NBA Playoff Preview 2010

2010 NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW

Whatifsports.com presents its 2010 NBA Playoff Preview. Below is the main bracket and round-by-round series breakdown. To the right of the bracket is our stats table explaining each NBA playoff team's chances of winning each round including the NBA Finals.

We simulated the entire playoff 2,001 times. Home court is taken into account. Average wins and losses per series are indicated in the bracket. Team-by-team breakdowns are below the bracket. To toggle between rounds, click the appropriate link

You can simulate any game in the playoffs yourself using our "NBA Sim Matchup" feature. In addition, create your own
"NBA Dream Team" of past and present players. It's all free!

1
8
Cavs
Bulls
4
1
4
5
Celtics
Heat
4
3
3
6
Hawks
Bucks
4
2
2
7
Magic
Bobcats
4
2
1
8
Lakers
Thunder
4
2
4
5
Nuggets
Jazz
3
4
3
6
Suns
Blazers
2
4
2
7
Mavericks
Spurs
4
3
1
4
Cavs
Celtics
3
2
Hawks
Magic
1
5
Lakers
Jazz
6
2
Blazers
Mavericks
1
2
Cavs
Magic
1
6
Lakers
Blazers
1
6
Cavs
Blazers

WINNING PERCENTAGES

Eastern Conference
Seed/Team Round 1 Conf. Semis Conf. Finals NBA Finals
1 Cleveland
92.8% 75.0% 44.3% 31.7%
2 Orlando
80.3% 67.9% 39.5% 26.7%
4 Boston
55.2% 13.4% 4.3% 2.2%
5 Atlanta
71.3% 17.9% 4.9% 1.8%
7 Charlotte
39.7% 12.5% 4.7% 0.9%
5 Miami
44.8% 10.0% 2.9% 0.8%
6 Milwaukee
28.7% 3.0% 0.4% 0.1%
8 Chicago
7.2% 1.6% 0.4% 0.1%
Western Conference
Seed/Team Round 1 Conf. Semis Conf. Finals NBA Finals
6 Portland
76.9% 54.5% 34.8% 16.0%
5 Utah
58.7% 33.6% 17.0% 6.3%
1 Los Angeles
66.0% 33.7% 17.5% 4.8%
2 Dallas
60.3% 23.8% 11.4% 3.8%
4 Denver
41.3% 21.3% 7.6% 1.9%
8 Oklahoma City
34.0% 11.5% 4.2% 1.0%
7 San Antonio
39.7% 12.5% 4.7% 0.9%
3 Phoenix
23.1% 9.2% 2.9% 0.7%
Cavs logo
Celtics logo
1
4
Cavs
Celtics
Cavs
Record: 61-21
Analysis: If the Cleveland Cavs were destined to win a championship, this would be the season to finish what they started. LeBron James and company have jammed down on the accelerator for 82 games and need to continue to apply that pressure to every team they face if they want to reach the NBA Finals. Cavs'' owner Dan Gilbert spent the money to bring the remaining pieces of the playoff puzzle to Cleveland. Shaquille O''Neal, though hurt now, will return to join forces with Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison, the other two fresh faces in the Cavs postseason line-up. From the perimeter Mo'' Williams and Delonte West will continue to carry the load with Daniel Gibson acting as their long range threat. The X-factor in this post-season remains Anderson Varejao, but don''t discredit the contributions of Jawad Williams and J.J. Hickson who have proved themselves throughout the course of the season as viable options off the bench.

Celtics
Record: 50-32
Analysis: The Boston Celtics are proving the opposite that things get better with age. Two years removed from winning the NBA title, basketball fans have written off this year''s Celtics as a true contender for a NBA title. Boston began as a project focused around the "Big 3", but have since blossomed into a five man team. Rajon Rondo has grown over the past few NBA seasons, but consistency remains the pitfall for the young man out of Kentucky. He can put up the numbers and make the highlight reel on the late sportscast, but can he do it on a nightly basis? Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett will no doubt have to dig deep and try to break out some old school tricks to have any chance of surviving the Eastern Conference playoffs. The X-factors for them are two more veterans coming off the bench in Rasheed Wallace and Michael Finley. They have the playoff experience and the rings to prove it.

