There is always an upset or two in the first round of the NBA playoffs and it usually is unexpected. Last year the number seven seed San Antonio Spurs upset the number two seed Dallas Mavericks. Before that there was the biggest upset in NBA history, when the number eight seed Golden State Warriors upset the number one seed Dallas Mavericks. It is only the third time a number one seed has been upset in the first round.
There are several teams that should be on upset alert, including the Mavericks and the Thunder. Read on the see the top five teams who could be upset in the first round.
I know what you're saying right now, how is this guy saying the Spurs could be upset? Well the Memphis Grizzlies have played the Spurs very well all season and are very confident against them. Something tells me they were kind of happy when they did not have to face the Lakers and instead got the Spurs.
The Grizzlies have been missing Rudy Gay for quite a while and they have actually been playing quite well without him. They have the potential to upset the Spurs because of their solid chemistry. Also they do have good players such as, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. That isn't even including O.J. Mayo and Shane Battier, who are both solid role players. The Grizzlies have the tools to win and if Manu Ginobili is out for an extending period, the Grizzlies could have an even greater chance.
Let me be very clear here, in no way shape or form am I saying the Spurs will be upset. I'm just saying the Grizzlies have the tools to do it.
The Orlando Magic were in the NBA finals just two years ago, but this new team is very different. Only four players from that team are still on the team and Hedo Turkoglu did not start the season on the Magic, which means only three of these players have been on the team since their run to the finals.
All year the Magic have gone through streaks and it isn't strange to think they could go through a cold streak during this series. The thing with the Magic is they rely considerably on the three point shot and when it isn't falling, they struggle.
Also, they are going against the one guy that limited Dwight Howard's production (somewhat) in Jason Collins. If Collins can contain Dwight, then the Magic could very well be sent home early.
The Mavericks have lost in the first round four times in the last seven years. Including one of the most famous first-round upsets in NBA playoff history when they lost as the one seed to the eight seed Golden State Warriors.
The Mavs always seem to have a great regular season and then they lose in the first round. For example, last season they were the two seed and lost to the seven seeded San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs then went on to get swept by the Suns in the next round.
The Mavs are going to face a dangerous Portland Trailblazers team that played around half of the season without Brandon Roy and still got the six seed. The Blazers always seem to sustain devastating injuries and they pull through every time. The Blazers are going to be hungry to prove they can make some noise, which could spell trouble for the often upset Mavs.
The Thunder have to face the surprising Denver Nuggets team in the first round and it should be a competitive series. The Thunder are one of the most promising teams in the NBA and will face off with a team that has completely changed their identity.
When the Nuggets traded away Carmelo Anthony, a lot of people (myself included) thought the Nuggets would fall out of playoff contention and in to the lottery. Well they didn't and the team looks better than ever. They don't have a go to player but rather a bunch of very good players. This is their greatest strength, anyone on the team could be the one taking the last shot so teams have to guard everyone. It makes them much more dangerous.
The Nuggets secured the five seed and will try to show they can hang without Carmelo. The Thunder have a great team but they have to be dreading the fact they have to win a seven game series against this new look Nuggets team.
The Boston have to face the New York Knicks in the first round in what should be an extremely entertaining first round matchup. The Knicks made the huge trade for Carmelo Anthony and the Celtics made the decision to trade away Kendrick Perkins. Both teams have struggled but the playoffs are a completely different story.
The Knicks are going to score but if they can get stops down the stretch, the Celtics could be in trouble. Also, the Celtics have been one of the worst rebounding teams since the departure of Perkins and they will have to rebound because they can't let Amare get offensive rebounds. He is simply too good, it will be either two points or a trip to the charity stripe.
The Celtics need to find chemistry fast or they could be in serious trouble.