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NBA Playoffs 2013: Potential First Round Upsets

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 NBA Playoffs 2013: Potential First Round Upsets
Unread 04-17-2013, 11:08 AMJoined Sep 2012 - away - #1
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MischiefTooReal 87 heat pts87 space
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As the 2012-13 NBA regular season comes to a close, the postseason matchups are falling into place. From 2012 rematches to clashes between division foes, we're preparing to see heated clashes between the league's elite.

The question is, who could be on upset alert?

In a perfect world, the seeds would all advance in the manner in which their hype suggests they should. As we've come to learn, however, seeding is only as valuable as a team's ability to execute when the game is on the line.

In a postseason series, close outings are common—in those instances, the term "better" is not always applicable.

In 2013, there is the potential for upsets to transpire during the first round of the playoffs. Not only could current favorites stumble, but they could fall before their postseason run even begins.

So who is on upset alert? Let's find out.
No. 2 New York Knicks vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics
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For those who believe that the New York Knicks are illegitimate NBA championship contenders, stop yourself short. The Knicks are an elite three-point shooting team that has rediscovered their elite defense since the signing of Kenyon Martin.

With that being said, the Knicks drew the worst first-round draw possible when they landed a seven-game series against the Boston Celtics.

The Knicks and Celtics are longtime rivals who always seem to bring the best out of one another. While New York won three of four during the regular season, the postseason is an entirely different animal.

For what it's worth, the Celtics reached the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals while the Knicks haven't made it out of the first round since 2000.

The Celtics may be without Rajon Rondo, but they are still led by former NBA champions Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. With Jeff Green's rise to stardom and the pairing of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee playing elite defense, the Celtics have the depth and star power to pull off the upset.

Even if the Knicks are rationally favored, don't sleep on Boston.

No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors
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Most teams are fortunate enough to get healthy at the perfect time of the season. In the case of the Denver Nuggets, they've seen Danilo Gallinari go down with a torn ACL and Kenneth Faried suffer a sprained ankle during the final month of the season.

That's bad news considering the Nuggets are in line to play another elite offensive team in the Golden State Warriors.

Gallinari's ability to shoot the three-ball will be missed, although it shouldn't be too devastating for the Nuggets. They can compensate for his absence by plugging in spot shooters who are capable in spot-up situations.

Against a Warriors team that's eighth in three-point field goals and first in three-point field goal percentage, however, that may not be enough.

The true absence to be missed, however, is Faried's. Not only is Faried an elite rebounder, but he's preparing to go up against David Lee in this series.

For those unfamiliar, Lee is fourth in rebounding and leads the league with 55 double-doubles.

If Faried is not at 100 percent, Lee will exploit that advantage on both ends of the floor. This will enable the Warriors to create second-chance scoring opportunities and capitalize with the three-ball.

That's more than enough for the Warriors to take down a defensively-inept Nuggets team in four out of seven games.

imageNo. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Lakersimage
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Before we get into the blind hatred of the Los Angeles Lakers, it's important that we remember who we're talking about. Even without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers are an elite team that thrive in the areas the Oklahoma City Thunder have trouble.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure a core of Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash is elite for any other franchise.

Assuming Howard and Gasol work it inside, they can slow it down and create easy baskets for their shooters. With Steve Blake catching fire, Nash one of the all-time great shooters and Jodie Meeks finding his stroke, L.A. could keep the pace.

Don't put your money on it, but this is possible.

Howard led the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals with a significantly weaker supporting cast than he currently possesses. As long as Nash is able to get healthy, there's no reason he can't do the same in 2013.

