What are the most likely upsets in the first round of the NBA playoffs?

Any upset would be an upset

Mark Heisler

Los Angeles Times

Upsets? What upsets? Nothing that happens in the West can even qualify as an upset, unless the Thunder knock off the Lakers, which isn't going to happen. If the No. 7 Spurs knock off the No. 2 Mavericks, does that qualify as an upset? Not as far as I'm concerned, with the Spurs in Tim Duncan preservation mode winning 50 games to the Mavericks' 55. But if you think it does, that would be my pick. Nobody thinks the No. 5 Jazz beating the No. 4 Nuggets would be an upset, do they? The East actually has a normal distribution, but I'm not expecting any surprises, especially with the No. 6 Bucks, who were perfectly capable of upending the No. 3 Hawks, losing Andrew Bogut. Aside from that the No. 1 Cavaliers vs. the No. 8 Bulls. ... I don't think so. The No. 7 Bobcats knock off the No. 2 Magic? Larry Brown has shocked the world more than any other coach, but he doesn't do it every year. The No. 5 Heat over the No. 4 Celtics. I think the Celtics can rise to the occasion one more time, but no more than that. Leaving out Mavericks-Spurs and Nuggets-Jazz, I like the other side of the proposition. Number of upsets in the first round: None.


Heat, Spurs get nod

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

Like in pick-up games on the playground, upsets rarely happen in the NBA playoffs. It's one of the reasons they're great.

So I actually think every higher seed will again win this season. But if I had to pick an upset, there's one strong possibility in each conference: The Spurs over the Mavericks and the Heat over the Celtics. The Spurs closed the season strong and never have been fazed by road playoff games, an essential quality this time of year.

Dwyane Wade has shown in the past he can carry a team to a playoff series victory and the Celtics are looking as old as their parquet floor.


I like Duncan's Spurs

Brian Schmitz

Orlando Sentinel

Upsets? In the NBA? Really?

This isn't the NCAA, 15 seed vs. 2 seed.

You have to go all the way back to 1994 – even before Twitter – to recall the last big upset, to me.

The No. 8 seed Nuggets stunned the top-seeded SuperSonics in 1994.

There have been a few others, but the postseason usually runs to form in the first round.

This season?

How about the Spurs, a No. 7, knocking off the Mavs, a No. 2? I say yes.

The Spurs are big fans of the television people this time of year, because it takes a month to play a series the way the playoff schedule is stretched out.

The Spurs' senior citizens will have had three days before Game 1 and two between 1 and 2. I smell upset.

Tim Duncan can morph into Benjamin Button, a curious case of a player getting younger.


Watch out for Bobcats

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel

While the notion of the Spurs being an underdog is a bit of a stretch, the reality is that San Antonio enters the postseason as a No. 7 seed. Such was life in the wild West.

Considering that the Spurs have now recorded a winning road record for 13 consecutive seasons, a league record, this just does not bode well for the Mavericks, who have a knack for disappearing early.

In the East, typically an expansion team would be in a glad-to-be-there mode. But the Bobcats hardly are your typical expansion team making a playoff debut.

The playoff experience of Larry Brown, Stephen Jackson, Theo Ratliff, Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler will offer the Magic far more of a challenge, again, than one would expect in a No. 2 vs. No. 7.


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