Blogtable: Potential 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.

Give us a potential low seed in the playoffs that you see is the most likely to pull off a big upset?

Steve Aschburner: Gotta define the terminology here. A “low seed” could be any team that opens on the road, IMHO. Yet a No. 5 beating a No. 4 scarcely qualifies as an upset. I don’t see any seventh- or eighth-seeded teams knocking off the Nos. 1 or 2 on either side of the bracket. That leaves a No. 6 vs. No. 3 possibility and, frankly (using the teams as they sat Wednesday morning), I could make cases for both Atlanta over Orlando and for Memphis over the Lakers. How ’bout we go with the Hawks, who could milk Josh Smith at the peak of his powers and pose problems for the Magic with point guard Jeff Teague? An early exit for Orlando would crank up the Dwight Howard turmoil for the ensuing nine months too.

Fran Blinebury: You want big. I’ll give you big. Houston over OKC, No. 8 over No. 1. Despite their talent and record and athleticism and enthusiasm and energy, there is still something unsettling about the way the Thunder play down the stretch of close games. They still don’t have a plan to attack the basket. The teams tied the season series, but Houston won at home and in OKC. The Rockets are young and fearless and will play with absolutely nothing to lose. They have added Marcus Camby to Samuel Dalembert up front, giving them two shot blockers, which turns the Thunder into even more of a jump-shooting team.  I’d feel even better about this pick if I knew Kyle Lowry would be back in the lineup and completely healthy. But this still a potential match-up that should cause worry in OKC. Now all the Rockets have to do, of course, is actually make the playoffs.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Problem is, we don’t know which teams will be on the bottom of the West. And we only need to consider the West — No. 8 or No. 7 in the East is not beating the Bulls or Heat. (No. 6 dumping the Magic would be a surprise, but not a big upset, given the Magic’s lack of dependability all season.) But in the West, the Clippers or Mavericks, maybe the Lakers, could drop to 6-7. They could top No. 2 San Antonio.

Shaun Powell: I don’t see any No. 7 or 8 seed upsetting the Spurs, Thunder, Bulls or Heat, the likely No. 1 and 2 seeds, in Round One. However: Currently at No. 6, do the Hawks count as a low seed? If so, then they can beat the Magic and then give Miami a run, especially if Al Horford is back. Just the same, Memphis can beat the Lakers (not sure if that’s an upset) and then give the Spurs a scare. But that’s where it ends.

John Schuhmann: I would say Memphis, but the Grizz could be back in fourth place by the weekend. So I’ll go with the Hawks (No. 6 in the East), who are aligned once again to face the Magic in the first round. Atlanta has Orlando’s number, with nine wins in the last 11 meetings (including last April’s first-round matchup). They got their Dwight defender, Jason Collins, back from injury 10 days ago, and they always defend the 3-point line pretty well.

Sekou Smith: Every team in the top half of the Western Conference standings has an eye on the Grizzlies. They know this group has a (recent) history of pulling the big upset. They have the same sort of scenario presenting itself to them this season, and you better believe coach Lionel Hollins will play that card with his team once the playoff positioning is finalized. The Grizzlies have all of the components to cause major trouble for any team in best-of-seven format. With Zach Randolph back in the mix and a healthy Rudy Gay this time around, they could be even more dangerous in the playoffs.

106 Comments

  1. hello says:

    clippers will win this year… the top 1 highlight of the playoffs

  2. lexley(spurs fan) says:

    lol @Sakev. Don’t know how to read man?

  3. Choker says:

    @SAKEV …… Houston won a game against the Thunder with a comeback win because of Courtney Lee i think knocking down a 3 to give the Rockets a point lead

  4. matthew says:

    whoever is 7th seed whether its denver houston dallas i think can totally beat the spurs unless if they finally show us they can get past the first round

  5. Kobbie says:

    Any of the top 10 or 11 teams in the West could handle any team in the East….

    Take the Nuggets, who have only lost something like 2 games against the Leastern Conference, and those were by a total of 4 pts. (or something ridiculous) and they are nowhere near the Best of the West.

    Keeping with the Nuggs…. if they make it to the Playoffs… they will finally be healthy(minus Rudy) which they haven’t been since Jan.