Kobe will be missed, but this is not an impossibility—no matter how badly we want to tell ourselves it is.
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38 comments for "NBA Playoffs 2013: Potential First Round Upsets"

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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:11 AMJoined Dec 2010 - away - #2
SmoothTay 22 heat pts22 space
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Bookmarked
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:18 AMJoined Sep 2010 - away - #3
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Warriors over Nuggets isn't even an upset. If they're missing Faried than I think we sweep.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:27 AMJoined Oct 2009 - away - #4
thegoldenhero 3 heat pts space
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Rockets have a bigger chance at upsetting Spurs the Lakers have against OKC...I still think both OKC and Spurs make it out of the first round.

and no way Warriors sweep anybody they aren't that good.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:33 AMJoined Apr 2004 - away - #5
k3llz 31 heat pts31 space
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Knicks better not lose to Celtics, that better not happen

Lakers without Kobe ain't beating Spurs, we can push it to 6-7 but if Kobe was there

but i'm intrigued by that Nugs/GSW series
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:34 AMJoined Dec 2008 - away - #6
Dangerously 213 heat pts213 space
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The Nets making it to the second round would be an upset according to some of these BX retards
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:36 AMJoined Aug 2007 - away - #7
MythMade 6 heat pts space
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Originally Posted by Thee Yung Star
Warriors over Nuggets isn't even an upset. If they're missing Faried than I think we sweep.
Plus, they have the greatest human since Jesus in Steph Curry.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:37 AMJoined Jun 2010 - away - #8
SoulOnIce 65 heat pts65 space
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Nuggets will be tough despite injuries IMO.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:37 AMJoined Sep 2010 - away - #9
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Originally Posted by MythMade
Plus, they have the greatest human since Jesus in Steph Curry.
Jesus only shot 43% from 3.

Steph shoots 45.


Steph >
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:51 AMJoined Jan 2007 - away - #10
wtr1906 30 heat pts30 space
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So the Lakers already locked up the playoff spot???
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Unread 04-17-2013, 11:59 AMJoined Sep 2012 - away - #11
MischiefTooReal 87 heat pts87 space
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Originally Posted by SmoothTay
Bookmarked


Don't catch feelings b. It's says POTENTIAL UPSET not GUARANTEED UPSET.

It's cool though bump away.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 12:25 PMJoined Feb 2012 - away - #12
OC123 114 heat pts114 space
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Originally Posted by Thee Yung Star
Jesus only shot 43% from 3.

Steph shoots 45.


Steph >
jesus shuttlesworth is #4 in the league in plus/minus in crunch time, steph curry is 15th


jesus>

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Unread 04-17-2013, 01:15 PMJoined Aug 2007 - away - #13
MythMade 6 heat pts space
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Originally Posted by OC123
jesus shuttlesworth is #4 in the league in plus/minus in crunch time, steph curry is 15th


jesus>

I was referring to Jesus CHRIST.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 01:50 PMJoined Jul 2006 - away - #14
KingK 23 heat pts23 space
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Originally Posted by SoulOnIce
Nuggets will be tough despite injuries IMO.
Yep. I could very well see that series going 7 games. I think we can take em tho
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Unread 04-17-2013, 01:51 PMJoined Oct 2004 - away - #15
U.B.HiRM 31 heat pts31 space
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lakers got a good shot to beat sas...Dwight has to dominate and everyone follow suit
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Unread 04-17-2013, 01:53 PMJoined Jan 2012 - away - #16
Minister 105 heat pts105 space
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take the fall


lose
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Unread 04-17-2013, 02:00 PMJoined Aug 2008 - away - #17
Nut-In-Honeys 9 heat pts space
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Lakers losing Kobe and the Spurs gaining Tmac make me think that the Spurs would get upset if they meet up with the Lakers
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Unread 04-17-2013, 02:02 PMJoined Dec 2005 - away - #18
Danger Zone 49 heat pts49 space
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Originally Posted by Thee Yung Star
Warriors over Nuggets isn't even an upset. If they're missing Faried than I think we sweep.
Even without Faried they wouldn't sweep.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 02:09 PMJoined Sep 2010 - away - #19
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Originally Posted by OC123
jesus shuttlesworth is #4 in the league in plus/minus in crunch time, steph curry is 15th


jesus>

Jesus Shuttlesworth

We don't compare Curry to mere mortals you fool
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Unread 04-17-2013, 03:00 PMJoined Feb 2005 - away - #20
D-Clutch 3 heat pts space
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Hold up.. is there even a chance the Lakers play OKC? I think that can only be the case if both the Lakers and Jazz lose their last game. If the Lakers beat Houston, the Rockets will be the 8th seed, same record but Houston has a worse divisional record. Can't see both the Lakers and the Jazz losing tonight.

Correct me if I'm wrong though.
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