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NBA Playoffs: Round 1 Picks

April 14, 2017
Jeremy Hyman

Celtics in 4:
The Celts were the one seed for a reason and Chicago was in disarray for much of this season. Maybe the Bulls win a game at home, but don't think Boston has too much of a problem getting by.  

Cavs in 5: Too much star power on the court for Indiana, Cavs will turn it on now that it's the postseason.

Raptors in 5: Could be the most complete Raptors team over the past few years, they may not win the games easily, but the Bucks are still a few years away from winning a playoff series.

Wizards in 5: The Wiz will miss Mahinmi, but they have enough offense to make up for whatever rebounding edge Atlanta may have with Howard inside.  

Warriors in 4: Can't see the Warriors losing a game in the series.

Spurs in 4: No Tony Allen will hurt, Memphis always plays hard but don't think they have enough to win a game against the Spurs in the playoffs. 

Rockets in 6: Could be an entertaining series, but the Rockets will be able to gameplan for Westbrook and the Thunder don't have enough around him to win more than a couple of games.

Jazz in 6: The Jazz play great defense and the Gobert-Jordan matchup down low will be a fun one to watch.   The Clippers have plenty of experience and the bigger names, but Utah will be tough to beat at home and I think they sweep the home games and take one in LA.   

Zach Rosen

Celtics in 5: The Bulls will likely steal a game at home, but their poor offense up against the No. 1 seed in the East will be exploited in this series.

Cavs in 5: LeBron and company will find their groove again in this series, but an underrated talented Pacers team will give them some good games.

Raptors in 6: I agree with Jeremy that this is one of the Raptors’ best teams in years, especially their resilience (20 double-digit comeback wins). They have a great mix of offense and defense, but I think Giannis and the Bucks will be feeling limited pressure and can win one or two games. 

Wizards in 6: The Hawks present some challenges for the Wizards, but John Wall and Bradley Beal will be too much for Atlanta to handle. 

Warriors in 4: They were playing lights out at the end of the season without Kevin Durant, and now they get him back. Good luck, Blazers. 

Spurs in 5:  Tony Allen's absence will be tough for the Grizzlies to come back from, and the Spurs are just too much to handle. Memphis will probably still steal a game at home in the Gasol brother showdown. 

Rockets in 5: The Rockets will shoot the Thunder out of the gym, especially if Patrick Beverley can slow down Russell Westbrook just a little bit. 

Clippers 6: I think the Jazz will have trouble stopping Blake Griffin and the home court advantage they clinched the last day of the season will be the difference.

Chris Gehring

Celtics in 4: Celtics are ready for a deep run, and Chicago seemed to lose itself a bit this season. Brad Stevens will have his squad ready, and they’ll get off to a good start en route to what they hope is a long playoff run. 

Cavs in 5: The Cavs have been struggling, but they’re rested and ready for the postseason. Paul George will help Indy get one on their home court, but Irving, James and Love will heat up in time to take care of the Pacers fairly quickly. 

Raptors in 5: Same thing here as with the Pacers. Toronto is easily the more complete and better team, but the Bucks are young and hungry. Giannis Antetokounmpo will arrive on the playoff scene and set the stage for many more Milwaukee runs, but playoff vets DeRozan and Lowry will take care of business and get off to a good start to the postseason.

Wizards in 6: The Hawks present some challenges with Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap, but the Wizards are the better team. Wall and Beal will shine in this series and prep for a deep run.

Warriors in 4: Golden State is again the best team in the NBA. This won’t take long.

Spurs in 4 : Memphis has the grit, but San Antonio is ready for another run at the West under Gregg Popovich.  

Rockets in 6 : A pair of MVP candidates will make this the marquee series on the first round. Harden and the more-complete Rockets will get the better of Westbrook, but this is one of two series I can see maybe going seven games.  

Jazz in 7 : Why not have one go seven, right? Two totally different styles clash here, and it’ll go down to the wire. In the end, Utah’s NBA-leading defense gets it done.

Jacob Raim  

Celtics in 5,  Cavs in 5,  Raptors in 6,  Wizards in 6,  Warriors in 4,  Spurs in 5,  Rockets in 5,  Clippers in 7

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