DAY ONE - The Playoffs kick off today with Vince Carter's return to Toronto, a rematch series from last season, Dwight Howard's playoff debut, and a compelling 4-5 match up in the west.
Nets at Raptors, 12:30 PM, ESPN
Thoughts: Game one, expect at least a little early jitters for the young inexperienced Raptors. They may have a surge of energy here and there, and Chris Bosh will look to impress, but I doubt it will be enough. Vince Carter will be amped for game one against his old team and have a huge game. Nets win.
Heat at Bulls, 3:00 PM, ABC
Thoughts: While I don't think Chicago can take a whole seven game series, they can steal game one. In case you forgot, the Bulls do have homecourt advantadge in this series. The Bulls will come out pumped up and with a home crowd behind them against a Heat team that, in all honesty, is probably a little too relaxed. I get the feeling the Heat, having already beaten this team, are taking the Bulls a little lightly and will cost them today. Bulls win.
Magic at Pistons, 7:30 PM, ESPN
Thoughts: The Pistons are experienced, savvy, well balanced, and still a menace defensively. Orlando is an impressive young team obviously making huge strides by just being in the playoffs, but they won't be getting a win today. Expect veteran Grant Hill to step up (against his old old team no less) and Dwight Howard to have a nice game, but down the stretch the Pistons will clamp down defensively and go on a run the Magic won't recover from. Pistons win.
Jazz at Rockets, 9:30 PM, ESPN
Thoughts: Jeff Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan are both tough methodical playoff coaches and both will have their teams prepared and strategic game plan ready. I give the edge to Houston for one reason: Tracy McGrady. McGrady has never been out of the first round, but having watched his career for a long time, I know he tends to have huge game one games, all the way back to his Orlando days. This will be a tough close game, but T-Mac goes off and gives the Rockets the win.
*all times Eastern