Blogtable: Top 4 Seed Ripe For Upset?




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.


Week 25: Sacramento or Seattle? | Lottery team leap next season | Top 4 seed ripe for upset


Which Top 4 team is most ripe for a first-round upset?

Steve Aschburner: San Antonio hasn’t looked like its old self lately. Indiana seemed to spit out the bit early. But for one-and-done among the top seeds, I’m looking at Brooklyn. C’mon, the Nets are a “Top 4″ team by math only, tin medalists in an Eastern Conference Olympics that has one gold-medal club and two more duking it out for silver and bronze. The Nets have had a fine season and a playoff series is a nice way to punctuate the inaugural year in the borough. But they don’t have the defensive gear into which they can shift, in my view. I’ve seen Joe Johnson in recent postseasons (40.5 FG percent the past three). And if their opponent is Chicago — and the Bulls have reasonable healthiness from Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton and the rest — even the absence of Derrick Rose might not to get the Nets to south Florida for Round 2. Now if the Nets face Atlanta … nah, I’m still saying Brooklyn.

Fran Blinebury: I would hardly consider any outcome in a 4-5 series to be an upset, so that leaves out the Nets and Clippers and brings us to San Antonio.  If Manu Ginobili is back soon and the Spurs stay healthy, they are a threat to go to The Finals and likely the toughest overall matchup for Miami. But if Manu isn’t Manu, Tony Parker is limping and they draw the Lakers, the Spurs are vulnerable.

Jeff Caplan: Well, I’ve got a crisp Benjamin that me and my cohorts all pick the same squad: San Antonio. Manu Ginobili is hurt, Boris Diaw is hurt, Danny Green remains unproven under the hot lights of the playoffs, Stephen Jackson is counting his Benjamins somewhere far away and Tony Parker is battling through all kinds of ailments. Houston or Golden State could do the deed. In the East, how can Chicago be counted out against suddenly struggling Indiana or Boston against New York if Knicks big men Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin struggle with lingering injuries?

Scott Howard-Cooper: The Nets if they play the Bulls. Because Chicago is ripe to pick somebody no matter who it plays in the first round. Bulls-Pacers could be a good one.

John Schuhmann: It’s got to be the Nets, especially if they’re matched up with Chicago, against whom they couldn’t score in their four regular-season meetings. Brooklyn hasn’t shown any kind of defensive consistency all season, and as well as they’ve played offensively over the last few weeks, a good defensive team (like the Bulls) will take advantage of the fact that they’re starting two guys who can’t shoot – Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans – at the forward positions. I’d still pick the Nets in that series, but they’re obviously the most vulnerable top-4 seed in the East. In the West, I fear for whoever — the Nuggets or Clips — has to face the Grizzlies, who are the second-best defensive team in the league and who have been much improved offensively since the Rudy Gay trade.

Sekou Smith: Can we pick two teams? The 4-5 matchup on both sides leaves the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets most vulnerable. The Clippers could be in serious trouble against the Memphis Grizzlies, whose frontcourt bruisers will be eager to go at Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the playoffs for the second straight postseason. The Nets will have their hands full with either the Atlanta Hawks or the Chicago Bulls, two teams that have all the firepower needed to attack the Nets’ weak spots. Home-court advantage doesn’t always serve as the force field needed for the No. 4 seed. And in these matchups in particular, home court could be rendered irrelevant early on.

56 Comments

  1. Santiago says:

    Mucha atención a Brooklyn, anoche paso por encima a los toros, jugando de esa manera estas para cosas importantes en estos playoff!!!

  2. Dean says:

    Care to take back this article after last nights win?

  3. Go Spurs Go! It’s time for another NBA Finals Victory. 2005, 2007, 2013! Tony, Tim, Manu!

  4. Joe blow says:

    Golden State!!

  5. JAMES YAP says:

    lol.. tmac will be the key for the spurs.

  6. Karlo Garcia says:

    Brooklyn

  7. Nelson says:

    Why is everybody freaking out about the Nuggets being depleted???? As far as I know, they keep winning. If they had lost out when Gallinari got hurt then that would be a whole different story. I am not saying to give them appraisal for what they have done without a “superstar” because the grand prize would be to win a championship. 38-3 and 57 overall wins for the Nuggets is great for the franchise but I don’t know how many more times I can bare to see my team get shut down in the first round. For teams like Brooklyn and LA Clippers(which have superstars) are the ones to be worried. Both as of late have let close games they should have won slide and have played ball inconsistantly on both sides. People forget that Memphis has the number two overall defense and Chicago has the number 5 defense overall. Brooklyn and LA both rely on running the break but when their superstars aren’t in sink(which has happened a lot lately for both teams, more Brooklyn) that is when teams like Memphis and Chicago can exploit them with their great defense. My rebutal to the Nuggets relying on their fastbreak scoring as well and being easy to exploit it is to look at the matchup. The Nuggets won the regular-season series 3 games to 1 and will continue to run ALL OVER Golden State unless they can be stopped. Another point is that the Nuggets can run on the top 5 defenses in the league. Starting at the top:1. VS. Indiana- Nuggets won series 2-0. 2. VS. Memphis- Nuggest won series 3-1.3. VS. OKC-Nuggets won season series 3-1. 4. VS. San Antonio- Nuggets tied series 2-2. 5. VS. Chicago- Nuggets won season series 2-0.

