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Written By: Andy Flint

(1)Spurs vs. (8)Grizzlies: Spurs win 4-2:

The Spurs and Grizz split the season series at two games apiece. I would have liked the Grizz chances a lot better with 19+ ppg, swing-man, Rudy Gay running the show, but I still believe they’re scrappy, and that could give this, older Spurs cast, some problems. I still don’t feel like Memphis has a legitimate shot at actually winning this thing. Even if the Spurs were down Manu Ginobili for the entire series.

Too much experience for San Antonio, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson and company, and too much youth and lack of playoff grit for this Memphis unit. Although, with a healthy Gay, developing O.J. Mayo, the new-found leadership of, one-time knucklehead, Zach Randolph and the emerging play of Mike Conley, I do believe this Grizz team could be fun to watch in seasons to come.

(2)Lakers vs. (7)Hornets: Lakers win 4-0:

I really hate to cut CP3’s trip to the 2011 playoffs short but, i just can’t see them doing any damage against the Lakers machine. This series will probably still have It’s fun moments. Chris Paul is sure to dazzle us at times, even if he’s doing it from twenty behind. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, these guys have been here too many times, have won too many times in the playoffs.

They have a formula for success, they are the A-team, the guys to beat. The road to the finals runs through LA. It’s that simple. The Hornets will likely lose Chris Paul soon enough, he’ll flee for green pastures and find himself a supporting cast of super-stars and maybe he’ll one day hold the ticket to the finals. Until then, it’s a cameo for CP3 this year. Not enough fire power from the Hornets to withstand the extra gear that the Lake-Show will shift into during the playoffs. Get out the brooms!

(3)Mavericks vs. (6)Trailblazers: Trailerblazers win 4-3:

Firstly, I believe Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs to be a highly skilled and dedicated team. But, it really boils down to what always happens, in my eyes. The Mavs have loads of talent and fold in the playoffs. Same story, different season? I believe this will be the case. How many times have we seen this happen? Not to mention they’re playing a very good Portland team who played a good majority of their season without their power-house two-guard, Brandon Roy and still managed the six seed in a rugged Western Conference.

They also added, swing-man, Gerald Wallace, who is a Josh Smith-type player with great athleticism and hustle. Wallace is a defensive machine, who can also hurt you on the offensive end. Add in the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge has morphed into an absolute beast, and I believe we have all the makings of an old-fashioned upset. I think this one goes seven, but i believe Portland will come out on top and Mark Cuban’s championship window, with this current unit, will almost certainly close.

(4)Thunder vs. (5)Nuggets: Thunder win 4-3:

I have Kevin Durant and the young-gun Thunder going seven games with the Denver Nuggets simply because I believe Denver is a pretty good team, loaded with scoring options. Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Nene, Ty Lawson, Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith are all guys who can provide an offensive spark. I think their offensive abilities, mixed with the Thunder’s lack of playoff experience will ensure a fairly even series. However, I do believe the Thunder to be the better team.

They have a top-ten point guard in Russell Westbrook, the leagues most dangerous offensive player in Kevin Durant, solid role players, such as James Harden and Serga Ibaka, and they’ve added their contending piece in Kendrick Perkins. I believe Perkins was a very undervalued player for the Celtics, it was sort of easy for Perk to fall into the cracks or loom in the shadows of “The Big Four” but, let’s be straight forward. Kendrick Perkins is a great defensive player,a nd the kind of piece a team such as the Thunder need come April. He should be exactly what the Thunder need to possibly contend. Should be an exciting series, Thunder take it in seven games.

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