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2012 NBA Playoffs: First Round Analysis and Predictions

Updated on July 14, 2013
Which teams will win each of their first round match ups?
Which teams will win each of their first round match ups? | Source

The NBA playoffs are about to begin, so now it is time to get your predictions in for each of the match ups, so you can either scratch your head or say "I told you so". Each series will be analyzed and then predicted. Although, the exact amount of games for each series will not be, as that can be tricky business.

Then you can decide via a poll which team you think will win each of the 8 different series. Now, it is time to get the basketball rolling.

Who wins the Spurs vs. Jazz match up?

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Western Conference

#1 Spurs vs. #8 Jazz

Series Prediction: This one is easy. The Spurs are the deepest team in the league and despite misconceptions about their age, (they are not even in the top 5 in terms of age), they are primed for another run towards a conference championship. This series will be over before it starts barring any unforeseen injuries. The Jazz.lack size and depth. The Spurs have both. Spurs roll easily.

Outcome: Spurs Won Series 4-0

Final Analysis: Although the Jazz were the last team the Spurs lost two before ripping off 14 games in a row, they were no match for San Antonio, who won their last 10 regular season games and swept their first round series. The Jazz were way too undermanned to even have a shot in this series. Spurs showed they are primed for another championship run in the Duncan Era. The Jazz barely made the playoffs. The Spurs barely broke a sweat.

Who wins the Thunder vs. Mavs match up?

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#2 Thunder vs. #7 Mavericks

Series Prediction: The Mavs may be the defending champions, but they are not playing like it. An inconsistent season and bad moves like Lamar Odom, have put them in this spot. They lost too much from last season. Their defense is not even close to what it was last season. They will win a game or two, but expect an early exit from the playoffs. Thunder win in 6 or 7 games.

Outcome: Thunder Won Series 4-0

Final Analysis: The Mavericks were far from their championship form of the past season in 2012. Moves like Lamar Odom and events like their 0-3 start to the season were indicative of their inconsistency. It continued in the playoffs. They got swept by one of the better teams in the West. Now, they can reflect on all that went wrong while OKC moves on to the next round.

Who wins the Lakers vs. Nuggets match up

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#3 Lakers vs. #6 Nuggets

Series Prediction: This will be a tough match up for the inconsistent Lakers who could be without one of their top rebounders and defenders this post season. Look for the Nuggets to give them a run for their money, but remember, the Lakers still have Bryant and Bynum who will shine this post season...well at least in the first round. Lakers win a tough series late.

Current Outcome: Lakers Won Series 4-3

Final Analysis: As predicted the inconsistent Lakers would struggle in this tough series, but eventually win late. It couldn't have gotten any later as it took them all four quarters of game 7 to pull it out. They did that, just barely. Lakers move on.

Who wins the Clippers vs. Grizzlies match up?

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#4 Clippers vs. #5 Grizzlies

Series Prediction: The Clippers are just happy to be here. They should be too after their terrible records over the past 20 years or more. That elation won't last long though. Memphis has too much size up front and will dominate the Clippers from start to finish. Look for a slight upset here. Like last season, the underdog Grizzlies will upset a higher seed. Memphis takes it in 6 or less.

Final Outcome: Clippers Won Series 4-3

Final Analysis: This article was written two days before the regular season ended when Memphis was the lower seed. This series got pegged wrong and so was this prediction. The series could have gone either way, but the Clippers pulled it out. It looks like Memphis couldn't handle being a higher seed in the playoffs and got knocked out by a lower seed just as they did to San Antonio last season. Marc Gasol didn't even show up in this series except for one game. It looks like Gasol was content off of getting fat off his fat contract. Clippers move on.

Who wins the Bulls vs. 76ers match up?

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Eastern Conference

#1 Bulls vs. #76ers

Series Prediction: This one is easy. Despite any and all Injuries that the Bulls have had recently the 76ers just don't have enough talent to compete. Bulls win in 5 or less. Most likely less!

