NBA Playoffs 2012: Expect 3 Lower Seeds to Steal Home Court Advantage in Game 1

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NBA Playoffs 2012: Expect 3 Lower Seeds to Steal Home Court Advantage in Game 1
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The NBA regular season doesn’t mean a whole lot. As long as you get in to the playoffs, you win.

All it takes is a lower seed to win one of the first two games on the road, and they have flipped the home court advantage.

With the way things are currently trending, it looks like three teams are going to steal the home court advantage of the higher seed in the span of one 48 minute game.

No. 6 Denver Nuggets over No. 3 Los Angeles Lakers

The Nuggets enter the postseason as one of the hottest teams. They are winners of four straight and 8 of their last 10 games.

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After suffering crippling injuries seemingly every other week, the Nuggets are as healthy as they’ve been all season and have two players that have suddenly emerged as essential pieces to the puzzle.

The soft defense in the paint is a thing of the past. Rookie Kenneth Faried is getting plenty of playing time and new addition JaVale McGee is swatting away shots at a magnificent rate (2.2 blocks per game). Suddenly, the Nuggets have a defensive presence that Nene never had given them before.

They will be playing a Lakers team that will be without Metta World Peace for six games (who plays terrific defense on Danilo Gallinari). Additionally, the Lakes are dealing with a banged up Ramon Sessions and a tired Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles isn't as scary as before.

Expect the Nuggets to run early and often while Faired and McGee will keep the Lakers big men in check. Be prepared for the panic meter to blow off the handle after Denver walks out of Staples Center Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 lead.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

No. 6 Orlando Magic over No. 3 Indiana Pacers

The Magic are incredible Ewing Theory candidates this year.

With Dwight Howard out for the year, the rest of the team has to be dying to show the NBA that they can win without him. Sure, they might not have the firepower to outlast the Pacers in a seven-game series, but I envision them going 15-of-30 from three-point range to steal Game 1 from a Pacers team that has to already be looking ahead to the second round.

No. 5 Boston Celtics over No. 4 Atlanta Hawks

Okay, this isn’t exactly shocking, but the Celtics have much more experience and are entering the postseason pretty rested.

Sure, Ray Allen's foot injury is a concern, but with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce fully aware that this is their last run, they aren’t going to mess around against a Hawks team that seems to enter the postseason with the same lackluster vibe every year. .

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