  8. BullsFan4Life says:

    My prediction is that Miami will beat the Bucks, New York n Boston is a toss up but im going to choose NY, Pacers and Hawks i gotta say Pacers and My Bulls vs Nets IF the nets do win its going all 7 but if my bulls win its only going to 6.
    In the west i got San Antonio over Lakers, OKC over Houston, Clippers in 7 over Memphis, and Golden state over Denver also in 7

    • Marco29 says:

      Really, you pick GSW against Denver? Denver has suffered some injuries lately but has a great defense and home court advantage with the best home record in the league. Plus Denver won the series 3-1 in regular season.
      For as much as I like the improvement of GS this year I think it is a long shot for them to defeat the Nuggets. We’ll see…

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        Good point.. I like Steph curry too, and i like the improvement of golden state but Denver looks too hungry and too well coached, they might sweep golden state..This is the same denver nuggets that took a healthy Lakers to 7 games last playoffs, Denver is the most under-rated team in the NBA…their the new spurs in the west!

    • lcrane11 says:

      Lakers are gonna beat the Spurs. We may be without Kobe, but we beat the Spurs two games ago. Nash is coming back, too, and LA are gonna make a playoff run!

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        Lakers might beat the spurs in a surprising upset.. San antonio doesnt look like they have the stamina anymore, they remind me of Boston, old – tired – and not motivated beccause they already have a championship …

  9. kuyabest says:

    It will be a rout for the BROOKLYN nets against the Bulls… I mean the Steers.

  10. kuyabest says:

    It will be a rout for the BROOKLYN Nest against the Bulls… I mean the Steers!

  11. Alex Dellanzo says:

    No offence to Hawks fans but without being it that weak conference bar Miami they wouldn’t be a playoff team, so can’t see them shocking the pacers, for the east I would definitely say that the nets are most vulnerable, although I wouldn’t see it as an upset if the bulls won, they have handled the nets well this year, especially impressive was the come from behind win in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, when the nets dominated 3/4 of the game.

    As for the west, its the 4-5 match up again, the Grizz should have defeated the clippers last year, the battle of the bits will be key as well as Cp3 against Conley and which one of them can force more turnovers, people are saying the Lakers can upset the Spurs, but people saying the Spurs are faltering are forgetting they have been resting key players for weeks now.

  12. okafri24 says:

    2013 Finals Matchup: Bucks vs. Rockets!

    Battle of the 8 seeds… :P

  13. Marco29 says:

    Its always easier to have this discussion after the season’s finale :-)
    Now that seeds and home court advantage are known, the 4-5 matchups in both conferences look very promising but if Chicago or Memphis or both win it may not be considered a huge matchup.
    Miami-Mliwaukee, OKC-Houston and Denver-Golden State are no brainers.
    Indiana-Atlantla should be interesting but home court and defense should make it for the Pacers.
    The 2-7 matchups in both conferences could be upseting: NY-Boston could go to 7 with a potential upset. But most-intreaging has to be San Antonio-Lakers. San Antonio is on a bad trend on the Last 10, has to deal with a lot of injuries including key-players like Parker and Manu, waived Jax and added a questionable T-Mac. Lakers will have to deal without Kobe and build a low post game around D12 and Gasol which they have been quite successful at doing in the last games (including one W over SA). Will it be enough to win a best of 7 series? Most people seem to belive it won’t. As a Spurs fan I am not so optimistic. I hope the Spurs will turn into playoff mode and show “some nasty” right from the start of Game 1. Go Spurs go!!

  14. Brooklyn Nets should have home court advantage over Indiana Pacers because they sweep them 3-0. plus have a better Conference record. Since the seeds only matter for match ups instead of having Home court because I seen 5 seeds have home court over 4 seeds. So by Indiana having the Boston game canceled we won’t know if they would be tied or not.
    Pacers (49-32) Nets (49-33).

  15. Brooklyn Nets should have home court advantage over Indiana Pacers because they sweep them 3-0. plus have a better Conference record. Since the seeds only matter for match ups instead of having Home court because I seen 5 seeds have home court over 4 seeds. So by Indiana having the Boston game canceled we won’t know if they would be tied or not.
    Pacers (49-32) Nets (49-33).

