The most volatile first round series will pit the new look Phoenix Suns against the reigning champs and point differential likes Phoenix but a hair (5.0 to 4.8). Lastly, New Orleans should be able to take care of the Dallas Mavericks, and that would set up a second round matchup that would feature a two time MVP, Steve Nash, versus the player most likely to win this year’s MVP, Hornets guard Chris Paul. See, the fun is only beginning.
In the East, Boston and Detroit should dismiss their first round opponents quickly and easily. Orlando figures to beat Toronto, though I suspect it will be closer than the numbers suggest. The Raptors were lost without all star forward Chris Bosh, and it depressed their team metrics.
The spotlight first round series in the East is Washington versus Cleveland. It’s the third straight year these teams have met and players started barking a week ago. Point differential isn’t much help here. The Wizards are negative .4 and the Cavs are a negative .3. Boston awaits the winner so this is the season for both teams and they must know it. Still, it’s hard to pick against LeBron James if everything else is equal. I’m mostly just glad that neither team is in the West. I’m going to be up late often enough for the next few weeks.
Martin Johnson is a regular contributor to The Root.