#1 OKC vs. #8 Houston
Obviously the Thunder are the best team in the West, but Houston is very tough matchup in the first round. Former Thunder, James Harden, will look to get a measure of revenge and he has the tools to do so. This series could go anywhere from a sweep to seven games depending on how Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons play, but when it is all said and done, the Thunder advance.
#2 San Antonio vs. #7 Los Angeles
The Spurs are old, and the Lakers a slightly less old. Therefore, this series is going to be a snooze fest. The Kobe less Lakers and Dwight Howard are trying to prove they can win without a legend, and I think they can. If Steve Nash can find his way back on the floor, the Spurs will get upset. If Nash doesn’t return, this series will be all about Tony Parker. I see this coming down to the wire with the Spurs end up the victors.
#3 Denver vs. #6 Golden State
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee is the most underrated big three in basketball. Not only do they produce, but they are tremendously young. Throw in Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry, not to mention possible 6th man of the year, Jarrett Jack and the Nuggets are in serious trouble. Denver is very athletic but they just don’t have the same shooting prowess without Danilo Gallinari. I’m going Warriors in six games.
#4 LAC vs. #5 Memphis
I really like Memphis, I think they would have been a fantastic team 20 years ago, but the NBA of today is built on guard play and the ability to find scoring out of the flex forward position. LA on the other hand has arguably the best all-around point guard in Chris Paul, and a dominant front court with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Clip just have way to much firepower from each position on the floor and with Jamal Crawford providing punch off the bench, LA advances after five games.
#1 OKC vs. #4 LAC
The most electric matchup in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Fantastic point guard play, versatile forwards and strong benches make this an even series on paper. However, OKC has been here and they are large and by far more consistent than the Clips. Durant and Westbrook look to continue increasing the chemistry between them, which is too much for anybody the Clippers will put on them defensively. OKC goes to the Conference Finals in six games.
#2 San Antonio vs. #7 Golden State
San Antonio got saved in their first round matchup by playing a team that refuses to get out in the open floor and push it in transition. They won’t be so lucky here against the Warriors who have the energy and youth to match the experience of the Spurs. Usually I prefer picking the older, more experienced team, the Golden State excites me and I believe they can win this in five games.
#1 OKC vs. #6 Golden State
Youth, shooting, fast breaks, these will be the prominent features of this series, providing plenty of fireworks as a precursor for the NBA finals. Like previously mentioned, I really like the combination of players that Golden State features, but how can anyone series pick them to surpass the Thunder. Serge Ibaka will nuetralize David Lee, Westbrook will outplay Curry and Durant will explode, giving Oklahoma City the advantage and the right to play the Heat in the NBA Finals
2013 NBA Finals:
#1 OKC vs. #1 Miami
The rematch that we’ve been waiting for between the Heat and Thunder that should make for a historic series. Last year Miami caught OKC off guard by pushing the ball in transition and playing surprisingly well in the half court. I don’t see the same thing happening this time around. With Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka down low, this series very well could be reversed with OKC winning in five games. However, Miami’s addition of Ray Allen extends this series to seven games but I still think the Thunder hoist the trophy in the end. This caps off another fantastic series.