This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Sixteen wins to get basketball’s ultimate prize. Sixteen wins to become immortal. But you can’t reach the top without starting somewhere. Rory, Dat Roro Kid, and myself picked the winners of the eight opening-round series. Some might seem like a forgone conclusion, but then again, anything is possible. Again, due to my extreme, extreme bias, I won’t be picking the Knicks series.
(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Indiana Pacers
Stone’s take: The NBA’s best team against a sub-.500 squad. Prediction: pain.
Predictions: Stone: Bulls in 5, Rory: Bulls in 4, Roro: Bulls in 5
(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers
Stone’s take: The Heatles will overwhelm the scrappy, overachieving Sixers.
Predictions: Stone: Heat in 4, Rory: Heat in 5, Roro: Heat in 4
(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) New York Knicks
Rory’s bitter take: This series looks to provide Knicks fans with tons of great memories and thrilling moments that will ensure Mike D’Antoni a long career as head coach, free to pursue of a life of religious fulfillment.
Predictions: Rory: Knicks in 6, Roro: Celtics in 6
(4) Orlando Magic vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks
Stone’s take: The Hawks were not impressive down the stretch while Superman & Co. know how to win playoff games.
Predictions: Stone: Magic in 5, Rory: Magic in 7, Roro: Magic in 6
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies
Stone’s take: Memphis still has a basketball team?
Predictions: Stone: Spurs in 5, Rory: Spurs in 5, Roro: Spurs in 5
(2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) New Orleans Hornets
Stone’s take: The Lakers should win this handily, if they come to play.
Predictions: Stone: Lakers in 4, Rory: Lakers in 4, Roro: Lakers in 6
(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers
Stone’s take: Dirk Nowitzki is going to need help for the Mavs to succeed against the Blazers’ stingy D and fans.
Predictions: Stone: Mavericks in 7, Rory: Blazers in 6, Roro: Blazers in 7
(4) Oklahoma City vs. (5) Denver Nuggets
Stone’s take: These are two high-powered teams that were bolstered by midseason trades. Are Durant and Westbrook ready to take the next step into the NBA’s elite?
Predictions: Stone: Thunder in 6, Rory: Thunder in 7, Roro: Thunder in 5