have to agree. portland is a first round nightmare for any of the top 4.

  139. Nick says:

    Whoever gets Portland is out !

    • Clakers says:

      Agree if OKC or Dallas gets Portland, they can be in danger situation… Also, Heat vs. NYK, possible upset as well.

    • jj says:

      Really?! what about the Lakers or the Spurs who are the best in the west? no doubt they can probably win a series if they dont face the Lakers or Spurs

    • OKCKD35 says:

      CHECK THE HEAD TO HEAD ON THIS ONE, OKC OWNS PORTLAND

  140. OKCKD35 says:

    i’m sorry but really? Denver over OKC? Since the trade both teams have been playing good ball, but really? you think the nuggets are strong enough in the post to deal with K.P. and Air Congo? Not gonna happen, Westbrook will dissect the Denver D. They do not have the size nor the speed to keep up with OKC in a 7 game series!

    • Nicekicks23 says:

      Sorry but OKC only has effective size in Perkins and in Serge Ilbaka and Denver has size in Nene, Kenyon Martin and in Birdman and yes Westbrook is fast, but Denver has two very fast guards in Ty Lawson and in Felton. In my opinion Denver has more size and speed and is finally playing like an actual TEAM and is going to pull of the upset.

      • Jake says:

        Denver-OKC would be a great matchup. I’m not sure if Denver can pull off the upset (who’s gonna stop KD?), but they have the talent to certainly make things interesting.

      • Kingsfan says:

        I agree with Jake. You both make good points, but Denver doesn’t have anyone who can guard Durant. There is no one that is a threat on the defensive side that can handle Durant. And you mention speedy guys for Denver, Felton? He is not a speedy guard lol. Denver needs more than speed to guard Westbrook. I don’t see a upset there. My personal pick would be who ever plays the Heat. The Heat have the Big 3, but their role players still don’t know their role!

      • Waz says:

        Well said Kingsfan. Nothing more to add.

      • awesomeman says:

        If Wilson Chandler is 100% focused and at max effort and play, there is no reason to believe he can’t shut down Kevin Durant.

        Nene isnt a piece of garbage, so KP and Serge wont glide through, however I give those two an edge.

        Not this year OKC, but in the years to come.

      • Gary says:

        What OKC has in stars Denver makes up for in Coaching. OKC is a team that I watch a lot of their games and they make mistakes that will get them killed against George Carl’s coaching. But it’s a pretty even match to me.

      • SpursFan says:

        Wilson chandler shut down Durant are you serious awesomeman??

    • Wait a Minute says:

      The Thunder do not have the speed advantage against the Nuggets. The Nuggets roster is young as well, both teams can speed up the game whenever it’s necessary. Also the Nuggets have NeNe’, Andersen, and K. Martin, they are VERY physical defenders down low and won’t give an inch to ANYBODY, just like Perkins. I think OKC vs Denver will go 6 or 7 games. When the Nuggets are healthy their team is dangerous.

      • Be Serious says:

        The Nuggets are overachieving but that’s it. The Nuggets have nobody to carry them over the hump in tough situations like a Durant or a Westbrook, they may play with spirit but that’s not enough in a 7 game series to contend. This match-up will go 5 at best. Portland has the best chance of anyone to pull off an upset since Dallas has always been soft but no dice on OKC losing to the Thunder

      • Rip City Ripper says:

        i think wait a minute had a really good point there and i too see this going to 7 games. and about denver not having anyone to go to in late situations, i think that makes them even more dangerous because they can go to anybody and 9 times out of 10 the bucket is good

    • prix' says:

      Biggest upset…SUNS over the TIMless Spurs…look how they play LA both games,,,better watch out…

      • Hold Up says:

        I highly doubt that. For one Phoenix probably won’t even be in the playoffs and two giving the Lakers trouble is something that alot of teams do. Last night’s game just got dragged out due to laziness on LA’s part….or ratings…

      • professor12 says:

        really? TD might be back in time for the playoffs and the spurs beat the lakers two out of three times this year during the season. the suns had to go to triple OT to lose. what’s so good about that? even with TD out the suns still won’t beat the spurs.

