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2010 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Round 1

In possibly their last year together, can the Big 3 come through one last time? (Sports Illustrated)

Well, the playoffs are finally here, and there have been plenty of exciting teams to watch. Phoenix and Dallas are back, and Atlanta keeps getting better and better, going from #8 two years ago, to #4 last year, to #3 this year. And how they have the good fortune to face an ailing Milwaukee team and avoid Cleveland in Round 2. Both Cleveland and the Lakers lost to end the season, with Cleveland losing their last four. But Shaq is back, so they look to turn that around in a hurry, especially against a Bulls team distracted by Vinny Del Negro vs John Paxson having their little street fight.

Five of the eight series were picked with unanimous winners by our seven experts, and one series each being given 6-1, 5-2, and 4-3 advantages. The 5-2 match-up, the Mavericks and Spurs, looks to be the longest, followed by the Nuggets and Jazz (4-3), then by the Celtics (6-1) over the Heat. No surprises: the quickest series looks to be the Cavaliers, with four experts expecting sweeps.

In fact, Cleveland took four of the seven chosen sweeps, with the others going to the Magic, Hawks, and Lakers. The Celtics/Heat and Mavericks/Spurs each saw three picks for a full seven-game series; even the series of home team dominance, Denver/Utah, only saw one seven-game pick amongst six-game picks.

For opening round scoring, experts get two points for correctly guessing the series winner, and one point for correctly guessing how many games the series will last. Check below for our choices, and stay tuned for Round 2:

Name Andrew Brian Erikk John KC Mike P Teddy
Cavaliers vs
Winner Cavaliers Cavaliers Cavaliers Cavaliers Cavaliers Cavaliers Cavaliers
4 6 4 4 5 4 6
Magic vs
Winner Magic Magic Magic Magic Magic Magic Magic
4 5 5 5 6 5 7
Hawks vs
Winner Hawks Hawks Hawks Hawks Hawks Hawks Hawks
5 5 5 4 7 5 5
Celtics vs
Winner Celtics Celtics Celtics Heat Celtics Celtics Celtics
6 7 7 5 7 6 5
Lakers vs
Winner Lakers Lakers Lakers Lakers Lakers Lakers Lakers
5 6 4 6 6 6 7
Mavericks vs
Winner Spurs Mavericks Mavericks Mavericks Mavericks Spurs Mavericks
7 6 6 5 7 7 6
Suns vs
Winner Suns Suns Suns Suns Suns Suns Suns
5 6 5 7 6 7 5
Nuggets vs
Winner Nuggets Nuggets Jazz Nuggets Jazz Jazz Nuggets
6 6 6 7 6 6 6

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