With the Mavericks blowing out the Spurs in San Antonio tonight, it looks like the defending champion Heat are the only one of the eight higher seeds that will hold home court advantage in the first two games of the NBA playoffs. And believe it or not, it’s really no surprise.
After all, the top seed in the East, the Pacers, went ice-cold down the stretch and face a Hawks team that is no stranger to postseason play. Meanwhile, the Thunder, owners of the NBA’s second-best record and the two-seed in the West, face a white-hot Grizzlies team that has been playing at an elite level since Marc Gasol‘s mid-January return. And those are just two of the riveting first round matchups.
We still have a long way to go in round one, but with a logjam of great teams out West and a whole lot of uncertainty in the East, this postseason is shaping up to be an unpredictable one. The question is, can teams like Atlanta and Memphis shock the world in round one? Or will they simply put a scare into a superior opponent before bowing out? And if not them, which lower-seeded team is most likely to pull off the upset?