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Bright Side of the Sun 2015 NBA Playoff Prediction Contest: First Round Standings

The totals have been tabulated for the contestants after the completion of the first round of the NBA playoffs. Check where you stand and read my quick takes on the first round action.

Win or go home.
Win or go home.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I would like to congratulate Kellan on his astounding lack of foresight. He managed to be the only person who failed to get to double digit points. It would actually be hard to score any lower than Kellan did without intentionally trying to pick losers. Basically, any random person off the street with negligible basketball knowledge would be able to score more than nine points.

Good job.

At the other end of the spectrum, Alex Brockelman and rollin j. mason were the only two people who correctly picked all eight series winners. The Spurs/Clippers series was the matchup that really tipped the scales in the first round. Those of you who had the Spurs going deep don't need to worry about checking your scores going forward.

Chris Paul did me in, even though I have the Rockets making the Conference Finals, so I'm now fighting for a top 10 finish.

Now for the matchups.

Western Conference

Warriors over Pelicans 4-0

The Warriors are really good.

I have no qualms with the Stephen Curry MVP selection.

Rockets over Mavericks 4-1

Dirk Nowitzki turns 37 this summer, Rajon Rondo is a free agent after being benched for pouting and Chandler Parsons might need microfracture surgery.

Meanwhile, the Rockets scored at will and Dwight Howard had a solid showing (17 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks per game). James Harden, despite finishing second in the MVP voting, has carried the Rockets through injuries all season and has his team clicking even though they still aren't at full strength.

Clippers over Spurs 4-3

This was a great series (in a mostly forgettable first round). Even though the road team won four games in this series the Spurs were probably kicking themselves for surrendering home court advantage by losing to the Pelicans in the final game of the regular season. Playing game seven on the road is tough.

Now the Spurs face a summer of big decisions after squandering a 3-2 lead.

The Clippers will look to exorcise their demons, as neither of the franchise and its star point guard, Chris Paul - who turns 30 this week, have ever reached the Conference Finals.

The best/worst part of the next round might be watching a free throw contest between Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.

Grizzlies over Trail Blazers 4-1

Memphis, who was second in the league in points against this season (95.1), held the Blazers under 100 points in four of the five games and played Memphis style basketball. It seems less likely the Grizzlies will slow the Warriors to their plodding pace.

Damian Lillard was 5-31 from three point range in the series as Portland just never seemed the same after losing Wesley Matthews.

Eastern Conference

Hawks over Nets 4-2

Critics of the Hawks were given more ammunition as the Nets gave Atlanta more trouble than most thought they would headed into the series. I, for one, thought it was more about the Hawks playing poorly than Brooklyn playing really well.

Now the Hawks face a real team, the Wizards, who are already up 1-0.

Cavaliers over Celtics 4-0

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were plenty enough to fend off the Celtics, who were led in scoring by Isaiah Thomas in three of the four games, but the injury to Kevin Love puts a serious damper on their playoff aspirations.

Also, J.R. Smith is a moron.

Bulls over Bucks 4-2

The young Bucks might have something going moving forward, especially with the return of Jabari Parker next season. Jason Kidd has that team playing good defense.

I'll give them a pass on their 120-66 series clinching loss, which somehow managed to fall four points short of the largest margin of defeat in NBA playoff history.

Facing a depleted Cleveland team, the Bulls have to be thinking this is a golden opportunity for them to make a run to the NBA Finals.

Wizards over Raptors 4-0

Wow. Wizards. FTW.

The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal is making good on the potential people have been waiting to see realized. Wall is averaging 12.6 assists through five playoff games. Next best is Chris Paul with 7.9.

After dropping game one to a rolling Washington the Hawks should be appropriately concerned.

Round Two

I still like my second round picks - Golden St., Houston, Atlanta and Cleveland - even though the Hawks look pretty vulnerable and the Kevin Love injury might be hard for the Cavaliers to overcome.

At the very least, I think these series should be exhilarating sport.


First Round Standings

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