    Feb alone saw them lose every single member of their top 8 rotation players for anywhere from 3 to every single game. Usually with 3+ critical absences at the same time… Missing your leading scorer, leading rebounder and best defender, yeah you probably might lose a few games.

    Excluding Feb. their record is at a 64% winning clip(and Gallo is still out) That would be 5th best in the League. Somehow even with that monsterous Febuary, they still manage to hang around…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned some heads in the playoffs. Will they win it all, probably not, but they could…

  6. 813snoogy says:

    I hear rose this kobe this durant that um dont sleep on CARMELO ANTHONY this kid once led the nuggets to western finals this knicks team has more talent and deng is banged up so if knicks play bulls in first round who the hell is gonna stop melo who is gonna stop mare and tyson chandler is not having no playing in post the only key pieve bulls have on knicks is rose knicks in 5

  7. hello says:

    knicks is an upset? oh come on! the team is worst with carmelo and now he’s the only star left. EC just gonna be bulls and heat and WC gonna be grizzlies and lakers.

  8. mmja says:

    denver houston utah phoenix will battling #7 and #8 seed. Nobody knows what will happen.

  9. MJ23 says:

    Magic will end up 5th seed and lose against boston, then boston will get their revenge on miami and lose against the bulls. The Bulls will lose against the Spurs in the finals…end of story.

  10. hello says:

    thunders cant do anything in the playoffs. dont count the 24. I bet this is gonna be heat vs the lakers

  11. levi says:

    Lots of people are already counting the Lakers out, without realizing they have 3 players who are among the best in their positions. And with the addition of Sessions, they’re a big threat to any team in the West. Forget about the regular season. The real challenges comes out in the playoffs.

  12. xLebronFan1x says:

    damn wont let me do my playoff bracket!

  13. xLebronFan1x says:

    1Oklahoma(4) (2)Chicago1
    8Houston(2) (4)New York8
    1Oklahoma(4) (4)New York8
    4Lakers(3) (1)Boston4
    4Lakers(4) (4)Boston4
    5Denver(1) (3)Atlanta5
    1Oklahoma(2) 2San Antonio(1) VS 2Miami(4) (1)New York8
    2San Antonio(4) (4)Miami2
    3Clippers(4) (1)Orlando3
    6Memphis(2) (4)Indiana6
    3Clippers(1) Miami 2012 NBA CHAMPIONS!!! (2)Indiana6
    2San Antonio(4) (4)Miami2
    2San Antonio(4) (4)Miami2
    7Dallas(0) (0)Philadelphia7

  14. xLebronFan1x says:

    2012 NBA FINALS…SAN ANTONIO VS MIAMI & MIA WIN 4-1

  15. SPURSANITY says:

    Too many fans are betting that it’s gonna be OKC-MIAMI in the Finals.

    I think we will be witnessing a few upsets during the 2012 Play-Offs.

    There’s a lot to consider:

    1. Health / Rest
    2. Depth
    3. Recent additions / changes
    4. Experience
    5. Home court advantage

    GO SPURS GO !!!

  16. BJames says:

    Yeah. Houston Rockets will be the no.8 in the west. and it will be a great match-up against no.1 seed OKC sure it is. Must see game. Go ROCKETS! :D

  17. ROB says:

    SAN ANTONIO IS THE ONLY TEAM IN THE WEST THAT HAS THE LEAD IN THE SEASON SERIES OVER OKC….ONLY TEAM THAT WILL GIVE THEM A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY

  18. yolo says:

    Everyone is forgetting the Spurs! The Spurs are the most dangerous team in the NBA right now. The additions they’ve made, adding Stephen Jackson’s CLUTCH shooting, his perimeter defense, IQ, and three point shooting, along with Boris Diaw’s ball handling, post abilities, and outside shot, ALONG with Patty Mills? The Spurs have the deepest team in the league. I was hoping they would go out and get Gilbert Arenas, and this may sound crazy based on Gilbert’s character, but Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the NBA knows how to get the best production out of his players, and everyone says Gilbert is washed up, BUT before the Orlando trade he was averaging 17 a game, his scoring and skills decreased because Van Dumby had him coming off the bench behind an inferior guard in Jameer Nelson. Imagine the Spurs second unit featuring Arenas, Jackson, Diaw, Splitter, and Bonner. Anyway, it didnt happen, but the Spurs are still the deepest team, and it will show come playoff time. They have the right amount of youth and experience

