The Playoffs begin Saturday, and why I’m ridiculously pumped up is beyond me. It’s definitely just the atmosphere of having your favorite team in the Playoffs with that chance that something sick could happen. I gotta agree that the NBA has by far the most predictable playoffs since like, ever, where it seems just the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, and Spurs ever win it all. Baseballl, football, and hockey atleast have some parity and there’s upsets all the time. When’s the last time you saw some serious upsets in the NBA playoffs? Golden State knocking off Dallas like 6 years ago? Yup, that’s just about it. I mean you had the Hawks and Bulls almost upset the Celtics in consecutive years but still nothing happened and Boston went on to the finals like usual.
I don’t know what it is, but I have a weird feeling about this year. I think this will be the yaer of the upset and the NBA will finally stop being so boring and predictable during its post season. Here we go with my official predictions of the first round.
Chicago Bulls over Indiana Pacers in 4. Indiana’s got no shot vs. Derrick Rose and the Bulls. This will be one of the very few sweeps we’ll see this post season. I would love to pick the Pacers to win at least 1 game, but I just don’t see how thats even possible. The Pacers are only a playoff team by default, and the Bulls have that killer instinct like they wanna destroy anyone and everything that they come up against. This is what I feel every other team in the Eastern Conference lacks.
Miami Heat over Philadelphia 76ers in 7. I think the 76ers match up very well with Miami, and the 6ers never play scared. It also helps that Philly is “America’s Team” right now against the hated Heat. I, along with like 90% of the nation would love to see Andre Igoudala or Lou Williams (who apparently will be back)) drain a buzzer beating three right in LeBron’s face to take the series.
Atlanta Hawks over Orlando Magic in 6. Yup. You read it here first. Last years Magic team was much better than they are now, and the Hawks are much better defensively then than they were a year ago in that 4 game annihilation. Clearly that series lit a fire under the Hawks’ ass this year as they went out, defended Dwight Howard better than any other team in the NBA (held him to the lowest shooting %) and beat them 3 out of 4 times using a big lineup. Heinrich will actually be able to guard Jameer unlike Bibby, and the Hawks will shock some people. Call me crazy/ hopeful but I feel it. Atlanta absolutely has to win game 1 or 2 though for this to happen.
New York Knicks over Boston Celtics in 6. Upset #2 people. Boston has looked absolutely awful over the last like 3 weeks and even though I know they did that last year and went on to the NBA Finals, this just looks and feels different. They never look confident, Doc Rivers never talks confidently, they now have no size on their team after trading Perkins, and Rondo hasn’t played anywhere near as well as he did in the beginning of the season. And now for the Knicks. They got hot again towards the end of the season and Carmelo is out to prove to all of this critics that he CAN win in the playoffs. This is actually a pretty crucial series for him. If he can come to NY, make the playoffs for the first time in a decade, and knock off their biggest division rival in the 1st round? That would obviously be huge for him because he apparently couldn’t take all the ‘Melo chokes in the playoffs” stuff in Denver. I still think Amare is the biggest piece to this series though. He needs to get more shots like he was in the beginning of the year and play D harder than he ever has.
Protland Trailblazers over Dallas Mavericks in 7. Upset #3 if you really wanna call it that. Dallas is known to choke and it will happen again this year. They are a pure jump shooting team and when they aren’t falling, they panic and lose. It happens to them just about every post season and I love this Blazers team and think they are the perfect gritty, hard nosed team to take them down. I actually think Nate McMillan deserves Coach of the Year for what he’s done in Portland this season. Gerald Wallace will play a huge role, especially defensively, and that may end up being the best move of the season.
San Antonio Spurs over Memphis Grizzlies in 5. I wanna pick the Grizz so badly, and maybe if they had Rudy Gay still I’d do it. But, I just don’t see how the hell they can compete with the Spurs without their star in a playoff series. I’m giving them their first playoff win and not calling a sweep just because I think they’ll be able to feed off their crowds energy for a first ever playoff game there. It should be loud and I’m actually excited to watch that game, especially if the Grizz can steal one in San Antonio (I seriously doubt it though).
Los Angeles Lakers over the New Orleans Hornets in 4. This will be the worst series of them all, as I don’t even see a game being close unless the Lakers play like they don’t care on the road which wouldn’t really surprise me. I think the Hornets have been overrated all year and they don’t stand a chance vs. all of the size that L.A. has. It’s not like Chris Paul can really go off either and drop like 40 himself to win a game for them, all he can do is set up…who? Carl Landry? C’mon.
Oklahoma City Thunder over Denver Nuggets in 7. This might be the most interesting series of the playoffs, as it could really go either way. Go figure the Nuggets get much better once Melo leaves town, and now they can drop 130 on you like they’re in fucking Space Jam. I don’t really know who I’m rooting for here, but either way I want to see one of them advance to the Western Finals, and I think they really can. Both teams aren’t scared of facing L.A. or San Antonio, and I love it. The Durantula will take over though, and the Thunder will win a crazy game 7 at home.