With the playoffs now in full swing, basketball fans around the world are starting to give their predictions for the results of each matchup. Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard also joined in the fun and gave his bold forecasts and detailed reasons why he thinks the teams he chose will move on in the postseason.The veteran columnist detailed his picks, via
The veteran columnist detailed his picks, via Andrew Lynch of Fox Sports, and made some very interesting points. Some may be the expected results while he also chose some underdogs to make it through to the second round.
Broussard believes the Celtics will beat the Bulls, but not without being pushed to the limit by the eighth-seeded team. He added that this series has a lot of potential to be the first round shocker, but still picked the C’s.
“I like Boston, but this is the biggest upset watch in the East.”
“I think this is seven. I don’t have the guts to say Bulls, but I’m going to say Boston in seven.”
The defending champions are the clear favorites in this matchup. However, he still thinks it will not be an easy win for the defending champs and expects the series to be extended to six games, with the Northeast Ohio team moving on to the conference semifinals.
“Paul George is obviously not as good as LeBron James, [but] I think this will be a breakout series since the injury, since his leg injury that stifled his career. He hasn’t been the same except for the last month and a half, two months.”
“He’s been tremendous, about 29 points a game, shooting well from the field. I think he’ll go at LeBron. LeBron will outplay him, but I think he’ll play well, and I think he’ll get them two games, as Cleveland kind of gets back its swag and who it really is.”
No predictions of any upsets here from Broussard. He picks the higher seeds in both matchups, with the Raptors and Wizards both advancing.
With the best team on paper this year in the regular season playing the eighth-seeded Blazers team, many are already expecting the Dubs to sweep them and have an extended rest before their second round matchup. However, Broussard has a belief that Jusuf Nurkic is a game-changer for Portland and doesn’t expect a sweep.
“Five. … Now, Jusuf Nurkic, I like a lot. He’s been 15 and 11 since he got traded there from Denver. I remember the first time I saw him, I was doing sidelines for the Cavs vs. Denver a couple years ago.”
“But that said, it doesn’t go any further than five games.”
Without Tony Allen, the 48-year-old thinks the chances of the Grizzlies to pull off the upset becomes almost impossible. He picks the Spurs in five games.
“It would have been better with Tony Allen, you know? I hate to see him out of this, but still, Memphis is gritty, they’re tough. They play like San Antonio, slow down.”
“Probably five, though.”
In what could be the best matchup in the first round, with two of the MVP favorites going at it, Broussard expects it to be a long series, with the Rockets winning in six or seven games.
“I like OKC’s size. I just like Houston’s bench and their ability to hit 3s.”
“I think, again, OKC’s going to win some games, but, man, listen…”
“I think Houston wins. I think it’s six or seven games; I’d love seven. But Harden has had some struggles in the playoffs. He had the 12 turnovers against Golden State a few years ago. … so it’ll be interesting.”
The Jazz have been causing a lot of problems to the top teams in the league because of their gritty defense. The presence of Rudy Gobert in the middle and the ability of their wing players to defend multiple positions can make it difficult for Chris Paul and company, but with their experience and hunger for success, Broussard chooses them in five or six games.
“I like Utah a lot, but I think the Clippers.”
“I’m not going to get too excited about them, I think they finished 9-2 down the stretch, but I like the Clippers in this series. With their experience, I think they’re going to win this series, and I think at the most it goes six. I think they could take them out in five.”
Many may agree with his picks, especially with some of the results after the first day of the playoffs. But with his years of experience covering the NBA, it will also be difficult to doubt his basis for choosing the winners in the first round. The only way to find out is to watch and enjoy the top eight teams in each conference compete for the title this year. And we’d recommend the ClutchPoints App for that to ensure you’re up to date with every moment of these 2017 NBA Finals.