    • Jesus101 says:

      You r so wrong the spurs are not the the best team and gilbert arenas is so bad he will most likely never make 17 points a game any more… but he was very good,

  19. FACT says:

    Guaranteed Upsets
    East
    Boston Celtics (7) would even beat the Miami Heat (2) in seven games.
    Orlando Magic (3) defeated by Philadelphia 76’ers (6) in six games.

    West
    Dallas Mavericks (5) defeating the Los Angeles Clippers (4) in five games.

  20. G.J. says:

    Everyone is forgetting the Spurs! The Spurs are the most dangerous team in the NBA right now. The additions they’ve made, adding Stephen Jackson’s CLUTCH shooting, his perimeter defense, IQ, and three point shooting, along with Boris Diaw’s ball handling, post abilities, and outside shot, ALONG with Patty Mills? The Spurs have the deepest team in the league. I was hoping they would go out and get Gilbert Arenas, and this may sound crazy based on Gilbert’s character, but Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the NBA knows how to get the best production out of his players, and everyone says Gilbert is washed up, BUT before the Orlando trade he was averaging 17 a game, his scoring and skills decreased because Van Dumby had him coming off the bench behind an inferior guard in Jameer Nelson. Imagine the Spurs second unit featuring Arenas, Jackson, Diaw, Splitter, and Bonner. Anyway, it didnt happen, but the Spurs are still the deepest team, and it will show come playoff time. They have the right amount of youth and experience

    • 12xiscomingforyou says:

      the knicks can very well beat the heat, if amare and tyson can play great basketball and carmelo plays great they can beat them with their bigs, any team such as the lakers or even memphis can bea thte the heat, all you gotta do is pound the ball inside on them.

  21. coolknicksfan says:

    Grizzlies beat the lakers
    Hawks beat the Magic
    and the Knicks will pull of an improbable upset against the Bulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Cpt says:

    NBA games has been pretty unstable this year. You see high seeded teams losing to lower seeded teams or even the teams that are not part of the current top 8 teams per conference. So I’m still open to sudden changes.

    Thunder might seemingly be really strong but when things get ugly for Durant and Westbrook in their FG % and Harden would turn up in a pretty low energy then they could fumble. Remember Durant can go Kobe in terms of the number of attempts even if he’s having a pretty rough shooting, it just gets ignored most of the time because they win.

    Heat.. when the 3 point shooters start to miss. and the big 3 starts missing too. Then they’re pretty much dead.

    Bulls.. Derrick Rose is not that healthy. Boozer won’t always be there to carry the team. They don’t have a strong bench imo.

    Spurs. Look at the changes that they just made. These changes can affect their ranking in a big way. Look at Dallas. They’re pretty much up and down. Spurs has been playing well though, other guys are stepping up. They should maintain that or they would get wrecked by a team stronger than New Orleans and the other low seeded teams that beat them this regular season (with the exception of Portland as Tim didn’t play)

    Knicks. Anthony’s the guy who would take responsibility most of the time as his shooting can make or break the game. His like Durant who gets his FG% ignored when they won. I remember a (5-15) night for him. Hope Lin and Amare would be back just so fans and haters can’t make excuses

  23. kagreeny says:

    BEWARE THE GUYS IN GREEN WITH LEPRECHAUNS AROUND THEM!!!

    should the celts be seeded somewhere 6-7-8, get ready for one heck of a upset. it wont be a surprise, just an upset based on the ranking…

    • Kel says:

      Totally agree. I just don’t see a first round exit for the Celts. They are certainly capable of defeating the Heat. The chances of the Celtics playing the Bulls in round 1 is unlikely. They could get the 4 seed if they win the division, but Philly has an easy schedule, and the Cs have a tough one. But they’re tied in record right now, so it’s definitely not out of the question. I see the Cs taking the 6 seed and beating Orlando, then taking on the Heat. They are so unpredictable in the playoffs, particularly LeBron. I can also see Chicago falling to a team like Indiana or Philly, especially if Derrick Rose continues to struggle with injury.

