1st Round Playoffs: Denver vs. San Antonio

Welcome to the third post of my series prediction picks. Here, I’ll break down each of the matchups we see in the First Round of the NBA Playoffs for just the Western Conference. The Hornets aren’t in, so I’ll be rooting for Dallas.

Denver Nuggets v. San Antonio Spurs

Denver has been dubbed “the team nobody wants to face in the first round” and with good reason. A. Iverson and C. Anthony have formed a terrific tandem, M. Camby is arguably the best center in the game today, and players like R. Evans bring a lot of defensive toughness to the squad. The Spurs, meanwhile, are a perennial championship contender. They are on the downtrend however, with an aging T. Duncan, and R. Horry manning the post. The Nuggets present a good case of ‘pick your poison’ with Anthony and Iverson, but the Spurs have the ability to negate one of them with B. Bowen and limit the other with their great tendency to rotate smartly on defense. That being said, shutting down both Anthony and Iverson is no easy task, and one that I think won’t be accomplished. The key to this series is the Spurs’ offense- they have to ensure that half-court sets don’t become stagnant. With T. Duncan not nearly effective in the post as in his prime, the inside-outside game will have to be propelled more by drives and kicks than by post ups and kicks. The Nuggets are a young team on the rise, and I see N. Hilario and M. Camby as being too much for the Spurs to overcome.




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