    • prix' says:

      The darkhorses could most possibly upset whoever they face…N.Y in the East and the Blazers in the West…

    • Miller says:

      Ok first of all who ever is dogging on the nuggets check your facts. The awsome buttkickings they have been giving is not just luck. Luck doesnt get you wins like that. Without Melo the ball is free and the defense will shut down the Thunder. Im pretty sure being ranked 5th in the league for D is enough said. Birdman will swat, Nene will beast and so will Martin. Since the trade weve beatin the spurs and celtics and shattered the rest. Without Melo Nuggets are gonna smash the Thunder. Who has more to prove? Denver. The new team is playing like a real team and wants to show that without melo there not gonna suck but beast every night on the court. And I think you underestamate the greatest coach in the nba today. He is gonna match up and throw a wicked defense stratagy. Kd can eat that. Who cares the nuggets dont have a superstar idiots. If you havent forgotten without are old superstar melo the nuggies have been playing 10 times better. So as you can tell Im taking the nuggets over the thunder but I will say the series will be well fought out to the last bone. But also remeber this. Everyone said without Melo there so called super star they were gonna be back to square one and have no hope. Well all you got proven wrong and get ready for the same in the playoffs. There gonna go into the playoff series just like any other game and d up the superstars like they have been so dont say oh KD is to beasty..One man doesnt win a team unless your micheal jordan.I could go on for days but hopefully you arent as ignorant as before

    • 80s90sBaller says:

      I absolutely agree, they got it wrong. When OKC gets past the first round, the higher ups are in danger of getting upset by the Thunder!

      Main Offense: Durant, Westbrook plus Harden, Maynor and Cook off the bench
      Main Defense: Perk, iBLOCKa plus Mohammed and Collison off the bench
      Others: Solid Role Players, High Team Free Throw Percentage and Young Team = More Stamina

    • jj says:

      The denver team is a great team, they know how to loosen up in the floor and much more playoffs experience than the okc. Bottom line is that Denver will fight their hearts out and have a great chance to come out on top.

    • Thomas says:

      Are you frickin high? Air Congo? If thats what your going to put that up against Nene then Nene will destroy that matchup. Saying Denver does not have enough speed is extremely debateable. We have the best backourt in the western conference. Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton is a better and faster duo than Russel Westbrook and whoever the other back up point guard is. Maynor or something. Think about it, If you shut down KD, then Oklahoma City loses. The reason Denver has been so dominate since Melo has left is because we are playing a faster pace game, better defense and we are sharing the ball much better. Everyone knows the ball is going to Kevin Durant in crunch time. That means its not that hard to stop him. Stick him and who are you giving the ball to? If you think about it Denver is a better team now than OKC is. When you think about OKC, you automatically think, Kevin Durant. Now when you think about Denver, besides the Birdman, you have to worry about, Ty Lawson, Raymond Felton Danilo Gallinari, Afflalo, Wilson Chandler, Nene, K-Mart, Al Harrington and by far the best sixth man in the game J.R Smith. Go ahead and tell me OKC has a better squad than that.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Thomas that had to be the funniest post i have read, you do realize russell westbrook is one of only two guads to average 20,8,5. The other being Dereck Rose, Ty Who? and Raymond Who? what players from the Nicks who never did anything there? ok i got ya! We have much more weapons then just KD, and who do you have that will stop KD? noone? sounds about right, didnt he go off for 44 on you guys on xmas? better hope someone can D him up, Nene is going to get handled by Perk, no doubt about it. Why do people even call Birdman a threat? I am so scared of his 5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. You know now that you mention it seems like every name you are calling off seems to have an issue with consistency, Jr smith will take 25 shots, one night he makes 20, the next 3. He is nowhere near close to the top of sixth man of the year, just to name a few things i would take over JR smith (12pts 4 rebs)for 6th man, Lamar Odom (hate the lakers) Jason Terry, Lou Williams, Marcin Gortat, etc….