    • Celtics4ever says:

      C’s will get their 18 banner this year…. and they will upset MIAMI AND BULLS this playoff and beat LA in the finals….

  24. milmar phil. says:

    ah,ah. don’t you count on the lakers team.. they are all healthy and hunger for the ring..n they have their new acquisition on the guard..lakers are the most dangerous team in times of playoffs this season..gotta watch out for the lakers team this playoff. playoff payoff for the lakers..go LAL..KB24 AB17 PG16 MWP and RS7

  25. graydirt says:

    stop dreaming….mavs win it all again…

  26. graydirt says:

    mavs win it all again…

  27. underdog says:

    I really wish the Knicks plays the Heat in the first round because I know they can upset them. They are now playing very well. Open up your eyes people. The Knicks have gone defensive since Woodsonity and that is the key ingredient in winning playoff games. Melo has been commiting to defense. Stat has been commiting to defense. Chandler has always been a problem for the Heat and was a key factor in defeating the Heat last playoffs. The formula for defeating the Heat are:
    – Bullying their front court offensively(Chandler, Stat can do that) and defensively manning the middle so that Wade and James become jump shooters (Chandler and maybe even Jeffries can do that).
    – Zone Defense (we all know this) with an excellent perimeter defense to negate three point shooters (Fields and Shumpert are excellent perimeter defenders)
    – getting through their head (LBJ will crack up under pressure in MSG)
    – clutch (maybe Melo? maybe Lin?, not sure about this though, Heat has Wade even though they have LBJ)

  28. daniel einstein says:

    regular season cannot be compared to post season!! example look at the heat last year, they lost all the games in the season to celtics and bulls and still destroyed them in the playoffs

  29. dgt2 says:

    Yes, hawks have depth but they need a ring leader who can get best out of his players ,i really doubt coach Drew can get the best from his players , Look at the T-Mac situation for example real waste of talent …what ever the ego be.
    V-Rad,IVAN ,Green then the centres ….are they playoffs ready ,i doubt they are

  30. lakeshow2012 says:

    Lol at you guys saying the Lakers will be Upset in the first round. Lakers has the experience they will beat any team anyday on a 7 game series lol. Kobe’s aimng for the scoring title that’s why he shooting many shots. but when da playoff started. lakers will step up their game. LoL

    Bynum>Gasol
    Gasol=Randolph
    MWPanyone

    LoL Lakers lack practice. in the post season they will have enough rest and practice. so dont count them out like the 2010 celts who made it to the finals :DD

  31. sam says:

    The Knicks wouldn’t get out of the first round even if Lin avg 40 and 10… lol

  32. OKC All the way says:

    OKC will not get an upset from the rockets or nuggets.
    but the only teams I would watch out is for Grizzlies and Mavericks, man those teams just got the best Post Men and Paint Defenders

  33. Donald T. 'DeeJay' Butler Jr. says:

    I can see NYK actually being a problem for the Heat, if Chris Bosh keeps playing ball like a 5th grader … if NYK can pull up to #6, I think they can outdo the Magic in a long series. I mean, tonight, extremely short-handed, we beat a healthy Magic team by 22. We were up 39 at one point. Outside of the Bulls, I don’t think anyone, if the playoffs started today, is safe.
    Don’t count out Indiana or Philly either.
    The Western Conference has TOO TOO much room for upsets. Aren’t spots 1 and 8 separated by like 9 games or some ish like that? That’s a big deal.

  34. SAM says:

    ALL OF FORGOT ABOU THE CELTICS UPSETING THE HEAT IN ROUND 1
    BULLS IN ROUND2 AND PHILLY IN THE CON FINALS
    LASTLY OKC IS GONNA LOSE IN THE FINALS!!!
    REMEMBER 2010 WHEN ALL OF THE WORLD FORGOT ABOUT THE CELTICS, AND IF IT WASNT PERKINS INJURY THEY WOULDA WON!!!!!!!