  16. dhk says:

    Hey Fran, did you miss the memo about Kobe? How are the Lakers going to drop the Spurs without him?

  17. realist2013 says:

    Comparing teams in the west is like comparing exotic sports cars. Now the East is another story. I dont want to start a rumbling but I’ve got a strong feeling who everyone expects to come out of the East first round and beyond wont. I’m not saying names. Lets just enjoy the show :-)

  18. FIRE MIKE (NO D) ANTONI says:

    Let’s go LAKERS!!

    Make some noise as you’ll be missing the playoffs LOL

  19. clydekillegrew256743 says:

    The playoffs are gonna be so great this year.hard to see anybody breeding through the playoffs but the spurs and pacers look the most vulnerable to me. The spurs are old and weak while the pacers have been slumping lately. The pacers will only lose if they play Chicago.I can’t believe the lakers have a chance at a 7th seed with the horrible season they they just finished. Heat beat thunder in 6.

  20. Jim says:

    Nets are simply a good team not great not average just good.They did their part and won most games against garbage teams and a fair share against good teams but second round is their ceiling,because as already pointed out average defence and 1 or 2 man shows won’t get you very far in the playoffs.

  21. NJ_Nets says:

    “…they don’t have the defensive gear into which they can shift, in my view”
    The Nets are the 5th best defensive team in the league… Steve Aschburner, like a lot of the media, obviously only follows stats of west teams.

  22. Bryan says:

    the spurs are back in action, did everyone forget they just signed TMAC????? its over for houston or the lakers in round one…. sorry to say!

    • Pakyaw says:

      This is not the same t-Mac that was 10 years ago..and u think he’ll play more than 10 mins on the rotation? This is not a big upgrade for them..

    • BeReal says:

      Tracy McGrady can’t suit up for the Spurs until the start of the 2013-14 season.

      • Me says:

        Incorrect. Playoff eligible because he last played in china’s season- not an nba roster. But will the spurs now lose in 1st round due to t- mac ?

    • G.O says:

      tmac Is no threat anymore! that’s the reason he went to ChIna

    • dd def says:

      like howard could carry ‘em anyway

  23. Peno says:

    Agree with Fran, No 4 vs 5 seed matchup can really be seen as an upset if the 5 seed wins. I think the most ripe is San Antonio, which is ironic since they are also one of this year’s title favourites!

  24. yoblob says:

    Can’t see the Spurs getting knocked out in round one, and if they got knocked out in the second round I wouldn’t count that as an upset considering how stacked the west is.

    I’d say the Knicks are ripe for an upset, a healthy KG and PP and I could see the Celtics taking the series in 7.

  25. Realistic says:

    Spurs are weak right now. Too many injuries. If the lakers get that 7th seed they could be a threat. Even golden state could be Denver as they no longer have galanari and they’ve suffered injuries.
    In the east the only upset I see is the bulls. In the west there could be many

    • dd def says:

      the west is so deep as a conference that it always makes for high-interest happenings nearing and during playoff time. I love it!

      • dhk says:

        No way the Lakers are beating the Spurs. If you hadn’t noticed they have some very significant injuries themselves

  26. Ro says:

    Yes if Atlanta wins and Chicago loses, Atlanta becomes the 5 seed. But you’ll notice the writers picked New Jersey as their eary exit ‘IF’ they draw the Bulls as a first round opponent.
    No one thinks the Celts can take the Knicks?! Come on where’s the love!!!

    • The Worm 91 says:

      i think the writers did think of it, but they have to choose the “MOST” vulnerable. see…the nets lost to the bulls 3 times and almost lost all infact without the complete starting line-up.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe they can!!
      But do I know? Nope

    • KIMBERLY says:

      I do. I think it is very possible.

  27. #BullsfanDan says:

    Bulls win will tonight. See ya in Brooklyn.

  28. Jr Nets Fan says:

    As a nets fan, i would rather play the hawks over the bulls, easier match up. But if we play defense as good as we play offensive we should be ok. As long as we make it to the second around that would be a great achievement for us. since we havent made it to the play off since 2007
    we will see what happens

  29. Richard from new jersey says:

    teams i like to see go deep and win championship

    EAST- NETS or KNICKS

    WEST- ROCKETS or NUGGETS

    • dd def says:

      I think nuggets would be a lot of fun to watch go deep. but I don’t think, especially with their recent injuries, they’re not quite there yet. the last game between okc and nyc was amazing and I think THAT’S the finals matchup i’d like to see, unlikely though it may be,

    • TL says:

      sorry but none of that will happen

  30. silencio says:

    deandre jordan and blake griffin need to develop a personality instead of smiling every time opposing team beats them. deandre jordan should be traded the biggest guy, biggest wuss.

  31. King Gary says:

    what happens if the hawks win tonight and the bulls lose? Wouldn’t that make them the number 5 seed?