Odds To Win NBA Finals – 2011 NBA Playoff Series Round 1 Picks

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Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers – Let’s be real here. Derrick Rose is the MVP. Joakim Noah is probably one of the best offensive rebounders in the game. Carlos Boozer is probably one of the best defensive rebounders in the game. Indiana has Danny Granger… and a sub-.500 record. There’s just no way that the Pacers are even pulling out a game in this series. NBA Playoff Picks: Bulls in 4

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Philly played some respectable ball this season, and this is a team with all sorts of playoff experience. Of course, none of that playoff experience has ever seen the second round of the playoffs. This is where the real tests begin for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, as this is where they will be measured for success. Anything less than an NBA Championship just wouldn’t do. Even though the Sixers were swept in games that just were not close in the regular season, we’ll give them the nod… for one game anyway… NBA Playoff Picks: Heat in 5

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks – This is probably going to be one of the more intriguing matchups in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks now have stars in Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Chauncey Billups, and we know that they still haven’t quite figured out how to gel as a team yet. Here’s the thing, though. Boston really just doesn’t have the look of the same team that was in the NBA Finals last year. We tend to believe that Head Coach Doc Rivers and company will figure it out over the course of seven games, but it wouldn’t surprise us if this one ends up surprisingly going the distance. NBA Playoff Picks: Celtics in 7

Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks – Last year, these two teams met up in the second round of the postseason, and Orlando laid the biggest smack down that the NBA playoffs have ever seen. Atlanta won the regular season series, but it comes with an asterisk this year. One of the wins came in the first game after the trades that the Magic pulled off with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns, while one came just a couple of weeks ago when both teams knew that the game didn’t mean a thing. Orlando won’t do what it did last year, but it should make relatively short work of the Hawks. NBA Playoff Picks: Magic in 5

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies – The Spurs won 61 games this season and have won a number of NBA Championships with Tim Duncan at the helm. The Grizzlies won 46 games in the regular season and have won a grand total of zero championships, zero series, and zero playoff games. Any guesses as to how many games they’re going to win this year? Zero. NBA Playoff Picks: Spurs in 4

Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets – Memphis might have stood a fighting chance against the Lakers, but the Hornets just don’t, especially without David West in the fold. The defense for New Orleans is good, but there just isn’t enough overall talent there to compete with the defending champs. We’d be shocked to see the men from the Crescent City take even one game in this series. NBA Playoff Picks: Lakers in 4

Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers – We just want to fall in love with the Blazers in this series, but we just don’t see it. To Portland’s credit, it really has tried like the dickens over these past couple seasons to rebuild a team that was totally broken, and it nearly did so last year against the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the second season. Dallas is going to be in for a fight for sure, especially with as well as Gerald Wallace has been playing. However, when push comes to shove, Dirk Nowitzki and company are just a significantly better team, and in the end, the Blazers will fall. NBA Playoff Picks: Mavericks in 6

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets – No one wanted to see the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, but we really don’t think that the Thunder are all that scared of them. Sure, Denver will run up and down the court, and the games will all be really exciting, but Oklahoma City definitely learned some big time lessons last year in that loss in the postseason to the eventual champs. OKC took the last two meetings of these teams in the regular season, something that is incredibly relevant considering how different Denver looks now from where it was a few months ago. This series could produce five relatively tight games, but we trust Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the long run. NBA Playoff Picks: Thunder in 5

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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