3 Teams on Upset Alert in First Round of NBA Playoffs

By Dan O'Shea
Denver Nuggets v Boston Celtics
Denver Nuggets v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

There's a ton of talent spread out across the NBA. Sure, the super teams still reign supreme (looking at you, Warriors), but the amount of talent toward the bottom of the playoff bracket leaves a lot of favorites with their future in doubt.

With just a few games to go before the playoffs, here are three high seeds who can be sent packing in the first round.

3. Denver Nuggets

Getty Images
Getty Images / Maddie Meyer

This is not a shot at what Nikola Jokic and company have done all season. They have one of the best records in the NBA, have a superstar to rally around, and a young core around him. Unfortunately, they're in the Western Conference. It's a ruthless conference. They could face a team like the star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. This team isn't playoff tested and have not proven they can beat the top teams when it really matters. Would you really be surprised if Russell Westbrook or Gregg Popovich bounced Jokic and the Nuggets in the first round?

2. Houston Rockets

Getty Images
Getty Images / Stacy Revere

The Rockets are not like the Nuggets. They are playoff proven, have two superstars in James Harden and Chris Paul, and made it as far as the Western Conference Finals last season. However, you don't want to lean on a streaky team. The Rockets have had their high moments, but their low points as well. You can only rely on 50-point outings by Harden for so long. They could have to go through teams like the Clippers (0-2) or the Thunder (1-2) in the first round, who they've struggled to beat this year. The Rockets are one team who can challenge the Warriors in the Western Finals, or they can get surprised in the first round. That's the kind of hot and cold team this is.

1. Boston Celtics

Getty Images
Getty Images / Maddie Meyer

Are we still certain this team is going to figure it out? Really? They've had numerous losing steaks over the season and they play down to their competition, but it's not much better against the playoff teams in the conference. They're 2-1 against the Pacers right now, but the Pacers are trending upwards and the Celtics are not. The Celtics have had five different streaks where they've lost three consecutive games or more this season. You can't go through stretches like that in the playoffs.


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Dan O'Shea is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Dan O'Shea also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Doshea93. While the strategies and player selection recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and plater selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.



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