      • TheFunkKnuckle says:

        OKCKD35- I dont agree with everything Thomas said but you man are delusinal. Since Ty took over for Billups he’s averaging 20 and 9 with almost 3 steals a game, he’s playing at a very high level. As for who can stick with KD ever hear of Arron Affalo? the guy is hands down the most underrated defender he plays guys like Kobe, Wade and Lebron straight up. He typically keeps guys in check. Heck this year he’s kept Kobe under 20 points in every game but one. But in that game Kobe shot 11-32 still a win in Affalos book! But who says they have to play him straight up?

        Your right about JR Smith he is not consistant. But when he’s hot he’s as good as anyone! In the Miami game he scored 27 on Wade “arguably one of the best defenders in the leauge” off the bench. Wade contested every shot, but JR’s is so athletic guys give him space and he’s as good with a pull up jumper off the dribble as anyone. JR once made 11 3’s in a game the NBA record is 12… JR did that off the bench. JR is the only man in NBA history to make double digit 3’s twice in a season… let alone doing it off the bench. He’s inconsistant but he’s also earned the nick-name “The one man comback” because he has a knack for hitting huge 3’s late in games regardless of how well someone plays D on him. The great thing about this team is JR doesnt have to take 20 shots a game. Nobody on their roster does, and if he does get cold Denver has the depth where Karl wont hesitate to bench him. Like Coach Karl says “I dont know who’s going to lead the team tonight, so I know other teams cant gameplan for us”. Thats what makes them very scary!!!

        As for Nene and Perk its anyones guess… Perk has the D and muscle. But Nene is the most athletic center not named Howard. There isnt a center in the leauge who can match his combination of power and speed. And his footwork in the post game is great his only knock is his soft D. Perk plays great post D but is lucky to make 3 baskets. Neither has a clear cut advantage.

        Andersen doent have huge #’s because he plays 15-20 min a game if he started 40 min he would easily pull down 10-15 baords. But what he brings is energy and shot blocking. Every year he is in the top 3 in blockes per 48 min played. 2 years ago he was the #2 shot blocker in the NBA. Howard was #1 but Howard played 20 extra min a game… that alone should tell you something. In 15 min on the court Bird getting 5 boards and a couple blocks is great.

        Denver doesnt need a Superstart to score or defend they play team ball. They have played alot of playoff and championship caliber teams. Boston, Miami, Orlando, Spurs, ect… and they have won or stuck in every game until the last shot. Denvers +/- since the trade is 11.1 the leauge leader on the season is only 7 thats amazing. Since the trade Devners average loss is by 3.7 points. That tells you they’ve been in every single loss and havent been blown out. In all their wins they average 16.5 points. So in their losses they are in the game until the last shot. And in their wins they are blowing teams out by 16 points and thats against championship caliber teams like Miami. I dont know if Denver can win it all, but not taking them serious is a huge mistake! You cant just look at stats, because it’s impossible to meause teamwork. We had a stat machine in Melo for 7 years where did that get us? I would take 7 players averaging 10+ points a game over 1 guy averaging 30.

        Both teams are cut out of the same mold. Both are very young, both love to run, both love to score, both are underdogs everyone wants to root for. My question to you is if the series goes to 7 games which I think it will. Does OK have the depth to hang with Denver, especially if an injury hits a starter? The Nuggets are going to push the pace and nobody on that team has to play more than 30 min a game. They will always have fresh playeres on the court. Can Durrant and Westbrook sprint for 48 min for 7 games and stay healthy!? Who knows… I can promiss you it will be a great series though better than the finals IMO!

      • OKCKD35 says:

        TheFunkKnuckle- My point in this is yes Denver has been playing good, but for 12 or 13 games now? There are a lot of people in the NBa that can piece together a 20 point average for 10-15 games, but the question is can he do it for a full season? Can he play with the same effectiveness in the playoffs where in the western conference everyone in the playoffs has a winning record and good point guards? And if Afflalo could D up Durant why did he dump 44 in the last meeting? as for Anderson, yes he plays 10-15 minutes per game because: HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO START. Point made, we dont need KD or Westbrook to play for 48 minutes, they never do. When our second unit comes in they are mainly defensive stoppers and we do not need to score as much, as for JR smith it is what it is, instead of vince carter’s half man half amazing he can be half terrible-half amazing

    • Nate says:

      People peple people… Denver is not going to get the 5’th seed. They are 1 game ahead of the Blazers and the Blazers actually HAve BEATEN THEM POST MELO ERA… yOU GUYS SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT Blazers v.s. thuder.

