Thursday, 14 April 2011
The NBA Playoffs are set to tip-off this weekend when the Eastern Conference #1 seed Chicago Bulls take to the court against the Indiana Pacers at 1:00 PM EST. The past couple years it's seemed to be a two team battle between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. However each had disappointing seasons in their fans eyes as the aging Celtics come in the East #3 seed and the Lakers had to hold on late to the West #2 seed. This season it looks like there will be a new king atop the mountain, who will it be? The superstar Heat,the young Thunder, or the suprising Spurs. We take a look inside each playoff series and give a prediction of what we think will happen.
Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers
The Chicago Bulls came out of nowhere to claim the East's #1 seed behind the play of MVP Derrick Rose. I'm not as sold as many seem to be on the Bulls. I want to see them play in big late game situations. I respect their record but come playoff time teams turn into different beast. It'll be interesting to see if this team can man up and take down the Magic or Hawks in Round 2 who have been here before and in intense playoff series.
Prediction: Chicago in 5
Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks
Out of all the opening playoff series this is likely the one to watch the most, as the winner of this series could make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Dwight Howard seems to conform to a monster in the playoffs, and I think given another shot at a return to the playoffs Gilbert Arenas will show up and show off for the Magic. However the Hawks have proven to be a tough out the years past.
Prediction:Hawks in 7
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The Heat got a huge break late in the season when the Boston Celtics decided they didn't want the East #2 seed and a sleeper in the opening round. Truth is the 76ers do not have the fire power to go toe-to-toe with the Heat. And behind the leadership of Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, the Heat are the most dangerous team in the whole thing.
Prediction: Heat in 4
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks are back in the playoffs behind their superstar trio of Amare Stoudamire,Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billups. Yes I included Chauncey Billups because he's a guy that's been here an awful lot. However the Knicks will be facing a rested bunch of veteran Celtics. If Ray Allen doesn't show up in this series Goodbye Boston, however I got the feeling he will.
Prediction:Boston in 7
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
I have questions about the Spurs health heading into the playoffs. Manu Ginobli tweaked his elbow in the last game of the season and of course with Tim Duncan back issues have always been a problem. I expect the Grizzlies to come out and shock the world by playing the Spurs extremely close. But teh Spurs veteran leadership and ultimately the play of point guard Tony Parker will prevail.
Prediction:San Antonio in 7
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets
After the Carmelo Anthony/Chauncey Billups trade many people wrote the Nuggets off including myself. Well Nuggets you're in the playoffs. However your road stops at the hands of Kevin Durant and the Thunder. The Thunder got plenty of love after their gritty effort during last seasons playoffs. That love fest should only grow following their performance in this seasons playoffs.
Prediction: Thunder in 5
Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trailblazers
My sleeper team in the draft is the Dallas Mavericks, however you have to wonder if Dallas will ever do anything meaningful in the playoffs. It seems they always have one of the best teams in the league and falter come the post-season. I do not like that Brandon Roy seems to have disappeared down the stretch for Portland. In order for them to have any type of success against Dallas they'll need him back in his usual form.
Prediction:Dallas in 6
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Hornets
Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans so bad, it's obvious. The Lakers come into the playoffs with questions about the health of center Andrew Bynum. Despite that injury the Lakers still have Pau Gasol to hold down the fort inside. This serious should have many lop-sided scores as the Lakers roll. Paul made lead New Orleans to one last victory before his departure.
Prediction:Lakers in 5