The only series that has been decided so far is the one with Miami and Charlotte, where the defending champions cracked out the brooms. How are the rest of the series looking? I’ve got my updated Round 1 NBA playoff expert picks below.
Updated Round 1 Playoff Expert Picks
Atlanta Hawks Over Indiana Pacers In 6
This has felt like a strange, unexpected, forgone conclusion since Atlanta ran over the Pacers in Game 1. The Hawks are a perfectly capable basketball team, but Indiana has refused to show up and it’s frankly been their series to lose. They look flat out exhausted and that’s not the type of team you want to back when making updated Round 1 playoff expert picks. I mean…it’s the first round! Even if Indiana somehow rallies to win the series, they’re not going to have the energy to deal with anyone in the subsequent rounds.
Toronto Raptors Over Brooklyn Nets In 6
The Raptors are playing with a steely resolve that is uncharacteristic of young teams in the playoffs, while Brooklyn has often played with a sense of entitlement as if they’re just going to be handed this series in general. Toronto has been my pick in this series the entire way through so my updated Round 1 NBA playoff expert picks has them winning in six games. They’re moderate home favorites this Wednesday and I expect them to close out this series by the weekend.
Washington Wizards Over Chicago Bulls In 5
Washington has always had a strong starting five, but they’ve never played to their full potential for long enough to really be considered contenders. But with the way they’ve pounded the tough Chicago Bulls, it’s hard not to want to get on this bandwagon. They’re a seriously fun team.
San Antonio Spurs Over Dallas Mavericks In 7
The Mavericks are 4-0 ATS in this series so far, and I expect them to cover in dog fights as this series rages on. This is clearly one of the best series for basketball nostalgia as Rick Carlisle and Gregg Popovich play chess on a basketball court beyond the level of a grand master. It’s a sight to behold. I projected this series to be a four-game sweep for the Spurs, but my updated Round 1 NBA playoff expert picks now have this going six. And honestly, I want it to go seven. It’s just a treat to watch two masterminds coach at the height of their intellectual powers.
Memphis Grizzlies Over Oklahoma City Thunder In 7
No two teams contrast each other like Oklahoma City and Memphis. The high flying Thunder have been explosive at times, but the Grizzlies have been legitimate (and self-proclaimed) grinders. They know Oklahoma City inside and out, because the Thunder barely have a game plan to speak of. Even if Memphis doesn’t win the series, I expect them to be bosses against the spread. In my updated Round 1 NBA playoff expert picks, I have Oklahoma City winning this series in seven but Memphis will be an underdog with plenty of bit on a per-game betting basis.
Portland Trail Blazers Over Houston Rockets In 5
James Harden and Dwight Howard are the poster boys for Houston in general, but they’re also poster boys for their biggest problem. This team lacks the type of hustle and grit that you need to win in the post season. There is absolutely no justifiable reason for the Rockets to be so lazy defensively, not when KEVIN MCHALE IS THEIR COACH. Nobody ball watches better than James Harden and that’s not a good thing. I projected Portland to win this series, and that hasn’t changed one bit.
Los Angeles Clippers over Golden State Warriors In 7
I just don’t know how the Clippers respond to all this pressure, even with the NBA handing down a lifetime ban to Donald Sterling (and major kudos on that, Adam Silver!). I’ve gone back and forth on this paragraph for the past thirty minutes. There’s just no way to factor in a variable as intangible and massive as the Sterling thing. I think the Clippers are a better team than Golden State and if they get their act together, they should win in seven but the opening is right there for Golden State as well. To be honest this updated Round 1 NBA playoff expert pick is the one I just can’t make for obvious reasons.