Player of the series: Cavs - LeBron James (35 ppg, 9 rpg)

Chances of Winning Conference Semi-Finals: Cavs 75% - Celtics 13.4%
Hawks logo
Magic logo
3
2
Hawks
Magic
Hawks
Record: 53-29
Analysis: The Atlanta Hawks are a lot like the girl in high school that was the ugly duckling. That was until she went to college and became hot. It''s been a process that''s taken a few years, but the Hawks are for real. Atlanta won their playoff series last year for the first time in a decade and they are even better this season. The maturation of Josh Smith has been a major part of the Hawks climb up the Eastern Conference standings. The franchises addition of Jamal Crawford is another weapon at their disposal come round one of the playoffs. It''s also something Crawford has never experienced. At the end of the day, the performance of Al Horford and Joe Johnson will determine how far this team can go. The Hawks have the second longest NBA Finals drought waiting 48 seasons and counting.

Magic
Record: 59-23
Analysis: The Orlando Magic have gotten stronger as the season has progressed. Dwight Howard remains the catalyst with a healthy Jameer Nelson feeding him the rock. The addition of Vince Carter has added a dash of athleticism along with a veteran leader to lean on come the playoffs. Rashard Lewis does a little bit of everything for Orlando and because of his length will help create mismatches on the perimeter. When J.J. Redick is on the floor the Magic add a deep threat that can help erase double digit deficits in a hurry. The "Master of Panic", as Shaq so affectionately refers to Stan Van Gundy, has himself a team capable of winning a championship this year and for year''s to come.

Player of the series: Magic - Dwight Howard (18 ppg, 13 rpg)

Chances of Winning Conference Semi-Finals: Magic 67.9% - Hawks 17.9%
Lakers logo
Jazz logo
1
5
Lakers
Jazz
Lakers
Record: 57-25
Analysis: The defending NBA champs march into the playoffs as the Western Conference''s #1 seed for the third straight year. However, the Los Angeles Lakers have more chinks in their armor than in years past. Letting Trevor Ariza depart in favor of Ron Artest has been a failure, Pau Gasol has become more vocal about his role (or lack thereof) on the offensive end, and Kobe Bryant is finally starting to show some wear after competing in nearly 1,200 games (not counting contests with Team USA). Despite these concerns, Los Angeles is still the Vegas favorite to return to the Finals.

Jazz
Record: 53-29
Analysis: The ''09-10 Utah Jazz might be Coach Jerry Sloan''s most complete team since the heyday of the Stockton-Malone Era (a period that produced two straight Finals appearances). And just like those late-90''s squads from Salt Lake, this lineup is constructed around two stars ( Carlos Boozer and Williams) and surrounded by uber-role players (Okur, Millsap, Kirilenko, Korver). Although embarking the season in a rut amidst Boozer trade rumors, Utah underwent a Lazarus-like awakening, revived with a 17-2 game run from mid-January to late February.

Player of the series: Lakers - Pau Gasol (20.7 ppg, 12.1 rpg)

Chances of Winning Conference Semi-Finals: Lakers 33.7% - Jazz 33.6%
Blazers logo
Blazers logo
6
2
Blazers
Mavericks
Blazers
Record: 50-32
Analysis: How the Portland Trail Blazers made it to this juncture of the season is a miracle in itself. No team in the NBA endured as many bumps and bruises as Portland. The latest is Brandon Roy''s knee injury that could force him to miss the entire playoffs. (See how Whatifsports.com's computers predicted a Blazers' trip to the NBA Finals.) When you add that to the extended absences throughout the season by Nicolas Batum, Rudy Fernandez, and the season-ending injuries suffered by big men Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, the Blazers are a playoff anomaly. Yet through all the adversity, Rip City is still is playing in the spring. After an initial adjustment period, offseason acquisition Andre Miller has paid dividends, averaging 14 points and 5.5 assists off the bench. A mid-season trade for Marcus Camby helped replace the loss of Oden and Przybilla, with Camby chipping in 7 points and 11 rebounds a game.

Mavericks
Record: 55-27
Analysis: Since stealing Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood from the Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks have emerged as a contender in the West. You''re acquainted with Dirk, Kidd, Terry, and Marion; yet the Mavs playoff hopes may ultimately rest with little-known Guadeloupe guard Rodrigue Beaubois. Selected 25th overall in the ''09 Draft, Beaubois exploded onto the NBA scene in March, with back-to-back 20 point games against Sacramento and Chicago, as well as dropping a 40-spot on Golden State.

Player of the series: Blazers - Rudy Fernandez (49-3pt%, 14 ppg, 6 apg )

Chances of Winning Conference Semi-Finals: Blazers 54.5% - Mavericks 23.8%

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