TDS Roundtable: Playoff Picks, Round 1

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls lays on the floor aftrer suffering an injury against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 103-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The NBA Flopoffs Playoffs have arrived, and we here at The Dream Shake don't really care because the Houston Rockets aren't participating, but for fun's sake, we did a brief email exchange and made our playoff picks. Here's what we came up with for Round One (plus the Finals, for bragging rights), in a variety of different formats, because it's finals week and I'm still in college.

Also, these were all made before the Derrick Rose injury, so take that for what it's worth.

Tom Martin

San Antonio over Utah in 6:

The Jazz will dance their way to two wins at home, and that is it.

Memphis over LAC in 7:

I think Chris Paul can keep this close, but do I trust Vinny Del Negro to win a playoff series? Absolutely not.

Lakers over Nuggets in 7:

Denver will push LA to the brink if Danilo Gallinari shows up and takes advantage of the Peace Train rolling out early, but I still think the Lakers pull it out. The Ramon Sessions pickup was huge.

Oklahoma City over Dallas in 5:

Sorry, champs. You may lose to the champs.

Chicago over Philadelphia in 5:

I thought Philly could pull a round one surprise with their defense... but against Chicago? There goes that advantage.

Boston over Atlanta in 6:

Rematch of a fun matchup a few years ago, but Boston's too hot right now to be stopped.

Indiana over Orlando in 5:

I really, really want Dwight Howard to go home early. Plus, this Pacers team could be very dangerous in the later rounds.

Miami over New York in 4:

Don't be shocked if Miami somehow wins this one in three.

* * *

BD34

San Antonio over Utah in 5:
San Antonio is healthy, dangerous, and clicking at the right time. Utah fought their way into the playoffs and has the advantages that doomed San Antonio against Memphis but a healthy Manu Ginobli and well rested Spurs team will definitely make a difference

Memphis over Los Angeles Clippers in 6:

Memphis is a complete team and I don't have faith in the Clippers without Chauncey Billups helping to steer that team in the right direction. There's only so much Chris Paul can do lobbing passes to DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Especially when the Grizz feature a front court of enforcers.

Denver over the Lakers in 7:
I'm hedging here mostly because of how little I believe in the Lakers but also because I want to see Denver succeed. I think this series will be long and the Nuggets have a legitimate chance here. I originally wanted to pick the Lake show and I think they'll make great strides behind Ramon Sessions injecting some youth at the PG spot but I don't think Kobe will let his team dominate the way Bynum and Gasol can do it. If Bynum gets his hands dirty in this series he'll manhandle JaVale McGee but I want to have an upset pick and this is it.

Oklahoma City over Dallas in 6:
The Thunder are my pick to go all the way primarily because they're deadly across the board. Harden's concussion does concern me but I think at the end of the day this team has what it needs to attack the defending champions and the Mavericks have listlessly limped into the post-season. The wheels are falling off this season all for them to be LOADED with cap space this offseason to jump right back to the elite tier of the West.

Chicago over Philadelphia in 5:
I'm being gracious here. I like Philadelphia but I see them back where they were a couple years ago. On the rise to fade out. Granted, Brand had an Achilles injury that took them out but still. Chicago has too much to compete with defensively and I think their offense can pull it together.

Boston over Atlanta in 6:
I can't stand the Celtics but I can't endorse the Hawks. The Celtics have too much firepower and this is a rematch from a great series a few years back. Rajon Rondo leading any team has to make you invest in their offense and the C's have tweaked their rotation to help them stake their claim as contenders in the East but I think this is the last year we'll see this group together or even say they're contenders for a title.

Indiana over Orlando in 5:
I'm being generous in assuming Orlando takes a game. Indiana has had a great year to build on and they're knocking on the door to legitimacy in the East again. Dwight Howard is out and Ron Jeremy is losing control of his team in general because of that circus. Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, and David West are going to be too much for the Mickey Mouse Club to handle.

Miami over New York in 4:
My only sweep of the first round. New York is feisty and under Woodson they've made great strides but a ready to go Miami team and a ready to prove himself Queen James in the first? I'm going to put my money on Miami as the more complete team with more firepower, less question marks, and more discipline (Which isn't saying much when you consider these two squads).

* * *

AK2theMax

Spurs over Jazz in 6
Grizzlies over Clippers in 7
Lakers over Nuggets in 5
Thunder over Mavs in 6

Bulls over Sixers in 6
Celtics over Hawks in 5
Pacers over Magic in 5
Heat over Knicks in 6

* * *

Only_A_Lad

San Antonio vs. Utah
San Antonio has the moral high ground. Spurs in 6.

OKC vs. Dallas
Oklahoma City isn't a team of old men yet. Thunder in 5.

