2013 NBA Playoffs Betting – First Round Matchup Analysis

lebron-jamesThe 2013 NBA playoffs officially start tomorrow, which means there’ll be plenty of intense betting action! Assuming you’re looking to do a little NBA playoffs betting, it’s definitely worth going over the first round matchups. There are several battles that figure to be extremely entertaining to watch – especially if you’ve got money on the line. So without further adieu, let’s get to the first round matchups.

Eastern Conference

#1 Seed Miami Heat (66-16) vs. #8 Seed Milwaukee Bucks (38-44) – Most people firmly believe that the Heat are destined to repeat as NBA champions. That said, few people expect the Bucks to provide much resistance. Now Milwaukee does feature a strong backcourt with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. However, it’s nearly impossible to see the Bucks slowing down the Miami trio of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Prediction: Heat win the series 4-0

carmelo-anthony#2 Seed New York Knicks (54-28) vs. #7 Seed Boston Celtics (41-40) – This series could definitely feature some fireworks based on earlier season drama between New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Boston’s Kevin Garnett. However, potential drama is about all this matchup will offer since Boston has been doomed ever since Rajon Rando went down with a season-ending injury. Paul Pierce and Garnett may help Boston steal a game; but Anthony, J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler will be too much.

Prediction: Knicks win the series 4-1

#3 Indiana Pacers (49-32) vs. #6 Seed Atlanta Hawks (44-38) – Defense is definitely the name of the game for Indiana. They are arguably the best defensive team in the East, meaning Atlanta’s Al Horford and Josh Smith will have difficulty getting to the basket. If the Hawks are to win, they’ll need to lock down David West and Paul George, which won’t be happening.

Prediction: Pacers win the series 4-2

brook-lopez#4 Seed Brooklyn Nets (49-33) vs. #5 Seed Chicago Bulls (45-37) – Brooklyn features a nice trio of stars in Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. However, Chicago is a very well-balance club with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer manning the paint, and Luol Deng providing a scoring boost. Plus Chicago plays better overall team defense than Brooklyn. Depending upon how healthy Noah is and if they can win the rebounding battle, Chicago can definitely take this series.

Prediction: Chicago wins the series 4-3

Western Conference

#1 Seed Oklahoma City (60-22) vs. #8 Seed Houston Rockets (45-37) – This should be an emotional series for Houston’s James Harden since he’ll be facing off against his former team. He and backcourt mate Jeremy Lin figure to be tough for the Thunder to slow down. But you can expect, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder to go relatively unthreatened in this series. However, the Rockets will probably steal one game at home.

Prediction: Thunder win the series 4-1

tony-parker#2 Seed San Antonio Spurs (58-24) vs. #7 Los Angeles Lakers (45-37) – This matchup would’ve been tough enough for the Lakers to win even with Kobe Bryant. However, Bryant’s Achilles tendon injury has him sidelined until next year and Los Angeles has almost no chance. Dwight Howard would have to play out of his mind and get some big-time support from Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan aren’t going to let this happen.

Prediction: Spurs win the series 4-1

#3 Seed Denver Nuggets (57-25) vs. #6 Seed Golden State Warriors (47-35) – The most interesting matchup in this series will be at the point guard position, where Ty Lawson faces off against Stephen Curry. Both players lead their teams in scoring, and this battle could ultimately dictate who wins the series. But as of right now, we think that Denver’s depth and strong defense will wear Golden State down over a seven-game series.

Prediction: Denver wins the series 4-3

blake-griffin-clippers#4 Seed Los Angeles Clippers (56-26) vs. #5 Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) – L.A. came on strong at the end of the season to take home court advantage in this matchup. That could huge pay dividends for Blake Griffin, Chis Paul, Jamal Crawford and the rest of the Clippers. But Memphis quite possibly plays the best defense in the league, and should be able to overcome the Clippers’ home court advantage in a close series. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol will really have to come through for Memphis though.

Prediction: Grizzlies win the series 4-3

Make sure to check back in a couple of weeks for our second round predictions on the 2013 NBA playoffs.

NBA Power Rankings for Nov. 5th, 2012

Now that we’re a few games into the 2012-2013 NBA regular season, we finally get a chance to see how some teams perform when it really counts. Okay, so maybe these first few games don’t count for everything, but they’re a lot more relevant than preseason results. Interestingly enough, some of our previous top teams have stumbled out of the gates – L.A. we’re looking at you – while others have been surprisingly good. Let’s discuss all of this and more in our latest NBA power rankings.

1. Miami Heat (2-1) – A loss on the road to the Knicks hasn’t wavered our confidence in Miami’s ability to repeat this season. Ray Allen has made a nice transition from the Celtics to Heat since he’s averaging 15.7 PPG while shooting 56.3% from the three-point line. Lebron James is his usual self too by posting statlines of 23 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 6.7 APG.

2. San Antonio Spurs (3-0) – Are the Spurs too old to remain an NBA power? They certainly haven’t shown any signs of dropping off so far with an undefeated early season record. SF Kawhi Leonard is injecting some nice youth into San Antonio by averaging 12.7 PPG and 3.3 SPG.

3. L.A. Clippers (2-1) – For the first time in his career, SG Jamal Crawford spent time working on his shooting this summer. And it’s definitely paid off so far since he’s averaging 25.7 PPG and shooting 53.5% from the field. If this keeps up, maybe Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will be taking a back seat to Crawford’s talents.

4. Oklahoma City (1-2) – How much are the Thunder going to miss James Harden? We guess pretty badly after beginning the season 1-2. However, Oklahoma City certainly has plenty of firepower with Kevin Durant, Kevin Martin and Russell Westbrook all averaging over 20 PPG to open the season.

5. Indiana Pacers (2-1) – Even without a true star player, Indiana looks to be a force in the East thanks to a well-rounded lineup that includes PF David West (19 PPG, 8.7 RPG), SF Paul George (14 PPG, 13 RPG) and C Roy Hibbert (11 PPG, 4 BPG).

6. L.A. Lakers (1-3) – It’s hard to rank the Lakers too far down the list because of an extremely talented lineup that includes Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace and Steve Nash. But the team hasn’t exactly had a dream start after dropping three out of their first four games.

7. Houston Rockets (2-1) – The Rockets leap into our rankings on the strength of good guard play from James Harden and Jeremy Lin. Harden is playing like an early MVP candidate since he’s scoring 35.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 6.3 APG. As for Lin, he’s averaging 15.7 PPG and 7.3 APG.

8. New York Knicks (2-0) – New York has five starters averaging double digit-scoring so far in Steve Novak, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony. The latter is putting up his usually-stellar 28.5 PPG and has the Knicks off to a very hot start.

9. Memphis Grizzlies (1-1) – Not much has changed for Memphis after starting out on the road at L.A. and Golden State. We can’t really fault the Grizzlies too badly after losing to the Clippers so it may be some time before we get an accurate gauge on whether they’ll move up or down our rankings.

10. Milwaukee Bucks (2-0) – The Bucks opened the year with a big win at Boston and also grabbed a home win against Cleveland. PG Brandon Jennings is playing excellent right now with 17 PPG and 13 APG while SG Monta Ellis (18.7 PPG) and SF Mike Dunleavy (18 PPG) are also off to good starts.