NBA Playoffs 2013: Schedule and Predictions

7 of 9

Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard

San Antonio (2) vs. L.A. Lakers (7). 

Game 1 – Sun April 21, L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, 3:30 p.m., ABC/R
Game 2 – Wed April 24, L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri April 26, San Antonio at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun April 28, San Antonio at L.A. Lakers, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue April 30, L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, TBD, TBD
Game 6 * Thu May 2, San Antonio at L.A. Lakers, TBD, TBD
Game 7 * Sat May 4, L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, TBD, TNT

Even without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers have managed to sneak into the playoffs and actually got a pretty good matchup with San Antonio. The Spurs have a ton of injuries right now and aren’t looking like the same team that was dominant before the all-star break. San Antonio looks like it could be ready for a first round upset. If the Lakers can play anything resembling defense, they will have a chance in this series.

Player to watch: Dwight Howard

Without Kobe, this has to be Dwight Howard’s team. If the Lakers are going to win, he needs to take over and have a couple of 25-15 and 3 block games, which he was able to do pretty regularly in Orlando. Howard finally looks pretty healthy now for the first time this season and he can prove a lot of his haters wrong if he can beat San Antonio in a playoff series.

Prediction: Los Angeles wins 4-2. 

Even though as a Nets fan I hate Dwight Howard and the Lakers, my brain is telling me that they will pull the upset and win this series. The Spurs lost in the first round two years ago as a 1-seed and I think they aren’t healthy enough to win this series. The Lakers will finally use Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol correctly on offense and they will win a high-scoring series.