Miami is seeking a three-peat in its fourth straight Finals appearance after dispatching Indiana. (businessinsider.com)

The Finals are set, as Miami and San Antonio have advanced. The did so by dispatching the Pacers and Thunder in six games each. San Antonio especially had a tougher time than it anticipated, with Serge Ibaka making an early return to the Thunder. Still, it was not to be for OKC.

As for our contest, the Thunder cost some of our experts, with precious few points available at this point. But the six game series did manage to help out a bit for some.

But the contest is not over yet. One more round remains, the picks for which will be presented Thursday for Game 1. Stay tuned for them, but until then, updated results are below. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoff Expert Picks: Third Round Results »

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Julius Randle (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sport)

The NBA Draft lottery wasn’t kind to the Celtics, who entered it with the fifth-best odds of getting the top pick but wound up with the sixth selection. Boston will also have the 17th overall pick as a result of the blockbuster that sent the remaining members of the Big Three to Brooklyn, and which will continue to pay dividends for the C’s until the 2018 Draft. The Celtics will not, however, have a second-round selection, as they traded theirs to Dallas when they moved up to take Kelly Olynyk last year.

So, while Indiana, Miami, Oklahoma City and San Antonio continue to compete for the 2013-14 Championship, in Boston it’s time to start looking at some of the prospects the Celtics could target on June 26, starting today with the sixth pick (and leaving aside, for now, the Kevin Love trade rumors). Considering, as it currently seems, that the top three will feature some combination of Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’s Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, the first prospect on our radar is Julius Randle of Kentucky: Continue reading Celtics 2014 Draft Targets: Julius Randle »

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Now that they don't have to worry about Serge Ibaka, the Spurs have an easier road to get back to the NBA Finals. (zowienews)

Now that the Conference Championships are underway, it’s time to get to it. Both the Pacers and Heat had their struggles late in the season, but the Heat have had a much easier time in the playoffs so far. The Spurs and Thunder both have many dangerous weapons at their disposal, but the Thunder have lost Serge Ibaka for the remainder of the playoffs due to a calf injury and have no way to replicate his success in the paint.

Still, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook remaining, the Thunder are getting some looks from our experts, either to win or make things interesting. On the other side, Indiana’s prolonged troubles don’t give them much hope against LeBron and co, even starting with home-court advantage.

As before, picking the winner of a series is worth two points and picking how many games it will last is worth one point.

So check below for everyone’s third round picks, and check back once the Finals are set for the updated results. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoff Expert Picks: Third Round »

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A highly controversial call has Doc Rivers fuming and OKC moving on to the Conference Finals. (NBA/TNT video)

The NBA is down to its final four, a pair of top two seeds. Miami and San Antonio cruised, while Indiana and OKC had to work a little harder. The Thunder also got a huge amount of help, at least in Doc Rivers’ opinion.

With many of our experts in agreement, it was hard to gain points. Even series lengths didn’t provide too much opportunity. But still, one point could easily make all the difference in the end.

So check out the results below so far, and come back Sunday for the Third Round picks. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks – Second Round Results »

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After a tough first round, potent OKC gets an equally tough Clippers squad. (http://indervilla.com/)

The NBA is down to its last eight teams after an exhausting Round of 16. The Heat and Wizards are the most well-rested of the teams; can they take advantage? The Pacers were great at home over the season, but have struggled lately. The Nets swept the Heat in the regular season, but all their experience can only be hosted in older bodies. OKC and LAC are on a massive collision course, while the veteran Spurs face a Blazers’ squad fresh off a rare playoff series victory.

A case could be made for any of the eight teams, but in our Pick ‘Em, no team was unanimously selected to advance. But in a rare show of coincidental solidarity, one series was unanimously selected to go six games. Either way, most think it will be a drawn-out round for everyone.

So check below for the complete second round picks, and check back once the round is complete for the results. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks – Second Round »

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Washington pulled off a big win over Chicago, and now looks to do the same against the East's top-seeded Pacers. (http://www.wizardio.com/)

The first round is finally over, after five of the eight series went seven games, and just one wound up as a sweep. That leaves some tired teams, but it should be a good second round. But before that, we have the results from the first round to present.

The Wizards upending the Bulls was the biggest surprise, and such lengthy series, especially in the West, weren’t always easy to see coming. The Clippers/Warriors and Blazers/Rockets were the most split series, and contributed to making some room between the top and bottom of our standings. Of course, choosing series length also helped.

As usual, complete picks are below. And check back shortly for the second round selections. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round Results »

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One of the most exciting NBA playoff first rounds in recent memory finally came to an end last night. The NBA had its own March Madness, as there were five consecutive win or go home games over the weekend. Despite all the craziness surrounding the first round, there were only three series where the lower seed upset the favorite. The two true upsets were the fifth-seeded Washington Wizards defeating the #4 Chicago Bulls in five games and the #5 Portland Trail Blazers eliminating the #4 seed Houston Rockets in six.

The other upset, at least by seeding, was the #6 Brooklyn Nets over the third-ranked Toronto Raptors in seven games. In the eyes of the experts from Las Vegas, the Nets were favored to win the series when it first started. The question now is how will the second round shake out? Well, in the first round I picked the correct winner in six out of the eight series. Here are my predictions for round two.

Continue reading NBA Playoffs Second Round Predictions »

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