One round at a time—that’s how I’m going after this year’s playoff predictions (much like my NFL stuff, minus the spread; that’s just about impossible, unless your name is Scott Ferrall). My preseason predictions still stand on this website if you’d like to check them out, but if not, I’ll give a little recap—whether it went right or terribly wrong.
In the East I had seven-of-the-eight teams correct, yet the one that I got wrong is pretty embarrassing—even though the West is worse, in more ways than one—for I had the Nets in the playoffs instead of the Pacers. Oops.
West wise, I had six-of-eight, but the two I had in weren’t the worst part of this: The worst part is who I left out: The Spurs. This was more or less from my dislike of them as a basketball team; therefore, their exclusion from my preseason playoff picture was for spite and nothing else. I also had the T-Wolves in, as well as the Hornets. Ouch.
Enough talk of things of old, for we got the best time of year upon us: The NBA Playoffs…
Chicago over Philly in four; Boston over Atlanta in six; Orlando over Indiana in six (maybe seven, but then it could go either way); Miami over New York in seven (or the Knicks in six)
The first one is obvious, and therefore hopefully needs no further explanation. You could say the same about BOS/ATL, yet at least there’ll be some competitive games in that series, unlike CHI/PHI, which could turn ugly in a hurry.
The Magic got the best deal for their Howard-less handicap in drawing the Pacers, for they have more horses and better players than Indy. I still wish DH was involved in this second season, but not for the reason you’d think, because I wanted them to play someone like Boston; then, they would lose, and Orlando would fire Van Gundy, and we wouldn’t have to sit through another soap-opera-esque offseason involving a big man.
If MIA/NYK doesn’t look right to you, please take time to think: Most likely this thing will be knotted up at two a piece going into game five, and it’d be tough to bet against the Knicks in game six, so it just comes down to who’s up 3-2 heading into that contest. And if that doesn’t decide it, game seven will be fantastic, won’t it!?!?
The West…is the Best
San Antonio over Utah in five (maybe even a sweep); Memphis over LAC in six (or it could be five); LAL over Denver in five; OKC over Dallas in four
With two potential sweeps, and in all likelihood only one series capable of producing more than five games, the East has the West beat in round one. But wait for round two, because you shall be witnessing some of the NBA’s best going down in flames—even some teams that could hypothetically win the eastern conference, but they’re in the West, so sucks to be them.
There’s not a lot of room for analysis here other than: If you’ve seen the way the Clips have been coming down the stretch, they’re ready to go home, and I hate to go against my own words and flip-flop (see my “Combing the Internet” piece in the archives), but I think the Grizz-kids can make the western conference finals. Who knew?
Steve Nash may be done in Phoenix, and even though his last line was 8/3/7, I’d still contend that he’s got a lot left. Nash has become that guy: No matter how much you want him to go away—he can’t because he’s so talented; he’s the antithesis of Brett Favre.
Speaking of people not in the playoffs, but about whom I’ve been impressed over the last week o’ th’ season: Gerald Henderson and DeMarcus Cousins have been making serious waves.
Henderson has turned into what everyone thought Kemba Walker would be for Charlotte—you know, their future scoring threat, and piece around which they can build—and DeMarcus Cousins has become an animal for the Kings—with numbers like 32&7 and 23&19 over his last two games, leaving positive vibes for Sacramento fans looking ahead.
More Neil Young pronto…
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