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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 1

Heat vs Trail Blazers: Week 1's prediction for the NBA Finals

The NBA season is finally here, and with the new year, a week’s already gone by. But there have been plenty of early surprises. Boston and Dallas are among teams that were expected to do well, but have so far just tanked. Indiana and Portland are among the teams that are taking advantage to get much better positioning than they would have otherwise. So where is everyone after a volatile first week? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, January 1, before the day’s games:


#1 Portland Trail Blazers vs #8 Golden State Warriors

Portland is one of three unbeaten teams after the first week. Golden State is hanging in there at 2-2, and they haven’t even been on the road yet. The way things are going so far, Portland should have the advantage.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Denver Nuggets

Oklahoma City is another of the unbeatens, while Denver is in a similar situation to the Warriors, but are just 1-2 on the road so far. That’s not good against a Thunder squad many are picking to finish at or close to the top of the West.

#3 San Antonio Spurs vs #6 Houston Rockets

Neither team has lost at home, and neither has won on the road. But San Antonio is 3-1 while Houston is 2-2, and the rockets had to dip deep down their list of desired big men during offseason acquisitions before getting a new center. San Antonio has just been the all-around better team in recent years.

#5 New Orleans Hornets vs #4 Los Angeles Lakers

Not everyone is big on Los Angeles after last season’s end and the departures of Lamar Odom and Phil Jackson. In fact, New Orleans has the better winning percentage. But the Lakers have done well so far, winning three in a row after an 0-2 start. If Kobe Bryant keeps producing and drawing away defenders, then the Lakers should do quite well as underdogs for a change.


#1 Miami Heat vs #8 Philadelphia 76ers

The Big Three is clicking on all cylinders. Miami is definitely the East’s team to beat, something Philadelphia can’t do.

#2 Indiana Pacers vs #7 Milwaukee Bucks

Indiana is doing well early on; they’re 3-1, with all games coming within the conference. With no impact players readily available, Milwaukee doesn’t exactly have the best chances, though at 2-0 at home, Milwaukee should at the very least make things interesting.

#3 Orlando Magic vs #6 Chicago Bulls

Interestingly enough, Chicago is one of two teams that hasn’t played a home game or a conference game. And they’re still 3-1 after all of that. Orlando does have a few guys formerly from Boston, and they do have the best center around in Dwight Howard, but there are rumors that Howard is getting tired of Orlando. With that weighing on the team’s mind, true or not, Chicago and their stacked lineup have the edge here.

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs #4 New York Knicks

New York is going back and forth after Amar’e Stoudemire’s ankle issues. Atlanta won their first three games, all within the conference. However, Stoudemire will be healthy. And Carmelo Anthony and new center Tyson Chandler also figure to have big seasons. All them together with the rest of the team should be able to pull it out in the end.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • There’s obviously a lot of wiggle room, but even Boston has the best chance to get into the brackets, provided they can get past Indiana in Boston.
  • Look for Oklahoma City to be the new West #1, especially since they get to host Portland.
  • All of Utah’s home games give them the best chance to take over a spot, provided they get past New Orleans in Utah.

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