(1) Warriors vs (8) Clippers
Will Clippers steal a game from Warriors?
“I’m going to say no. But I think this is a great appetizer for the Warriors. With Patrick Beverley, he’s going to wake Steph up. The Clippers are going to be a good startup for the Warriors” – Jefferson
“Clippers get exactly 0 games” – Elhassan
“The Clippers will get at least 1 game” – Van Gundy
(4) Rockets vs (5) Jazz
Concerned Rockets are looking past Jazz to Warriors?
“I don’t think they’re probably are looking past the Jazz. If they are, major mistake. Every game in that series because of the Jazz’s defense will be a difficult game for the Rockets” – Van Gundy
“This is a real deal battle. This is not going to be an easy series” – Elhassan
“You can’t look past them. You look at what they did to OKC last year. Donovan Mitchell and crew literally destroyed them” – Jefferson
(3) Trail Blazers vs (6) Thunder
Blazers on sweep alert vs Thunder?
Blazers are underdogs, according to Vegas
“I’m going with the Blazers in this series and I feel pretty confident about it. Their bigs have stepped up (Zach Collins and Enes Kanter)” – Elhassan
“I look at OKC winning this series, but it’s still unfortunate because of Nurkic’s injury, we don’t get to see what their team could have done this year” – Jefferson
“Oklahoma City will win the series. Damian Lillard is going to see just what he saw in the first round last year. OKC will trap him on every pick-and-roll” – Van Gundy
(2) Nuggets vs (7) Spurs
Experience a huge factor in Nuggets-Spurs series?
“It’s going to be the Spurs having more experience. But the Nuggets have more talent and depth. This is one of the more interesting series” – Van Gundy
“This is the worst possible match up for Denver because Mike Malone is going up against the best chess master in the world in Gregg Popovich. A master of the adjustments” – Elhassan
“Denver will win this series. But this is not who they wanted to see by any means. There’s just too much firepower [on Denver’s roster]. The experience gap is not close. But there’s a big gap in talent” – Jefferson
April 12, 1999 – Vince Carter driving to the baseline with the go-ahead reverse layup vs the Pacers!
(1) Bucks vs (8) Pistons
Giannis ready for playoff spotlight?
“I think so. I have Giannis as my MVP. What he’s done taking that team and that they put great pieces around him, he is that guy this year” –
“This is the appetizer. This is a good thing for the Bucks is they are playing a team that limped into the postseason both figuratively and literally because Blake Griffin’s left knee is the size of the grapefruit” – Elhassan
(4) Celtics vs (5) Pacers
Smart’s injury make Celtics vulnerable vs Pacers?
“I don’t think it does in the first round. Indiana, without Oladipo, cannot match up with the Celtics. Celtics will win” – Van Gundy
“I’m not ready to ride off to Indiana so quickly. What happens if Indiana just wins one of those games? Does Boston fall apart after that?” – Elhassan
“This is not the round where Boston fails. It’s the next round” – Jefferson
(3) 76ers vs (6) Nets
Nets pose any threat to 76ers?
“With Embiid out, they can win some games. But they struggle against really big players, with Embiid being one of them. If Embiid plays, it could be a sweep” – Jefferson
“They’re not going to win this series. Philly wins” – Van Gundy
“No” – Elhassan
(2) Raptors vs (7) Magic
Magic defense give them chance vs Raptors?
“Their defense is going to make it tough on Toronto. But Toronto’s defense is going to overwhelm Orlando. I don’t think Orlando has enough scoring. They need big nights out of Vucevic and Terrance Ross every night to have a chance to be competitive” – Van Gundy
“The shot creation just isn’t there against a top flight defense like Toronto. We’re talking about another young team going into a playoff series against a very veteran experienced team” – Elhassan
“Toronto might be the healthiest team going into the playoffs of any of the real top level contenders” – Van Gundy
Changed to: Warrior most likely to get ejected?
Jefferson: Steve Kerr
Elhassan: Kevin Durant
Sedano: DeMarcus Cousins