As the regular season is winding down, the NBA playoff picture is getting clearer. There are still a lot of spots yet to be decided, but we can already put the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference #1 spot. The San Antonio Spurs look like they will take the Western Conference #1. The Oklahoma City Thunder look to be the Western Conference #2 and the Los Angeles Clippers look like they will get the #3 spot. The Memphis Grizzlies are pulling away a bit for the Western Conference #4. Right now the East is pretty jammed up but the Indiana Pacers are currently #2, The New York Knicks have the #3 and the Brooklyn Nets are #4. Only two games separate those three teams with the #5 Chicago Bulls and #6 Atlanta Hawks only one game in back of those four.
But let’s look at the first round series if the playoff were to start today and see if there are any upsets in there.
Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks- No. If this series goes five games it will be an upset. Lebron James is the best player on the planet. The Heat will cruise.
Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics- Yes. This one could happen. The Celtics are a veteran team that can still turn it on at playoff time. With Kevin Garnett refusing to be traded to the Clippers, this should tell us something. The players at least feel like they have a shot.
New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks- Yes. In Fact, by the time the playoffs roll around, the Hawks might be the home team in this one. The Knicks are struggling mightily lately and could drop to sixth if they don’t get things straightened out.
Brooklyn Nets vs Chicago Bulls– N/A. I don’t think you can call this an upset either way. These teams are pretty evenly matched.
San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets- Yes. This one could happen. The Spurs are a machine. But they are an old machine. If you play them one time, they beat you. But in a seven game series the young Rockets could wear them down.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz– No. The Thunder are just too good with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. This is another four game sweep.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Golden State Warriors- Yes. This one could very well happen. With a healthy Andrew Bogut for the playoffs it looks more likely than not. The Warriors have already beaten the Clippers three times. There is a bit of bad blood between the two teams as well.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Denver Nuggets- N/A. Either way, this one would be hard to call an upset.
Now let’s look at some other possible upsets if teams shift positions.
San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Lakers- If the Lakers claim the eighth spot, yes this could happen. Neither the Spurs or Thunder would be too disappointed if the Lakers miss the playoffs. The Lakers have guys who have championship rings. Like the Celtics, they players feel they have a shot.
New York Knicks vs Brookyn Nets– Yes. Although we are not too sure how much of an upset it would be. But one thing it would be is a fantastic series with New York bragging rights at stake. The Nets could very well win it.
San Antonio Spurs vs Utah Jazz- No. The Spurs can outlast the Jazz. The Jazz don’t have that super player that can carry the team over the machine-like Spurs.