When something major was about to happen, NFL wide receiver, Terrell Owens would always say, "get your popcorn ready." Well the NBA playoffs is rearing its head next Sunday so it's time to "get your popcorn ready" NBA fans!!
The Memphis Grizzlies locked in the final playoff spot by beating the Sacramento Kings 101-96 on Apr 8. The first-round will feature 16 teams; for the East: Chicago, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Indiana, and for the West: San Antonio, Los Angeles, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Denver, New Orleans, Portland and Memphis.
Although the final seeding among these teams is not complete, it is safe to say that the projected match ups will be (1) Chicago vs. (8) Indiana, (2) Boston vs. (7) Philadelphia, (3) Miami vs. (6) New York and (4) Orlando vs. (5) Atlanta in the East. The projected West match ups will be (1) San Antonio vs. (8) Memphis, (2) Los. Angeles vs. (7) Portland, (3) Dallas vs. (6) New Orleans and (4) Oklahoma City vs. (5) Denver.
The series that I believe will not be a shoe-in to the second-round for the better seed is the Miami-New York, and Oklahoma City-Denver match ups. Each team in these two series are similar, but one team has an advantage in each match up.
In the Miami-New York projected match up, both teams have three players who can go toe-to-toe every night (Miami: Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh. New York: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Amare Stoudemire). The Stoudemire-Bosh match up will be the deciding factor in this series.
Hopefully the rumors about Miami considering trading Bosh before next season will fuel him to play like the superstar he was in Toronto against Stat, because if he doesn't the Knicks will pull off the upset and advance to the next round.
In the other match up, both OKC and Denver have exceptional big men, but rely on their perimeter players to score majority of their points. With that being said, I give the edge to the Nuggets when comparing the teams' big men. If Denver can slow down the league's leading scorer in Kevin Durant and his co-star Russell Westbrook, then the Thunder will have a tough battle ahead of them.
All in all, this year's NBA playoffs will be entertaining and intense will all these teams having something to prove, so make sure you have a lot of butter for your popcorn this year.