Ill-Advised NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions

So, we’ve got teams, we’ve got seeds. I’m psyched to watch this play out this year; it may be one of the better playoff seasons in the Association we’ve seen in some time. Agree or disagree with me in the comments. Let’s do this:

Eastern Conference:

  • Hawks (8) vs. Celtics (1) – Atlanta even being in the playoffs under a coach the players don’t seem to like is a testament to the skill of guys like Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and Mike Bibby, but I can’t even give them one game against a Boston team that is on a complete 180 from last year with KG, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo coming into his own. Celtics sweep this one.
  • 76ers (7) vs. Pistons (2) – It’s been an impressive rebound in the second half for Philly, but this is the wrong team for them to match up with. Way too much experience on the Detroit sideline and in the line-up. Pistons in five, and that’s generous, too.
  • Raptors (6) vs. Magic (3) – Now we’re getting to something competitive.  Orlando got swept out last year and added Rashard Lewis, but the big revelation has been Hedo Turkoglu being a go-to guy with Dwight Howard.  Watching Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh is fun — and this one could go a while, because I don’t like Jameer Nelson as a point guard a whole lot yet. Let’s say Magic in six.
  • Wizards (5) vs. Cavaliers (4) – This Cavs team lives and dies by LeBron more than it did last season.  The parts are not there to get them past tougher teams, and the only reason they swept Washington last year was because both Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas weren’t playing. Shoe’s on the other foot this year: Wizards in seven.

Western Conference

  • Nuggets (8) vs. Lakers (1) – Both teams with tons of scoring potential and ability, but Los Angeles does something called playing defense. The Nuggets don’t have a whole lot of alternatives when their shots fail them. Lakers in five.
  • Mavericks (7) vs. Hornets (2) – I do not like the way this team is presently constructed in Dallas, but I can note the fact that both Nowitzki and Kidd are playoff tested; they know something about playing in them. The same can’t be said for the Hornets as a whole. That’s not enough for me to say that Dallas wins this series. Hornets in six.
  • Suns (6) vs. Spurs (3) – Worst match-up possible for Phoenix. Shaq has made his impact and freed up Amare, but Phoenix’s defense still has too many holes for San Antonio to exploit over a seven game series. Spurs in six.
  • Rockets (5) vs. Jazz (4) – Houston may just be better and more efficient without Yao this time around, but Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer et al are so efficient under Jerry Sloan’s pick-and-roll obsessed system that it’s hard to look at Houston and think “yeah, this is whta will get T-Mac past the first round for the first time in his career.”  Utah in seven again, just like last year.

Let me have it if you think I’ve fucked up somewhere (and I probably have.)

5 Responses

  1. Check out this prediction, Jazz over Celtics in the Finals!

    http://www.whatifsports.com/beyondtheboxscore/

  2. The Detroit-Philly series should be settled by a parking lot fistfight between the 50 craziest motherfuckers in each city. It’s a shame that this can’t be legal.

  3. Close call with Toronto Orlando. Raps have been injury plagued and Magic has earned their wins considerably healthy and consistently. Big call is the point guard position and with Calderon and Ford I like the Raps in 6. Next issue, Wizzards Cavs: Biggest influence the L-Train factor. If LeBron wants to win, who is going to stop him? No doubt he will have a few MVP of the leagues when his Jersey is retired. Wiz have far exceeded expectations without Agent Zero and company and are looking to change too many team dynamics. Even with the Wild Wild West this Eastern first rounder is a squeaker. Lets just say the L-Train will keep on rolling and Cavs in 6. The other two East matchups are hardly worth mentioning except that KG of the Celts is MVP worthy and the Sixers and Hawks should look to improve on already impressive seasons.
    In what year has the West been so crazy? No upset is an upset in this conference. 1vs8 :early season Kobe trade talks died as Kobe learned to use his team and put them as contenders once that happened and the Spanish sensation Pau Gasol was added to the team and Kobe can now be a front runner for MVP. Andrew Bynon is a tough loss and this team will continue to compete for a title as long as Phil Jackson is behind the reins. Huge is going to have to be AI in this one. Iverson has few more playoffs and this Denver team is looking pretty good. With defensive prowess of Camby and Martin and the teams ability to contain the Kobe factor they should be able to withstand the scoring trio of Kobe, Gasol, and Odem. The sense of urgency can never be higher for Iverson and K-Mart. I like Denver in 7. Next, 2vs7 Hornets are not a surprise, but they have over exceeded expectations at being 2 in the West and CP3 is like a little Isiah Thomas in rewind. The ability of this kid is not unlike other youth of the great league thais, but CP3 should most definitely be in contention for MVP of the league. Dallas though, has a new complexion with J. Kidd and he may be the key to unleashing the leagues MVP’s scoring barrage. Kidd and Nowitz have something to prove. Looking at supporting cast, Peja can pick up some of the Hornets scoring while J. Howard and J. Terry can add to Dirk and Kidd. Kidd and the playoffs is not something to mess with. Mavs in 5. 3vs6: Maybe the playoff series to watch this year. Can Shaq make the Sun shine in Phoenix? For one, Amare S. is not even on the planet Earth right now the level he’s been playing at and Nash is better grooved then any for this time of year. Possible x-factor to the series is the play of Grant Hill. The Champs will be no easy test and are as sturdy as they’ve ever been. Calling the Suns in 7. Finally, the 4vs5 match-up between a familiar scene of Houston and Utah. Yes, T-Mac and Raefer went nuts in winning 22 straight and have found the way without Yao, but Utah is such a strong team and Deron Williams is All-Star Quality and who is going to stop The big Boozer down low, Mutumbo? I don’t think so. Jazz in 4. For second round analysis…

  4. I like the Wizards pick. I am not feeling the Cavs either. I’m with you in the sense that Cleveland can’t get enough from its other players besides LeBron.

    I just hope Agent Zero’s comments don’t excite King James to the point where he expolodes for triple doubles like its nobody’s business. Washington in seven, too.

  5. Yes, those are my picks as well for the first-round series.

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