  35. Smartest says:

    However I think if memphis doesn’t reach an upper seed come playoff time they will be the biggest upset. But they do Utah or Denver will deliver upset to the aging spurs. WEST(7th seed > 2nd seed)

  36. dgt2 says:

    hawks vs magic i dont see hawks winning a seven game series this time …..come playoffs its coach vs the coach ….drew vs van gundy…. predict a van gundy win hands down !.

    rockets and Denver upsetting OKC ….noway .noway noway noway ……thunder for seasons have proved to be talented team ..but this time man they ARE ‘TOUGH’ watch griz n wolves OT games ….time to get the ring CHAMPS.

    • Smartest says:

      Actually I believe the hawks have more depth than magic which is a major part of the playoffs and d h oward will be exhausted. HOWARD<FULL HOWARD= first round out sorry

  37. rock8050 says:

    lets jst watch and see what happens. i know you guys love your teams, but honestly anything can happen.

  38. kingball says:

    NYK over Chicago Bulls will the biggest upset come playoff time

    • Smartest says:

      Sorry to say even with Jeremy Lin the Knicks really have no chance especially if Stoudmiere isn’t healed in time for their first and possibly last playoff round for the year.

  39. BoGsY says:

    As long as they can beat Lakers on Game 1 and 2 on LA home court that could happen

  40. jose salaze says:

    spurs all the way this year ,spurs have the deepest bench in the nba so theres no way there exiting in the 1st 2nd or 3rd round not even the finals

  41. Trojan says:

    Everyone… OKC will not be beaten in the 1ST or 2ND round! They could lose in the conference finals but they will probably make the finals. They are the deepest team. KD, westbrook, harden, ibaka, and perkins are playin great ball. Dont doubt OKC because they are young. Their time is now!
    PS ALL OF THESE OPINIONS COME FROM A MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES AND BOSTON CELTICS FAN!

    • Dream on says:

      keep dreaming……. someday it will happen……

      But NOT this year or next.

      • DDavidson says:

        OKC is the best in the NBA, they have the best record in the toughest conference, if they get through the western conference finals, dont matter who they play from the east, they’ll win. reason: KD + CLUTCH.

      • Smartest says:

        The west is not the toughest conference.

  42. Atl vs Orl says:

    Atlanta beating Orlando is not an upset. It happened last year. I honestly think Atlanta will win that series.

  43. SHOWTIME says:

    I see the Grizzlies and Knicks being BIG playoff bracket busters this year…If the knicks manage to lock up the 6th seed. They can easily take out any team in the East but the Heat and Bulls. As for Memphis, they have a very unique team with a DEEP bench that can play against the very best in the West. I dont see OKC going to far this year becuase they have struggled against the teams out in Texas. Houton, Dallas and San Antonio all have given the Thunder problems. The KIDS out in OKC are still young. Until Duncan, Kobe and Dirk call it quits, i dont see OKC going to the SHIP. For those that will argue the fact they went to the West FInals last year, don’t forget the fact that the Spurs did not have the BIG 3 healthy, the LakeShow had a few problems, and the GRIZZ still took the thunder to the edge.

    Overall, I see the Heat and the Lakers going to the shippp. LEBRON Vs KOBE. We all get to re-live MAGIC Vs MJ.

  44. BelizeBoy says:

    I see an upset with the Lakers making a 1st round exit if they play Memphis, Dallas or Denver.

    • 16going417 says:

      If the Lakers play the way they are supposed to, which is inside out and dominating the paint I highly doubt they can be beat in the first or second round. Now, if they play like they have been by having everyone, to include Bynum, jacking up outside shots then I agree with you and say they will be out in the first round.

    • Memphis are good but they are weak off the bench because zach will become a starter soon. They will struggle aganist barnes, blake mcroberts, and a few starters playing with them.

      • BelizeBoy says:

        When Randolph starts again that will probably put Tony Allen or Speights as a backup and they can both score. Plus you’re forgeting that they added Arenas and also have OJ Mayo. Arenas, Mayo, Allen or Speights >> Blake, McRoberts Barnes.