Lakers vs. Denver
The Lakers fantastically overperformed this season. Their pythag record was good for 36 wins, and yet they won 41. Maybe you think that's evidence of scrappiness or something, but I think it's just luck. Correspondingly, the Nuggets underperformed slightly (by one win). Of course, the Nuggets have some injury problems (Wilson Chandler is out), but the injuries that arguably made them fall into the 6th seed are largely solved, and Chandler sucks, anyways.
On the other hand, the Lakers have done well against the Nuggets this season and still have one of the most powerful frontcourts in the game. But the Nuggets can neutralize that enough that their youth, speed, and better bench can carry the series. Nuggets in 7.

Memphis vs. Clippers
The Grizzlies have reserves and don't flip out and start whining every time someone gives them a hard foul. Also Chris Paul might be hurt or something. Grizzlies in 6.

Chicago versus Philadelphia.
I don't know what's up with my beloved Iggy's team. Another team that did much better in their margin of victory (43 wins, good for the 3rd seed) than in reality (35 and hanging onto the 8th), the Sixers were the darlings of the NBA in the first few weeks of the season, but they've been screwing up majestically ever since. Iggy is listed as "possible" for the start of the series, Rose is expected to play. The Bulls, on the other hand, were a tremendous machine this season, and I expect them to stomp the floor with whoever they meet going into the EC Finals. As much as I'd like to say that the Sixers get their shit together and make a game out of this one, I don't believe it. They'll win one just to maintain some respectability. Bulls in 5.

Boston vs. Atlanta
I kind of want to die when I see this one. Holy crap what a terrible series this will be. Overpaid old men and Rondo versus other overpaid old men and Josh Smith. I predict that Atlanta (or Boston. Who cares?) recognizes the shamefulness of this matchup and rolls over out of kindness to the television audience. Celtics in 4.

Indiana vs. Orlando
Orlando is spiritually dead. They would have been better-served by trading Howard, since now everyone on that team will have to go through that shit again next year. I don't usually buy into lines about "chemistry" and "emotion" and such, but here we are and while so much of why Orlando fell on its face this year was because of terrible personnel decisions made over the past five years or so, a lot probably had to do with the whole team feeling like they were just Howard's stage for contract negotiations. The only person there who probably still cares is Ryan Anderson, whom I hope the Rockets will offer a big, fat contract this offseason. The Pacers are better in basically every way, and they don't hate their best player, either (what's to hate about Roy Hibbert, anyways?). Pacers in 4.

Miami vs. New York
It actually turned out that the Knicks weren't so freaking terrible once they got a real point guard, even if that real point guard came in the body of a combo guard. "Real" of course just means "willing and able to make a pass." Even Amare doesn't suck terribly anymore. Hooray. But Miami is ridiculously good at running the floor and defending and scoring points and stuff, and that's how you win games. New York wins one in MSG, but otherwise Miami will destroy them. Heat in 5.

* * *

UofTOrange

Chicago over Philidelphia

Boston over Atlanta

Orlando over Indiana

Miami over NY

SA over Utah

LA over Memphis

LA over Denver

OKC over Dallas

* * *

Xiane

Chicago over Philadelphia - 76ers stumbled into the playoffs, and they'll stumble out. 4 games.

Boston over Atlanta - Boston is feeling frisky, getting great D. Atlanta isn't great at anything. 5 games.

Indiana over Orlando - The ongoing farce at Orlando mercifully ends here. 6 games.

New York over Miami - Anthony battles Lebron to a standstill, Chandler shuts down the paint. Amare give them 3 great games. Everyone points and laughs at Miami. 7 games.

SAS over Utah - It's closer than you'd think. 7 games.

Memphis over LAC - Bad matchup for Clippers - 5 games, unless the refs put a forcefield around Chris Paul.

LAL over Denver - Will make a case for NBA being like WWE. 6 games.

OKC over Dallas - Dallas dismantled a contender. 5 games.

* * *

Patrick Harrel

Chicago beats Philidelphia

Boston beats Atlanta

Orlando beats Indiana

Miami beats NY

SA beats Utah

LAC beats Memphis (though CP3 vs. TA promises to be fun)

LAL beats Denver

OKC beats Dallas

* * *

Mike Kerns

Bulls over 76ers in a sweep
Hawks in 6 over Celtics
Pacers over Magic in 5
Heat sweep Knicks

Spurs in 5 over Jazz
Grizzlies over Clips in 6
Lakers in 6 over Nuggets
Thunder over Mavs in 5

* * *

Finals Picks

Tom Martin: Miami over Oklahoma City in 7.

BD34: Oklahoma City over Boston in 7.

AK2theMax: Miami over LA Lakers in 7.

Only_A_Lad: Chicago over San Antonio in 6 (Note: This is also a pre-Rose injury pick. I'm sure it will change, for sanity's sake).

UofTOrange: Oklahoma City over Miami in ???.

Xiane: San Antonio over Chicago in 7 (Note: This is a post-Rose injury pick. Just kidding).

Patrick Harrel: Miami over LA Lakers in 6.

Mike Kerns: Miami over Oklahoma City in 6.

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