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Three Potential NBA First Round Upsets

Posted by Jay Sanin on 4/17/2016 5:18:43 AM

At long last, the NBA Playoffs are finally here, which means that the top sixteen teams in the league will battle it out for the right to be called NBA champions. And while the Golden State Warriors are the odds on favorites to repeat as champions, some teams will be looking to pull first round upsets to get to them later on. These three teams are capable of pulling those upsets.

1. Boston Celtics

This season was not supposed to go this well for the Boston Celtics, who greatly outplayed their collective age to earn a top five seed in the Eastern Conference. They have proven that they can be one of the best road teams in the NBA, as evidenced by their road win over the Golden State Warriors. Also, Isaiah Thomas looks ready and willing to shoulder the workload for this team. They are more than capable of winning at least one game in Atlanta to defeat the Hawks and move on.

2. Charlotte Hornets

It was a real logjam to see who would end up with seeds three through six in the Eastern Conference at the end of the season, with odds calculators virtually unable to keep up with just how close all four teams were. The Hornets got the short end of that exchange, falling all the way into sixth place in the East, and drawing the Miami Heat. Kemba Walker and company are more than capable of beating the Heat here, though, so don't be surprised if they do.

3. Portland Trail Blazers

The Los Angeles Clippers have been wildly inconsistent this season, and may still have some lingering chemistry issues stemming from Blake Griffin's absence after injuring himself punching a member of the Clippers staff. Portland, meanwhile, has looked cohesive from start to finish this year, overcoming the loss of four different starters to still finish in the top five of a loaded Western Conference. Damian Lillard is more than capable of carrying a team through a series, and may well do that in this one.

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