The 2012-13 NBA Playoffs get started this weekend and the thinking seems to favor a re-match of last
The Heat, led by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are prohibitive favorites to roll to another championship in June.
Miami (66-16 in regular season) has the home court advantage throughout the playoffs and also had that infamous 27-game winning streak, which was ended in late March by the Chicago Bulls, who have been without superstar Derrick Rose all season.
Meanwhile, the OKC Thunder, led by Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook, are looking to get back to the NBA Finals and gain redemption after being blown out by the Heat last summer. The Thunder finished strong, going 60-22 and over taking the San Antonio Spurs down the stretch to gain home court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs.
Here is a capsule style preview of the first round for the playoffs along with predictions on which two teams will meet in June in the NBA Finals.
The Heat should roll in this series without a doubt. Pick - Heat wins, 4-0
This series could be a surprise the way Pacers have been slumping down the stretch. Pick - Pacers win, 4-3
The Thunder will not be denied in this series. Pick - Thunder wins, 4-1
This could be a very entertaining (and high scoring) series. Pick - Nuggets win, 4-2
Which ever team wins this series will face OKC and be eliminated in the West Semi-Finals. Pick - Clippers win, 4-3
The rest of the picks (if the first round comes out correct) follows ...
Miami Heat over Chicago Bulls, 4-1 New York Knicks over Indiana Pacers, 4-1
Oklahoma City Thunder over Los Angeles Clippers, 4-2 Denver Nuggets over San Antonio Spurs, 4-2
Miami Heat over New York Knicks, 4-2
Oklahoma City Thunder over Denver Nuggets, 4-3
Miami Heat over Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-2