So the fake playoffs start tonight, but who really cares. The real games start up Saturday (Sunday for the Celts). This may be the most intriguing playoffs since, probably, the real Big Three was formed in 08. There are so many story-lines. Will the Celtics and Lakers just stick it to everyone again and make the finals…again? Is LeBron going to choke….again? Is Carmelo going to kill himself if the Nuggets make it further then his Knicks? Are the Bulls realllly the best team in basketball?
To answer those questions in order. Yes, yes, kind of yes, and absolutely not.
So let’s break these match-ups down. Starting with the East.
#1 Bulls vs. #8 Pacers
Prediction: Bulls in 5.
Why? Derrick Rose. That simple. Dude is a beast. Aside from Danny Granger, the Pacers just have a bunch of over achieving bench players. Moving on.
#4 Magic vs. #5 Hawks
Prediction: Magic in 6.
Why? The Magic are too good. I’m in a giving mood, so I’ll generously give the Hawks two wins. Listen, ever since Atlanta took us to seven games in 2008, everyone thought this team was God’s gift from earth. Hate to say it, but these guys just really aren’t that good. Why on earth would you give Joe Johnson that kind of money? I understand that you probably wouldn’t have landed another top free agent, but re-signing Johnson just assured yourselves as first round contenders for the next five years…considering you’ll never be in the lottery. Dwight’s a beast. Zaza sucks…oh and Kirk Hinrich is your starting point guard. Guys awful.
#3 Celtics vs. #6 Knicks
Prediction: Celtics in 6
Why? Experience. I’m giving the Knicks that second win in Boston only because I’d love to see us eliminate them in Madison Square Garden in front of Spike Lee’s stupid-ass glasses. Congrats Spike, your career is best known for being a Knicks fan. What’s your real job again? Oh yeah, He Got Game was cool. What else? Kobe doin’ work? Sit your ugly-ass down and watch that guy KG, who you say needs to “calm the f down,” and your boy Ray who’s got more game then 95% of players who have been on the Knicks since your existence, demolish your Knicks. Hell, let’s make it a sweep.
#2 Heat vs. #7 Sixers
Prediction: Heat in 4.
Why? The Heat are riding a hot streak, and Philly has no one that can match up with their super-stardom. Would love to see them get swept though.
#1 Bulls vs. # Magic
Prediction: Magic in 7
Why? Inexperience. How many playoff series has Derrick Rose won prior to this year? As many as me, actually. Dwight’s been here before, so has the core of this team. Don’t overlook them because they’re a four seed. This is virtually the same team that has been to the Eastern Finals the past two seasons. Why should it change now? Carlos Boozer gets real soft come playoff time and Joakim Noah’s a little banged up. If a combination of Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas can at least contain the MVP, then I like the Magic stealing game 7 on Chicago’s home floor.
#2 Heat vs. #3 Celtics
Prediction: Celtics in 6
Why? Again, experience. Everyone who has jumped off of the bandwagon since the Perkins trade is just ignorant. Quick quiz, how many minutes a game did Perkins average in the finals the year we won? Roughly, 18. (Shout out to Bobby G). In fact, he didn’t even play in one of the games…I assume he was hurt. Yeah, he’s better now then he was yada, yada, yada, but the fact of the matter is, this team is built to win. If Shaq’s healthy, which it looks like he’s going to play game 1, then he can play those 20 minutes that Perk left, except he can score….and I hate to be a hypocrite, but Jermaine O’Neal actually brings a sort of toughness that I like. Chalk him up for at least one almost fight during this series.
Eastern Conference Finals
#3 Celtics vs. #4 Magic
Prediction: Celtics in 5
Why? We just own the Magic. We took them to game 7 without KG a couple of years ago, and we “surprisingly” beat them last year. With a healthy C’s starting 5 playing better then ever, we just over match this Magic team. Led by Rondo destroying Jameer Nelson, we grind out three close ones before dismantling them in Boston in game 5. All of a sudden, the Celtics are looking like the team to beat in the NBA.
Woah, that took longer then I thought. Ready for the West?..Yeah, you are.
Western Conference: Round 1
# 1 Spurs vs. #8 Grizzlies
Prediction: Spurs in 5
Why? It’s the Grizzlies. Although, I actually would not be surpised if the Grizz shock the world here. Manu Ginobili just got banged up, putting his game 1 status in doubt. I still believe T-Duncs (his new nickname) and company will take care of business, but it would be cool to see Tony Allen and Leon Powe spark up some Celtic magic.
#4 Thunder vs. #5 Nuggets
Prediction: Nuggets in 6
Why? I like this team. But oh no Dave!!! The Thunder have Kendrick Perkins!!! They’re gonna win it all!!! Child, please. They have gotten better, I guess, but look at this Nugget roster. They have at least 10 guys who are either good, very good, potential superstars, or ex-superstars (K-Mart), and they are playing with a purpose. George Karl is a coach of the year candidate and you best believe he’s got something up his sleeve.
#3 Mavericks vs. #6 Blazers
Prediction: Blazers in 7.
Why? Gerald Wallace. He’s been playing like a beast, and now that he’s on a team that’s somewhat relevant, I’m expecting some big things from him. Now, my prediction may change if Caron Butler can miraculously come back for this series but it’s not looking too likely. I’m just too used to seeing Dallas choke under pressure to see the opposite happen. Poor Mark Cuban.
#2 Lakers vs. #7 Hornets
Prediction: Lakers in 4.
Why? David West. David West, a.k.a. half of the Hornets franchise, will not be playing in this series. Good luck, Carl Landry. With or without Bynum, the Lakers cruise into round 2.
#1 Spurs vs. #5 Nuggets
Prediction: Nuggets in 7
Why? I’m riding the hot hand. To steal this from Bill Simmons, the Nuggets are currently riding the “Patrick Ewing Theory.” That is, when a team trade’s its best player, then all of a sudden becomes that much better. As I already stated, the Nuggets have a very deep team, and if Manu is really hurt then I like the Nuggets to exploit them…just had to throw this out there. Fellow blogger, “Fine China,” was quoted as saying that Ty Lawson wasn’t going to be that good of a player….chew on this one, Yee.
#2 Lakers vs. #6 Blazers
Prediction: Lakers in 5
Why? Kobe. Bryant. After losing game 1 at home, Kobe takes command of the series in a big way. The Blazers have no one that can match him in any way. LA keeps rolling.
Western Conference Finals
#2 Lakers vs. #5 Nuggets
Prediction: Lakers in 6
Why? Depth. Like how the Nuggets have depth, the Lakers have some too. But not only do the Lakers have depth, they have superstars. George Karl and the gang’s crew runs out of luck after an impressive run. Suck on that, Melo.
#2 Lakers vs. #3 Celtics…round 3.
Prediction: Celtics in 6
Why? Redemption, bitch. Last year the Lakers stole the final two games to stun the Celtics. Still painful too painful to recollect, but at the same time I half didn’t expect us to get there in the first place. This year, different story. Pierce and company realize their days in the sun are slipping away and if they want to get remembered as Celtic greats, they’ll have to put together another championship run. A healthy Shaq returns to LA in prime form, dismantling his former team in game 6 on his old stomping grounds. Victory is so sweet.