  45. David says:

    These writers are on dope or dog fodd thinking OKC gets beat in round 1. I’ll be laughing it up when they win it all! With Surge playing like a man possesed and KD and Westbrook clicking it’s no stopping them. OKC is the deepest team in the west for sure, probably the NBA since the east is garbage less Chicago and Miami. I think Phoenix will be the 8 seed anyway. But I’m not worried that OKC will be out in the 1st. NOT EVEN A LITTLE!

  46. what a mess ... says:

    denver is capable of knocking okc out? you must be dreaming.
    wow … without danilo gallinari they just have no defense. that guy is very talented.
    it’s a team with a run and shoot system, no screens set, no “man to go”. just running and trying to score in the first 8 seconds of the clock.
    defense? an optional. a rotation on the post attempting to stop the power forward? optional.
    nuggets are just the opposite of what playoff really are.

    • Ok I agree with you that denver will never in a million years beat a okc team, but denver’s best player is not dalino. He miss a wide open layup which could have been a game winner aganist the Los Angeles Lakers.

      I think the Lakers will beat Memphis in the 1st round, beat the Spurs in the round, beat okc in the wc finals, and beat the bulls in the finals.

  47. BFoulds says:

    Spurs will probably come out of the west with how they are playing this year. Bulls will probably come out of the East.

    If that happens, with the way Pop coaches the finals, I’d guess Spurs in 6.

    My prediction, Spurs champs again on another schedule-reduced season.

    • 5tyson3 says:

      NEVER spurs b lucky to get out of the 2nd rd, mayb even the 1st. Spurs crack in the playoffs, (as of lately)

      • CkEane says:

        Spurs crack in the playoffs as of lately?
        Last year was a fluke. They were no where near healthy and lost game 1 by three points(Ginobili their best player was did not play).

        This year health wont be a problem. Coach Pop is doing a great job with resting everyone, and they play 10 guys, deepest team in nba by far. Go take a look at that roster. Spurs will go to the Finals this year. And have a good chance of winning it all.

  48. Celticsrck says:

    grizz are pretty raw

  49. OKC_maybe_NEXT_year_CHAMPS says:

    regarding the WEST,

    There are a group of “quiet” but ELITE underdogs that are more than capable of doing some serious d_ama_ge if someone underestimate them (even those with number 1 or 2 seed in the west………simply doesn’t matter)

    in this group are 4 teams in the west that can be described as/share the same characteristics : they dont have fancy superstars BUT move the ball very well, play unselfish basketball and TRUE TEAM effort/play on both ends, in offence and deffence…………THE MOST IMPORTANT………THEY CAN PLAY WITHOUT RESPECT no matter whom they play!!!!!!!

    those 4 (“fantastic four”) are : UTAH, HOUSTON, DENVER, MEMPHIS ……….(especially last 3)

    example : Houston this year played excellent against OKC and proved twice it is “by default” a very dangerous for OKC

    Denver despite many injuries also (if complete and healthy) is maybe be the best of all these teams, i mean the MOST COMPLETE with their depth/bench !!!!!!!!

    FINALLY how can you neglect the fact that last year WEST playoffs games proved the SAME

    Spurs were 62 win ……..they were destr*oyed by Memphis

    OKC surv*ived both DENVER and MEMPHIS (4:3)

    also last year nobody was talking about DALAS, but they whipped out LA with 4:0 and 40 points in the last game !!!!!!!!!

    CONCLUSION : first/second place in regular season conference standings mean NOTHING !!!!!!!

    • Chris Sims says:

      Last yr OKC blew Denver away in 5 games, get the facts right. I agree that the west in so competitive the your placing means very little. however, i don’t think anyone thought that the Spurs were the best team going into the playoffs last yr, they had been struggling down the stretch and Manu was hurt. Houston could upset OKC but they have to get into the playoffs first and I think that wont happen. Denver is a good team with good players, in the playoffs that means an early exit, no leader or clear star hurts their chances of winning many games.

      • Upset says:

        @ Chris

        Do you live in the past….. Last year is past.

        We’re talking about this year, this year stats, this year teams, and this year posiblility.

        Denver or Houston is capable of knocking OKC out of 1st round. Bank on it.

      • OKC_maybe_NEXT_year_CHAMPS says:

        OKC BLEW DENVER ????!!!!!!! REALLY ??????!!!!!!!!!!!!

        HERE ARE THE FACTS !!!!