    • yusuf mohseni says:

      im sorry but when denver is at home, they have lots of fastbreak points and their offense in the pepsi center is amazing. they do have size in birdman and as the backup and harrington is a great energy player who replaces martin. overall i see the nuggets balling with OKC, but honestly, i hope OKC wins, them and the spurs have a chance at beating the lakers. i cant beileve in portland and dallas, but i think portland will make some noise during playoffs.

      • melo who says:

        aye the knicks are losing to the bucks.and you guys think they can upset someone in the playff come on now there time aint this year.

    • Yeah..what? says:

      Don’t know what you are thinking but Denver just aquired bigs and Felton. There is no way OKC has a size or speed advantage…if anything the nuggets do with Felton/Lawson and Mosgov/Koufos not to mention Nene. The team right now has little experience with eachother and look what they are doing. Powell’s article on the main page also made me laugh…seems like the media is portraying what the population wants to hear instead of looking at the facts. The new Denver team comes with a punch, better watch out.

    • melo who says:

      first okckd35 perkins is not fast enough to keep up with nene on the fastbreak.And ty lawson is just as fast if not faster than the overrated westbrook.Go nuggs

    • Kyle says:

      You can’t use “the Nuggets don’t have anyone to guard KD”, because…well no team does. Since the trade, Denver is .1 point below Chicago for the best Defensive efficiency in the NBA, 11 points better than pre trade. Lawson tore up Westbrook on offense the last time these two teams played. Size is not an advantage, Denver is one of the biggest teams in the league now. Their starting line up against the spurs was Ty Lawson (5’10), Wilson Chandler (6’8”), Danilo Gallinari (6’10”), Kenyon Martin (6’9”), Nene (6’11”). Where’s OKC’s height advantage?

      • OKCKD35 says:

        last time they played westbrook went for 28 and 10, lawson went for 11 and 3, wow you are right he was tearing westbrook up, man why dont you check your facts before you waste my time, and for the record, collison 6-10, durant 6-10, ibaka 6-10, perkins 6-10, aldrich 6-11, mohammed 6-10, yes denver may have a deep team, but we also have a deep team and 2 all-stars, there is no way denver will win a 7 game series without a closer, in a series your weaknesses are exposed and exploited. the only team that will present a problem in my opinion would be the Lakers and i would love to see that western conference finals, denver is on their way up since getting rid of Melo, but lets be realistic. Lets look at the Quality of wins during this tretch for Denver lets start with the beginning Game one you beat boston without KP, Robinson, Green, or Krstic, beat portland by 1 without Camby, or Wallace, Atlanta(who hasent been beating atlanta), charlotte, utah and the clippers, good win @pheonix, detroit, another good win at New Orleans, then Atlanta again, then lost to two good teams (miami, Orlando) Toronto, A win against the Spurs (without tim duncan) and finally a win against the worst road team in the league, so in this “streak” as we are calling it had really 2-3 “quality wins” look at the teams you are playing (and are still losing ground on OKC)

    • mcvaqua says:

      The West is anything but settled. Ultimately it depends on the depth at the bench. I see the Mavs taking the second by season’s end. In ANY case – first round chokers this season will include the Spurs (especially if they get Memphis) because although the old three are playing fewer minutes overall – the run they made this reg seaso has obviously been draining. – and probably OKC or Philly. I think the Heat will do some damage in the playoffs – but not enough to topple the true eastern contenders (Boston, Chicago, and Orlando). I could see Portland beating ANYONE in the first round except Dallas or L.A. – but remember – don’t give too much credit to unproven young talent. That is why ultimately Portland and OKC won’t get past the second round AT MOST.
      I predict the West to go to Dallas and the East to Boston.