Here we go. The NBA, where “amazing happens.” The playoffs, where superstars become legends or regress to stars (LeBron, this one’s for you). I’m a hater, I know this. I am a crazy fan of my teams. I will follow them until the bitter end (and trust me, it’s usually ending bitter for me). This year will be different. And with that, I give you my predictions for the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs.
1. Chicago Bulls vs. 8. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers (cough,Evan Turner, cough) wanted the Bulls (because the “Heat are a better team”) so bad, that they royally tanked their final game of the season to keep the 8th seed. Well Philly, you got your wish. Derrick Rose and Evan Turner have bad blood from their high school days in the Chi, and Rose didn’t take too kindly to Turner’s statement. Rose dominates, Bench Mob does work, Bulls in 5.
4. Boston Celtics vs. 5. Atlanta Hawks
The Celtics are one of those teams that could either win a championship, or lose in the first round. The injury to Ray Allen is troubling. The emergence of Avery Bradley masks it some, but please believe the playoffs are not the regular season and they need Allen’s shooting. The Hawks are ummm, the Hawks. Yeh, maybe the Celts don’t need Ray-Ray for this series. Celtics in 6.
3. Indiana Pacers vs. 6. Orlando Magic
Also known as Snoozefest 2012. Nobody actually cares who wins this series. Dwight Howard is “injured” and won’t play (yes I put that in quotation marks, he reminds me of that kid that takes away the ball when he doesn’t get his way on the playground). Shout out to David West representing my highschool. Otherwise I really don’t care. Pacers in 6.
2. Miami Heat vs. 7. New York Knicks
Hmm. Last lockout season 1998-1999, the Knicks turned it on just before the playoffs, and upset then number 1 seed Miami Heat in the first round. We all remember the fights and the Allan Houston shot. This year, Knicks have kind of been on a tear lately. I’m not saying anything, but I’m just saying. Melo could turn into the Melo from his Championship at ‘Cuse. JR Smith and Steve Novak could go nutty hitting 3’s (Three pointers will be a HUGE factor in this series). Tyson Chandler will anchor the back line of the Knicks D. Iman Shumpert can slow D-Wade. I hate the Heat. I hate LeBron. I think Bosh is the softest player in the NBA. If I were the Knicks, I’d bring Amare off the bench. Obviously I’m not the Knicks. The LBJ-Melo matchup should (SHOULD) be a classic. As much as I hate to admit it, the Knicks are better than people are giving them credit for. The Heat’s lack of size in the paint and tendency to miss a ton of their 3’s will cost them. Knicks in 6 or 7. Haters gonna hate.
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 8. Utah Jazz
Spurs look primed for another championship run. The Jazz are not that good. Spurs in 5. Yep, it’s that simple.
4. Memphis Grizzlies vs. 5. Los Angeles Clippers
Z-BO! He’s back. Can he carry the Grizz again? The fact that him and Rudy Gay can’t play together scares me because this is probably one of the best teams built for the playoffs. When your 2 best players can’t work on the court together it’s an issue though. Chris Paul wants to win. Blake Griffin needs to learn to play defense. If this turns into a Chris Paul dribble for 20 seconds show, the Grizz will beat the hell out of Lob City. I’m torn on this series. I really am. It’ll be entertaining to watch though. Because of the Gay-Z-Bo drama, I’m going Clippers in 6.
3. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 6. Denver Nuggets
On paper, the Nuggets should win this series. In reality, paper doesn’t actually beat rock, and the Nuggets won’t beat the Lakers. Kobe is Kobe, Bynum could be a beast and Pau is doin’ the damn thang (he’s hitting 3’s now!). Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, and the”Manimal” are a solid core, but no way in hell would I pick a team that has JaVelle McGee as their center. Lakers in 6.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 7. Dallas Mavericks
Really?!? This is a 1st Round matchup? Damn you Lamar Odom for making the Mavericks end up being the 7 seed. This could have been a Western Conference Finals matchup in any other year. The Mavs regret letting Tyson Chandler go. He was their defense. The Thunder are niiiiiccee. If “Toofie” Westbrook can learn to not turn the ball over and just keep nailing those midrange jumpers, the Thunder will actually be a title contender. It’s Durant’s team. Give him the damn ball. Quick thought though, if James Harden was a LEGO man, that shot from Metta World Peace would have knocked his damn head off (it actually almost happened with him being a real life human). Thunder in 6. Dirk and company get rest as they await the offseason to sign Deron Williams and maybe trade for Dwight Howard. Rest up Dallas.
(This theme needs to come back ASAP. I just got so hyped up listening to this damn song. NBA do something and buy this from Jon Tesh for reals. I’m still bobbing my head to the beat.)