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:
- 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.
- 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.)
Filed under: NBA, NBA Playoffs, previews Tagged: | Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards