NBA Playoff Preview and Predictions

By Bhavik Patel
Staff Writer
With the NBA Playoffs beginning this week, here’s a quick preview of the match-ups and predicted outcomes as the road to the NBA Finals begin.

Western Conference

First Round

(1) San Antonio Spurs versus
(8) Sacramento Kings

The Spurs once again are playing like the reigning NBA champions and will be led by Mr. Fundamental Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and a strong supporting cast including Mr. Clutch, Big Shot Bob Horry. The Kings will need Ron Artest and Mike Bibby to have career postseason performances to even have a shot at overtaking the Spurs.

(2) Phoenix Suns versus
(7) L.A. Lakers

The Suns have played surprisingly well without starting center Amare Stoudemire while the Lakers have fulfilled their expectations of making the playoffs under Phil Jackson. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they’ve lost seven of their past eight games against the Suns dating back to last season. Unless Kobe Bryant scores 81 points in every game, Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and the Suns should easily win the series. Sorry Laker fans, better luck next year.

(3) Denver Nuggets versus
(6) L.A. Clippers

The Clippers are in the playoffs. With Elton Brand’s constant play and Sam Cassell running the point, the Clippers should be able to pull off the upset over the Nuggets. Carmelo Anthony will score his usual 25 plus points, but the Clippers will easily handle the Nuggets much like they did in the regular season.

(4) Dallas Mavericks versus
(5) Memphis Grizzles

The Mavericks have been one of the top three teams throughout the season and should easily take care of the Memphis Grizzles. Look for Dirk Nowitzki to continue his MVP-like play while the Grizzlies try to keep the series close by utilizing the versatility of Pau Gasol and three-point shooting of Mike Miller.

Second Round

(1) San Antonio Spurs versus
(4) Dallas Mavericks

This game might as well take the place of the NBA Finals as the two top teams from the Western Conference battle to advance to the next round. The key matchup will be between the Spurs’ Tim Duncan and the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki. Expect Nowitzki to finally lead his team to victory against the Spurs and former teammate Michael Finley in a tough second round matchup.

(2) Phoenix Suns versus
(6) L.A. Clippers

The Suns should easily take care of the Clippers as Sam Cassell will have trouble running after Steve Nash. The Clippers might have a chance to pull the upset if they slow down the pace of the game and pound the ball into their two big men, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman. At least Clipper fans can gloat about the fact that they advanced further than the Lakers in the playoffs.

Western Conference Finals

(2) Phoenix Suns versus
(4) Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks should be able to end the season for their former teammate Steve Nash, and more importantly the Phoenix Suns. If fans want to see a defensive struggle, this is certainly not the series for them. Expect high-scoring games and a flurry of three-point shooting as two of the best offensive teams take the court in the most entertaining matchup of the playoffs.

Eastern Conference

First Round

(1) Detroit Pistons versus
(8) Milwaukee Bucks

The Pistons have been by far the best team in the NBA. They are also experienced and know how to play come playoff time as they have been in the last two NBA finals. Look for the Pistons to use their balanced scoring