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Bulls Vs. Sixers
What we said: “In the closing minutes, the ball will be in Derrick Rose’s hands, afraid not to shoot. A Derrick Rose is exactly what the 76ers lack.”
What happened: Now even the Bulls lack a Derrick Rose, going down with a season-ending injury in Game 1. The result: Sixers up 3 games to 1. The Sixer’s Jrue Holiday has been a revelation, leading his team in points and assists per game. The Bulls are still fighting, with their coach still believing that they still “have more than enough to win.”
They’ll become the 5th No.1 seed to lose in the first round, should their coach be wrong.
Heat Vs. Knicks
What we said: “The Heat are a favorite to win it all since season’s start, but the Knicks can’t be ignored: under interim coach Mike Woodson, they have compiled 17 wins and only six losses, with much-improved defense.”
What happened: If not for Anthony’s 41-point series-best performance in Game 4, the Knicks would be gone fishing now. Their much-improved defense hasn’t shown up, supposedly anchored by Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler. The Heat have averaged 94 ppg (the Knicks are averaging 80 ppg) with Lebron and Wade leading the way through four games played.
Pacers Vs. Magic
What we said: “Who wins: Orlando. Just kidding.”
What happened: After a surprise upset in the first game, the Pacers have racked off three straight wins for a commanding lead. We do want to apologize to Magic forward Glen Davis who we commended ONLY for his effort and emotion in our preview. The surly big man has been averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds through four games.
Boston Vs. Atlanta
What we said: “Boston, considered old even then, has only gotten older; and the Hawks, considered once to be an upstart team, has shown growth. The Hawks also hold the home court advantage this time around—important, considering the Celtics never won on the road in their 2008 match-up.”
What happened: Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have submitted a few turn-back-the-clock performances, leading to wins. Rondo, after getting suspended for Game 2, has been playing out of his mind. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith of the Hawks have been playing solid enough—solid enough for a 3-1 hole, that is.
Spurs Vs. Jazz
What we said: “Unless Utah finds a way to get Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap untracked for the entirety of the series, then this first-round match-up has about as much drama as "Dude, Where's My Car?".
What happened: Dude, where’s Tony Parker? Oh he’s probably somewhere there in the lane, giving the hapless Jazzmen a terrible, terrible headache with an average of 24 points per game through the first three games. Today, the Spurs relieved the Jazz of their misery, completing a sweep, this time led by Ginobili’s 17 big points.
Thunder Vs. Mavericks
What we said: “A slightly inferior team compared to last year won't get Dallas past OKC, especially since the latter have serious intent of retribution on their minds. OKC in 6 tight games.”
What happened: A sweet, sweep revenge. We were right in saying the games would be tight though. Game 1 featured a Durant game-winner. Game 2 saw the Mavs in the lead during the final minute. And Game 4 was a come-from-behind victory courtesy of James Harden, who has been outstanding off the bench.
Lakers Vs. Nuggets
What we said: “As contrasting styles go, Denver's core of Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, and Arron Afflalo will be platooned by a steady cast of role players, including Andre Miller, JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, and Al Harrington. Over at LA's end, it's Kobe, Pau, and Bynum, and everybody else. The interesting dynamic of both teams will be on full display in a tight series…”
What happened: In the Lakers’ Game 3 failure, six Nugget players scored in double figures led by guard Ty Lawson’s 25. That game gave them hope to somehow even the series at 2-2. Hope that was quickly quelled in the next game—a 92-88 comeback win in favor of the Lakers—where role players Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake hit crucial shots in the closing minutes.
Grizzlies Vs. Clippers
What we said: “These two teams are so evenly-matched—the Clips won the season series 2-1—that you could make a case for home-court advantage not meaning a whole lot in this series. Both teams come with serious firepower…”
What happened: What we said. This is the closest match-up of the first round. Games 1 and 3, won by the Clippers, were decided by just one point. The Game 2 winner was still a toss-up until Grizzlies forwards Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph gave their team a 13-point lead with four minutes remaining in the game.
And how about that Game 4 overtime classic, huh? It was scrappy from tip-off to final buzzer, and one that saw magnificent performances from Chris Paul (8 points in OT), and Blake Griffin (30 points) and the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley who matched CP3’s near triple-double outing.
In the end, Mo Williams sealed it with clutch free throws to give the Clippers a 101-97 victory, and a 3-1 series lead. Still, if Memphis can keep their heart intact after this tough loss, the series still has the chance to go the full seven games.
But don’t take our word for it; that’s only a humble prediction.