Current Outcome: 76ers Won Series 4-2

Final Analysis: The injuries I referred to were the ankle of Derrick Rose not his season ending ACL injury. That along with Noah going down was way too much for the Bulls to overcome. The 76ers got a perfect storm of luck and will move on to the second round. Great analysis, bad injuries!

Who wins the Heat vs. Knicks match up?

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#2 Heat vs. #7 Knicks

Series Prediction: How the Knicks even made the playoffs is beside me. Probably a result of such a weak Eastern Conference behind the top three teams. Knicks are just happy to be here and like the Clippers they should be for that pathetic franchise who hasn't been dominant since, well the 1970s. This one will not even be close despite any and all inconsistency by the Heat all season, who will roll easily. Heat close this series out before it begins.

Outcome: Heat Won Series 4-1

Final Analysis: The Heat dispatched the undermanned Knicks who were just happy to actually make the playoffs after a pathetic run over the past decade plus. The Heat who have dealt with injuries all season and the nemesis Bulls, just watched their run to the conference championhsips get a lot easier with the Derrick Rose season ending injury. No amount of Carmello's 41 point games could have stopped Miami in the first round, now the Heat's second round just got a lot easier too. Heat are looking both good and lucky as they are primed for another run to the NBA championship series. Whether they win or not remains to be seen, but they will almost surely get to the league championship series now.

Who wins the Pacers vs. Magic match up?

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#3 Pacers vs. #6 Magic

Series Prediction: The Pacers have shocked a lot of people with their long win streaks and tough competitive play all season. Since Howard sits, this one is over early. If would have played, it could have been a tough series. Unfortunately for the Magic, his season is over. Pacers win this one in 6 or less.

Outcome: Pacers Won Series 4-1

Final Analysis: The Magic were without their best player. Not much else needs to be said. That is no slight of Indiana's season, but rather a simple fact. In other words, it is what it is. Pacers move on.

Who wins the Celtics vs. Hawks match up?

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#4 Celtics vs. #5 Hawks

Series Prediction: Despite their injuries and their inconsistent play all season, the Celtics are built for the playoffs. The playoffs are here now and their old legs have at least one more series win inside of them. Celtics get knocked out in the second round, but take the Hawks who will give them a tough fight. Celtics win in a long series.

Current Outcome: Celtics Lead 4-2

Final Analysis: Their legs are old and their legs are battered, but those old and battered legs are built for the playoffs. They don't even sniff a championship this season. This is their last hoorah together, but the Celtics had enough to down the Hawks. As predicted, the Celtics move on.

Final Bucket

First Round Prediction Talley: 6-2

This first round series went mostly as I anticipated. The Grizzlies vs. Clippers series was the only one I had dead wrong. The other loser was Chicago who lost two of their best players, but who could have predicted that? On to round my predictions below.


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    • MarkRFox profile image

      MarkRFox 5 years ago

      Thanks for reading and commmenting..

      Ya..looks like I will go 7-1 in round one with my lone loss coming from Chicago, but who could have predicted Rose going down with a season ending ACL injury?

      I made only one error, I wrote this article two days before the regular season ended and apparently the Grizz and Clip show switched spots, so the Grizz aren't underdogs as I stated..oh well..

      ..on to round two

    • turbo12 profile image

      turbo12 5 years ago from Florida

      All the picks look a little bit more clear now that we are a couple games in. Good picks. Definitely looks like a couple sweeps in the first round. Next round should be better.

    • profile image

      Jerome 5 years ago

      my prediction, Dallas will beat OKC 4-1 or 4-0...

    • MarkRFox profile image

      MarkRFox 5 years ago

      Don't forget the Knicks don't have Lin for at least 3 more weeks.

    • Bigpayno profile image

      Bigpayno 5 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      I agree with all your picks. Living in Indy, it's good to see the Pacers competitive again. I really think they have a shot at making the Eastern Conference Finals. They should be able to blow through the Magic and the Knicks are going to give the Heat all they want so they are going to be drained after that series. It's a long shot, but the Pacers are capable of pulling off the upset!