Updated: April 18, 2015

By: Anthony "Ace" Michael (@BsptSportsPicks)

Some will say that basketball is too hard to predict, I will say it's the most controlled game out there! Meaning the players and coaches don’t have to worry about a fumble and being down 17 at the half, a loose puck with a 3 point lead, a wild pitch and a home run. If you have 10 turnovers in a half and down 20 you still have a chance to win. Which makes the NBA Playoffs even better!  You not only can have a bad game but 3 bad games and still win the series 4-3! I will be going over key matchup's and all my series predictions. Last year another very successful year with picking the Spurs over the Heat. Plus a few upsets along the way. This is how I see the 1st round:

Eastern Conference

8. Brooklyn Nets vs 1. Atlanta Hawks

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 11.36.16 AMAs the 8th seed last year the Atlanta Hawks showed flashes of life. Now they are the 1st seed and the show is on the other foot. With everything to lose they will be put to the test. Teague will be the key here to this teams success I do believe. The nets are big and the veterans on this team know how to win playoff games. Should be an interesting match and don't be shocked by a game 7. The Hawks put forth a great team effort night in and night out and will be tough to beat in a 7 game series!

Prediction: Atlanta Hawks win the series 4-2



7. Boston Celtics vs 2. Cleveland Cavaliers

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 11.36.08 AMAlmost what was expected out of the Cavs. Predicted to be the 1 seed and win it all, not to bad. Slow starting but it is how you finish! James and company should win this but not as easy as you think. The Celtics have made some moves and with newcomer Thomas playing a key roll to their success they can steal one or even two in the garden. That's about the best they can do for right now but watch out the future of these guys!

Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers win the series 4-1


6. Milwaukee Bucks vs 3. Chicago Bulls 

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.47.51 AM

If the Chicago Bulls are 100% healthy they will beat the Bucks easily but, they are not and are still a little banged up. With Butler, Rose, Gasol and company healthy these guys could compete with anyone! This bench is as deep as anyone's and will be a tough match up for the Bucks. Let's see how they do this round. The Bucks are quietly one of the most improved teams besides the Celtics and could compete well vs the Bulls in Milwaukee but have no chance of beating them 4 games!

Prediction: Chicago Bulls win the series 4-1


5. Washington Wizards vs 4. Toronto Raptors

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.47.24 AMThis is the match up of the east that everyone is talking about! It is pretty evenly matched at most of the positions so lets not talk about the players. Most of the betting public along with the experts are picking an upset here because they say their will be at least one. They say the Nets are built for the playoffs and Paul Pierce is a playoff warrior. What they don't realize is this team has the worst road records of any playoff team! Both teams have fallen off a little after the all-star break but the Raptors finished 7-3 in the last 10 and play great at home! They also are 3 games over .500 on the road and have their stars Derosan and Lowry healthy and looking good. I can't see the Wizards winning this!

Prediction: Toronto Raptors win the series 4-2


Western Conference

1. Golden State Warriors vs 8. New Orleans Pelicans

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.47.40 AMThe team with all the buzz are these Warriors. If you have ever been to a game it is insane or just watch it on the tv and you will feel the chills. I always loved this team and loved the energy. With MVP Curry (yes I said MVP) leading the way and amazing shooting from Klay this team could be the real deal. Let's not leave out defensive player of the year Bogut and the coach of the year Kerr. What else is there to say. Oh yeah, only 2 losses at home and only 13 road loss they will be a tough match up for anyone. The Pelicans made it and are very Big and Strong. Davis is a monster and will be next years MVP without injury, but lets face it they are a bad road team also. I think they can win a home game and that's about it. Warriors have to many weapons!

Prediction: Warriors win the series 4-1



2. Houston Rockets vs 7. Dallas Mavericks

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.48.01 AMJames Harden is a true MVP and also deserves a long look. Without Howard he single handily kept these guys in it. Now with the 2 seed all the hard work pays off. Not an easy match up at all though. Dirk and company love this time of the year and with the added Rondo and his champion experience they can give them a tough match up. What it will come down to is balance and the Rockets are more balanced and will be able to squeeze this one out, but if there was an upset don't be surprised. Dirk can win a series by himself! We seen it happen!

Prediction: Houston Rockets win the series 4-3



3. Los Angeles Clippers vs 6. San Antonio Spurs

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 11.36.33 AMThere are two types of teams, run and gun and slow tempo. We know which is which. Timmy D and the boys looking to defend their title but Blake and company are in their way again! This team is full of all-stars and should of been a little better by know I think. Three years ago I said in three years these guys will be near the top. That didn't happen, they are still a good team, but not great. Yes the Spurs did miss out on that 2 seed but coach Pop loves playing run and gun teams and will be prepared. I love to listen to sports radio and these guys say its the Clippers year. OMG! No way they can beat the Spurs 4 games. I give them 1 at the most, don't be surprised if there was a sweep!

Prediction: San Antonio Spurs win the series 4-1



4. Memphis Grizzlies vs 5. Portland Trail Blazers

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 11.36.25 AMI think this is the best match up of the playoffs. I like both of these teams and I hate to see one of them go home. I was going back and forth on this. Aldridge is simply amazing and one of the best mid-range shooters in the league today. Roy is getting better and better each year and is unstoppable. They have great pieces and could win this series. I could even say they can go far in the playoffs. The Memphis Grizzlies are great also and have trouble come playoff time. It is hard for me to go again this lineup. So both teams match up equal. It will come down to defense I believe and the Grizzlies defense is better. They rank among the top 5 in many categories. If the blazer did win I would not call it an upset!

Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies win the series 4-3



Come back each round for more picks and insight from Anthony Michael! Please feel free to like/share this article. Good luck to all and if you're gambling please remember to always play responsibly!

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