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Question of the day: What are the most likely upsets in the first round of the NBA playoffs? [Updated]

April 15, 2010 | 10:46 am

Spurs_500

Four reporters from the Tribune Co. voice their opinion. Check back for updates throughout the day, and feel free to leave a comment expressing your opinion.

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel

While the notion of the Spurs being an underdog is a bit of a stretch, the reality is that San Antonio enters the postseason as a No. 7 seed. Such was life in the wild West.

Considering that the Spurs have now recorded a winning road record for 13 consecutive seasons, a league record, this just does not bode well for the Mavericks, who have a knack for disappearing early.

In the East, typically an expansion team would be in a glad-to-be-there mode. But the Bobcats hardly are your typical expansion team making a playoff debut.

The playoff experience of Larry Brown, Stephen Jackson, Theo Ratliff, Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler will offer the Magic far more of a challenge, again, than one would expect in a No. 2 vs. No. 7.

Updated at 12:17 p.m.:

Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times

Upsets? What upsets? Nothing that happens in the West can even qualify as an upset, unless the Thunder knocks off the Lakers, which isn't going to happen.

If No. 7 San Antonio knocks off No. 2 Dallas, does that qualify as an upset? Not as far as I'm concerned with the Spurs in Tim Duncan  preservation mode winning 50 games to the Mavericks' 55, but if you think it does, that would be my pick.

Nobody thinks No. 5 Utah beating No. 4 Denver would be an upset, do they?

The East actually has a normal distribution but I'm not expecting any surprises, especially with No. 6 Milwaukee, which was perfectly capable of upending No. 3 Atlanta, losing Andrew Bogut.

Aside from that No. 1 Cleveland vs. No. 8 Chicago... I don't think so.

No. 7 Charlotte knocks off No. 2 Orlando? Larry Brown has shocked the world more than any other coach but he doesn't do it every year.

No. 5 Miami over No. 4 Boston. I think the Celtics can rise to the occasion one more time, if no more than that.

Leaving out Dallas-San Antonio and Denver-Utah, I like the other side of the proposition. Number of upsets in the first round: None.

Updated at 1:36 p.m.:

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

Like in pick-up games on the playground, upsets rarely happen in the NBA playoffs. It's one of the reasons they're great. So I actually think every higher seed will again win this season. But if I had to pick an upset, there's one strong possibility in each conference---San Antonio over Dallas and Miami over Boston.

The Spurs closed the season strong and never have been fazed by road playoff games, an essential quality this time of year. Dwyane Wade has shown in the past he can carry a team to a playoff series victory and Boston is looking as old as its parquet floor.

Photo: San Antonio Spurs. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press.

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