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NBA Playoff Predictions 2013: Matchups That Won't Live Up to Hype

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 17:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers shouts during warm ups for  the game with the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on April 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 99-95 in overtime.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IApril 19, 2013

A few teams with extensive postseason experience will face off in the 2012-13 NBA playoffs, but don't expect some matchups to live up to the hype.

When you are a historic franchise with multiple titles—like the Los Angeles Lakers—or a team that never seems to give up no matter how much it ages—like the Boston Celtics—there is a perception that anything is possible.

But this year that won't be the case, as the Lakers and Celtics will fall without putting up much of a fight.

Here's my look at the overhyped matchups in the 2012-13 NBA playoffs.

*Complete bracket can be found at NBA.com


Los Angeles Lakers (7) vs. San Antonio Spurs (2)

Despite all the talk of the Spurs limping into the playoffs (losing seven of their last 10 games), I can't see the Lakers making it much of a series against San Antonio, especially with Kobe Bryant lost for the postseason after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.

Yes, the Lakers beat the Spurs on April 14, but that was the regular season (at the Staples Center) and this is the playoffs. Also, the Spurs are 35-6 at home this season and they hold home-court advantage.

While there is a shot the Lakers upset the Spurs, Gregg Popovich knows how to prepare his team and I ultimately expect the Spurs to be a more mentally-sound squad in the postseason. There's also the fact that Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard have played minimal minutes together without Bryant in the lineup this season. There's simply not enough time for the adjustment.

 

Boston Celtics (7) vs. New York Knicks (2)

If the Celtics still had point guard Rajon Rondo and power forward Jared Sullinger on the floor, this would be a completely different series.

But how can you reasonably expect the Knicks—with home-court advantage—to lose this series when they've gone 3-1 against Boston this season, with the only loss coming in January?

Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer this season, leads the offensive attack, complete with deep threat J.R. Smith and point guard Raymond Felton. Don't forget interior defender Tyson Chandler, who continues to be one of the best things that could have happened to the Knicks and is expected to start Game 1 coming off an injury.

In the end, New York's offense is too much for Boston to handle. The Knicks ranked third in the NBA in offensive efficiency this season, while the Celtics ranked 23rd, via TeamRankings.com.


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