21 April 2008

NBA Playoffs

It's been a long time since I've posted about basketball. I realize many of you don't care so I've avoided the topic but it truly a big thing on my mind this week as the playoffs are underway. My Lakers squeezed into the #1 spot in the west which is awesome, homecourt advantage until the NBA finals if they keep winning. My Eastern favs, the Raptors, are the #6 seed but have the best chance of the lower seeds to upset. It should be a fun spring. So here are my picks...some sentimental and some that are all about business.

Western First Round:

Lakers vs. Nuggets: Lakers in 6. The Nuggets are full of talent and scoring. They can be a threat every night but they lack the defense necessary in the playoffs and the also lack the maturity required to really hack the stress of the playoffs. For the Lakers...Gasol has never won in the playoffs so he's got a chip on his shoulder and Kobe is foaming at the mouth to make a statement that he has the team that can win. With Phil Jackson orchestrating the team and a deeper bench this year the Lakers will make it out of the first round for sure.

Hornets vs. Mavericks: Somebody in 7. I like to think the experience and the talent of the Mavericks will be enough to upset the Hornets. Dirk, J.Kidd, J.Howard, and J.Terry should have what it takes to stifle the first playoff run of the new kids on the block. But Chris Paul, D.West, T.Chandler and Peja are no slouches so it will be a battle. I picked the Mavs up until now but after the Hornets won game 1 I'm struggling to stick to that....I will though...Mavs in 7.

Spurs vs. Suns: Spurs in 7. Spurs are old, but so good and so experienced. I don't like them and I don't want them to win but the more I follow them the more I can't pick against them. Phoenix has the talent but they just seem to lack the mental toughness to get over this hurdle. The Suns picked up Shaq to deal with the inside play of the Spurs but I just don't think that him and Amare can stay out of foul trouble. The Spurs will keep attacking until those guys are out and then the Suns just don't have the depth to compete. It'll be tight, it'll be exciting, it'll be dirty but the Spurs will probably grind it out.

Jazz vs. Rockets: Jazz in 4. No Yao. T-Mac is not enough. Jazz are the real deal.

Eastern First Round:

Celtics vs. Hawks: Boston in 5. Atlanta has some talent so they should be able to pull off one in their own building but it will just be for sentiment sake. Boston is an amazing team that will have no troubles. Garnett, Pierce and Allen are hungry and they won't have much competition until later.

Pistons vs. Sixers: Detroit in 5. Same as above.

Magic vs. Raptors: Orlando in 6. I have picked Toronto in most of my conversations with people but mostly because I like to support the Canadian team. They are talented but they've picked a bad time to be on a but of a skid. They are not playing good team ball, there a few conflicts and finally that finesse Euro-style just won't get it done in the playoffs. They will win a game or two in this series but Orlando is just playing better.

Lebron vs. Wizards: Lebron in 6. The Wizards are no doubt the more talented team. They are deeper and more capable. BUT...they've gone and pissed off the wrong guy. Lebron will single-handedly make sure that the Cavs come out on top. I don't think he can will the Cavs too far into the playoffs this year but in this series he can. If the Wiz would've kept their mouths shut in the media they probably would've won in a team vs. team series but they made it personal. There are two guys in the league that you don't call out...Kobe and Lebron, they can go 1 on 5 for most minutes of every game and if they get a little help from their teams, it's over.

I'll make my second round pics when this round is over.

1 comment:

katrina said...

I'd have to say I agree with your predictions, although I'd like to think the Raps can make a comeback after a humiliating 1st loss. Keep 'er real out East! Later