The race for the Larry O'Brien Trophy begins early Sunday morning here in Australia. After a grueling 66 game season, one team will have to win another 16 games to earn the right to call themselves NBA champions.
MUST WATCH MATCHUPLos Angeles Clippers vs Memphis Grizzlies Game 1 Monday 30 April, 11:30AM EST on NBA.TV Game 2 Thursday 3 May, 11:30AM EST on NBA.TV Game 3 Sunday 6 May, 6:30AM EST on NBA.TV The Clippers are back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 season. Memphis returns to the playoffs after last season's 1st round upset of the San Antonio Spurs. Which young, up and coming team will advance. Who to Watch For: Zach Randolph was the lynchpin for the Grizzlies in their series versus the Spurs. Randolph now comes off the bench for the Grizzlies but will see the majority of the minutes at power forward. He is a matchup nightmare for the Clippers who can only hope their front court depth can slow Z-Bo down. Prediction: I really would like to pick the Clippers here, but they have no chance if CP3 is not 100% healthy (he is listed as questionable for Game 1). I like the Grizzlies in 6.
INTRIGUING MATCHUPNew York Knicks vs Miami Heat Game 1 Sunday 29 April, 5:30AM EST on NBA.TV Game 2 Tuesday 1 May, 9:00AM EST on NBA.TV Game 3 Friday 4 May, 9:00AM EST on NBA.TV All of the pressure is on Miami. The season will be seen as a failure if the Heat do not win the NBA title. The Knicks have been up and down all season. They finally appear to be somewhat healthy. Do they have a run in them like the 1999 squad that made it all the way to the NBA Finals? Who to Watch For: If I said anyone other than LeBron James I'd be crazy. LBJ has had another MVP calibre season. The Knicks will struggle to contain him (who doesn't) and LeBron will be glued to Carmelo Anthony throughout the series. Prediction: My heart says Knicks but my head says Heat. Dwayne Wade and LeBron James are arguably the two best players in the NBA and the Knicks do not have the personnel to contain them. As much as it hurts to say it, I see the Heat taking this one in 5 close games.
STINKY MATCHUPOrlando Magic vs Indiana Pacers Game 1 Sunday 29 April, 9:00AM EST on NBA.TV Game 2 Tuesday 1 May, 9:30AM EST on NBA.TV Game 3 Sunday 6 May, 4:00AM EST on NBA.TV The Magic's slim chances of success went out the window when Dwight Howard was ruled out of the playoffs. The Pacers could not have asked for a better opponent in the 1st round. The Pacers have a fantastic opportunity in front of them that they must capitalize on. Who to Watch For: Roy Hibbert is the obvious choice. With Howard out, the Pacers All-Star will have a field day inside the paint. The Magic have no one who can guard Hibbert. Prediction: The Magic are really going to struggle. The only chance they have is if their three point shots are going down. I don't see that happening. Pacers sweep the series 4-0.
This Weeks TV Guide
Please note times are in Sydney/Melbourne EDT timezone and are subject to change