G&G’s Aaron Gillette and Peter Gumas predict each round of the NBA playoffs starting with round 1 games scheduled to start Saturday April 19. Click here to listen to our podcast breaking down round 1.
ATL over BKN in 5. Brooklyn stays hot and pulls off a game 1 or 2 win, before Atlanta kicks it back into gear and handles them the rest of the way.
CLE over BOS in 4. Boston had a great time getting this far, but simply can’t hang with a much more talented Cavaliers squad.
CHI over MIL in 5. Kudos to Jason Kidd for a nice first year in Milwaukee, but Derrick Rose and the Bulls are too talented and experienced to slip up against this team.
WAS over TOR in 6. Paul Pierce does what Washington brought him in to do; he closes out close games. Washington comes away with the series win but Toronto doesn’t make it easy.
GS over NO in 4. Anthony Davis will be a superstar and playoff hero for many years, but not against this Golden State team that came just a few wins (3) shy of legendary status (70).
DAL over HOU in 6. Dallas’s veteran team slows down possible MVP James Harden, and their depth enables them to handle a weaker supporting cast.
LAC over SA in 7. This one could easily be a conference finals, and is a rare time I’m glad the first round of the NBA playoffs goes 7 games. San Antonio knows how to finish, but the Clippers are hot, and CP3 will run circles around an aging Tony Parker. Clippers win an epic series.
MEM over POR in 5. Portland is just too banged up, and Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will be too much for Portland, even with LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez.
ATL over BKN in 5. Atlanta is simply the better team, but if they aren’t on their A game then Brooklyn could steal a few with their solid veterans.
Cleveland over BOS in 5. Cleveland is better at every position. Boston will be lucky to snag one, but I think they can steal one at home. Kudos to Brad Stevens, who led a lineup that has no business being in the playoffs to claim the 7th seed.
Chicago over MIL in 5. Curious to see how the Greek Freak performs in the playoffs, but expect the veterans on Chicago to take this series handedly.
WAS over TOR in 6. I love the Wall-Lowry matchup in the backcourt, and there should be some good front court battles with Big Val vs. Nene and Gortat. But the leadership of Pierce tips the scales into Washington’s favor.
GS over NO in 4. Bring out the brooms. Can’t wait to see what Davis can do in the playoffs, but lack of supporting cast should lead to a quick out for NOLA.
DAL over Houston in 6. Dallas has possibly the most loaded starting 5 in the league- talent from top to bottom. I give the slight edge to Dallas’ bench as well, but if Harden gets hot, who knows.
SA over LAC in 7. San Antonio may be the only team in the league that truly doesn’t need homecourt advantage to win. This could be one of the best playoff series that we’ve ever seen in the first round between two red hot teams.
Memphis over Portland in 6. The loss of Wesley Matthews will be too much for Portland to overcome. Portland doesn’t quite have the overall firepower that Memphis does with Conley, Randolph, Gasol and Allen.
ATL over WAS in 5. Washington’s 2nd half struggles become apparent against the more talented Atlanta team, and after a few games become completely overmatched.
CLE over CHI in 5. Derrick Rose versus LeBron could be the next big NBA rivalry, but it won’t be much of one this year. Cleveland handles Chicago and LeBron advances to yet another Conference finals.
GS over MEM in 5. Memphis caught a break catching Portland round 1, but they run into a much better team in Gold State. The splash bros make easy work of Memphis’s guards and dispose of them after 5 games.
LAC over DAL in 6. For the second straight round, the Clippers face a veteran, playoff-savvy team, yet come away with the victory. Doc Rivers out-coaches Rick Carlisle, and CP3 exposes the holes in Rajon Rondo’s game.
Was over ATL in 6. A matchup of two teams that haven’t been playing well as of late. I’ll take the team with the bigger stars.
Cleveland over Chicago in 7. Takes a full slate for Cleveland to dispose of Chicago. Bulls up their defense in the playoffs and find ways to score with Rose inserted back into the lineup. Physical, intense and gritty series.
GS over Memphis in 7. I could see this going 7 easily. Memphis will have a huge advantage upfront while GS will have the clear advantage in the backcourt. Give the edge to GS playing upfront of their raucous fans in game 7.
SA over Dallas in 7. A rematch of last years first round series produces similar results. Again, Dallas will just simply be not quite enough to beat the reigning champs.
CLE over ATL in 6
Atlanta was my pick for most of the season. But they’ve begun to struggle while Cleveland, led by the best player on the planet, is clicking at the right time. LeBron makes it 5 straight trips to the finals
GS over LAC in 5
Golden State proves yet again to be the best team in the NBA, easily handling a hot LAC team that just can’t match the guard play and defense of Kerr’s Warriors. Adam Silver and the NBA front office rejoice as they get the best possible ratings finals this season can offer.
CLE over WAS in 5. Cleveland’s toughest round in the Eastern Conference Playoffs will come in the second round against Chicago. I see them disposing Washington or even Atlanta fairly easily. Their starting lineup in daunting, and their bench makes them the deepest team in the East.
SA over GS in 6. Golden State’s great run ends against the reigning champs. In a series where experience will matter, the Spurs have all of it, and the Spurs make it a third consecutive finals appearance, facing LeBron yet again.
GS over CLE in 6. In a battle of two rookie coaches, and arguably the two faces of the NBA, Golden State reaches the mountain top, and LeBron’s legacy takes another hit with his 4th NBA Finals Loss. The years of chemistry between the Splash Bros proves to be the difference, and the city of Cleveland remains cursed for another year. But Cleveland’s road back in 2016 is much easier than Golden State’s. LeBron will be back, but Steph Curry pulls off what he has done all year- cash in on the big shot.
Cleveland over SA in 7. The return of the King. Lebron overcomes his nemesis Spurs in the finals for a second time, bringing him to 2-2 against the Spurs in the finals. San Antonio has been playing together for years, but their legs finally catch up with them against a team that has more talent and younger legs in the finals. This Cleveland team is far better than last years Miami team and possibly better than the two Miami teams that won the finals. Kyrie Irving wins Finals MVP. Add another ring to that hand LeBron.