        Oklahoma City vs. Denver
        Game 1 – Oklahoma City 107, Denver 103
        Game 2 – Oklahoma City 106, Denver 89
        Game 3 – Oklahoma City 97, Denver 94
        Game 4 – Denver 104, Oklahoma City 101
        Game 5 – Oklahoma City 100, Denver 97
        Thunder win series 4-1

        4 of 5 games were decided by just 3 points in the last minute and you call that BLEW ?!!!!!!! ok ok

        I WILL REPEAT AGAIN : HOUSTON AND DENVER , IF BOTH TEAMS ARE HEALTHY AND COMPLETE, WITH THEIR BENCH/DEPTH THEY ARE THE MOST “COMPATIBLE” TEAMS TO BEAT OKC IN FIRST ROUND AND ARE MORE THAN CAPABLE TO BEAT THEM………FEARLESS ….THATS IT….LIKE IT OR NOT !!!!

        SORRY FOR YOU AND OKC FANS BUT THEY CANT AVOID BOTH OF THEM !!!!

        SO IT WILL BE VERY INTERESTING FIRST ROUND and cant wait !!!!!

        (AND DONT BELIEVE THAT MEMPHIS CAN GO DOWN TO eight place with 15+ games remaining to playoffs BUT they have too reason for REVENGE if they met AGAIN !!!)

      • Sideliner says:

        Denver’s team this year is so different from last year: in a bad way. They don’t have Fernandez for the playoffs, they don’t have Felton this year, and they don’t have Nene. Do you REALLY think Javale McGee or Mozgov or Bird Man have the will or ability to beat Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka? Perkins has a ring and years of playoff experience, and Ibaka will be an All-NBA Defensive (1st or 2nd) player. NO ONE on Denver can boast the merits of OKC. NO ONE on Denver has the ability to play like Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook.
        Same goes for Houston. Here’s your problem: they’re NOT healthy, they’re NOT as driven as OKC, and they don’t have–to use your word–the “compatibility” that OKC has. Houston has been in this position for the past few years, struggling to get even make the playoffs. Even with Houston’s shot blockers, OKC will have more shot blocks with Serge Ibaka. They’re faster than Houston, they have more weapons than Houston. They shoot AND score. They have real playoff experience.
        Oh and, as far as being “blown” out by OKC, Denver still lost in 5. Though each game may have been a battle, OKC is the CLEAR winner by the 4-1 ratio. You don’t base a series off point differential unless it was a realy challenge up to game 7.

    • nfos2 says:

      …..hey OKC fan….. so if your team wins in 6 games in a 7 game series you can say they ‘destr*oyed’ the other team….. well then I have to wonder what word you would use when a team sweeps a series???????

  50. Ray says:

    I agree with Fran. With Marcus Camby in the mix and with a healthy Kyle Lowry, I really don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be able to pull an upset against the OKC. Though, there are just too many if’s that have to go towards Houston’s favor for an upset to actually happen.

  51. what a mess ... says:

    I’m very surprised by fran blinebuty comment on houston.
    dear fran, do you know that right now both lowry and martin are injured? two starters …
    thank you fran, i still appreciate your articles.

    the WC is just a mess and all the predictions could be wrong.
    let’s say that OKC will end at the first seed in the west.

    about the EC.
    boston could end at number 4 as the atlantic division leader.
    playing with a team like indiana could be very hard because nobody can guard hibbert and pacers roster is deeper with barbosa and hill.
    people terribly underrate the pacers and larry bird did a nice job over there.

  52. trey james says:

    every single person that’s telling fran to check back on his stats, go back and read it. he said they split the series. meaning 2-2. he simply said the rockets took one at home and one in okc. and anybody who doesnt think the rockets could shock the thunder are crazy in the head

  53. OKCist says:

    i think okc will have more problem in first round if the nuggets takes 8th seed. Fran says okc doesnt have what it takes to win close games, doesnt have plan to attack. what about houston? team is in rebuilding mode and with few players sidelined they would do nothing in series vs okc.
    talking about other teams, i think hawks will top orlando and memphis will succeed as well, doesnt matter what the opponents will be.

