The first round of the NBA playoffs is over now that the Spurs have been eliminated. That was one surprise; I would argue that the Hawks beating the Magic was another. In terms of the TrueHoop Smackdown, I am in a tie for second-to-last with Hollinger, Paine, and Voulgaris. I was mostly hurt by my Nuggets pick; had the numbers been ever so slightly different I would be tied for second instead. It’s also important to note that there were only two series where people disagreed on the winner; OKC-Denver and Dallas-Portland. Everything else was about getting the two bonus points for picking the right series length, and I came out a bit unlucky on that front as well. I’m not sure where I am in the WoW Smackdown, but I assume it will be a similar story. Here are my picks for the second round; hopefully they’ll improve a bit, but I expect other people will have similar choices. It’ll be tough to catch up from here.
Chicago – Atlanta: The Hawks will, I’m sure, be ‘hot’ after upsetting the Magic, while the Bulls had trouble with the Pacers. But the Bulls are still a much better team. I take them 4-0.
Miami – Boston: The Celtics got a sweep, but the Heat took care of business just about as well. Miami also has home court and two points of differential as an advantage. I have them winning 4-2.
OKC – Memphis: The Thunder get home court thanks to the Grizzlies’ upsetting the #1 Spurs (which will quickly be overlooked even though it’s only the second time it’s happened in a seven game series). They’re also nearly two points better. I have the Thunder winning 4-2 as well.
Lakers-Dallas: I think everyone will have the Lakers here, and they’re right. I’ve got them 4-2 again.
The Heat-Celtics picks are already up on the Smackdown, and I have to say I’m surprised that only one person took Boston. I think the Bulls, Thunder, and Lakers will be very typical picks. We’ll see how it turns out. Maybe the Celtics will manage to win and LeBron will have to take his talents to South Texas.