  54. there will be an upset in the first round of the western conf. playoffs, but very unlikely in the east unless its a 4 over a 5…i think philly is gona surprise people, and beware of the clippers out west…peep my playoff preview at mindofmattman.com and search for 1st playoff preview

  55. Mega Freak says:

    Better check that season schedule again Fran. OKC and Houston tied the season series 2-2. And in point differential (which I find to be a stat in the playoffs) the Thunder comes out ahead because both losses to Houston were by 1 pt.

  56. knicks fan says:

    i will go crazy here. 7th seed knicks (oh they will get it) will beat 2nd seed Heat. knicks in 6.

  57. Sideliner says:

    Fran Blinebury always surprises me. Houston? Wow man. You must be watching the wrong league…

    • Upset says:

      either Denver or Houston can take out the OKC in the first round playoff.

      If Denver end up being 8 seed, history will repeat again. Back in 1994 when Denver knocked out the 1st seed Seattle Supersonics two years in the roll….. this year will be the same.

      Seattle Supersonics = to current OKC team.

      • Sideliner says:

        Too bad the 2012 Nuggets aren’t the 1994 Nuggets. And too bad for you, the Thunder of 2012 aren’t the Sonics of ’94. I hope for your sake the Nuggets get the 7th seed and give the Spurs a run for their money, cause if they end up in 8th, OKC’s going to send them packing quicker than San Antonio.
        #keepdreamin

      • kent says:

        nice. I like that. You know your history.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Funny how you compare them and yet you don’t compare last year, where both teams with almost the exact same roster played each other in the first round, and who came on top? Oh yeah, OKC.

  58. sakev says:

    Check your facts Fran, OKC won 2 games against Houston this season.

    • Upset says:

      regular season is different than the playoff…..

      either Denver or Houston can take out the OKC in the first round playoff. Bank on it.

    • jacob says:

      learn how to read, he said they tied the season series. i.e. 2 games for OKC and 2 games for HOU. He was merely mentioning that HOU was able to beat OKC in Oklahoma.

    • jiggsnegapatanCEBUphils says:

      OKC is just for season games.. but here comes the playoffs.. ‘OLD REALIBE KB 24′ will do his thing again.. WCF already is won the the 2012 lakers.. This playoffs is just a formality… SIEGHEIL LAKERS!!!

      • nfos2 says:

        stop living in the past….. the Kobster is Not what he used to be and the Lake Show is as rehashed as Lettermans top 10 list ….. the Lakers Will be gone in the 1st round this year …… and many more to come……. time top move on…… you know: new coach—new style—and learning to be #2 in the big waffle iron (stapled center)……. time for another early exit like last year, laker fans………do you really think every year that team can win it all without changing(buying another teams best player) again?? Good Luck with that!!!

      • Andrew says:

        People were saying the 2005 Finals were already won for the Lakers against the Pistons, guess what happened?

      • Andrew says:

        2004 Finals*

      • QuestionMark says:

        Hmmmmm, Kobe is back for what? Getting swept again by the Mavs? Lakers are over, Celtics are over, Pistons are over, Spurs are close to being over, None of those teams will win again for a while, especially with the overpowering and athletic young players like Westbrook, Durant, Rose, etc. The Lakers are most likely gonna lose in the 1st or 2nd round, they will most likely face the Grizzlies in the 1st round. Grizzlies pulled an upset last year against the Spurs without Rudy Gay, this year they can accomplish alot more with Gay. They also have Tony Allen to guard Kobe so I won’t be surprised if Lakers lose in the 1st round.

      • sbfern805 says:

        LMAO!!! as much as you hate the Lakers, i will tell you one thing that makes the Lakers better in every possible way….MONEY!!! Sure we might not be the perfect contender this year, but SOON enough we will own the best players in the league and cause damage AGAIN!!! So all you dreamers who think OKC has a shot? KEEP DREAMING!! Florida, New York, Texas, and CALIFORNIA are the best States in this country. The rest is just considered a territory. LOL So That being said, If the Lakers make it far, its slap in the face for you guys… If they dont, who cares, you guys were counting them off anyways…

    • Rebecca says:

      Um the facts are straight the Rockets beat OKC twice this season once at home and once in OKC