Thursday, April 16, 2009
NBA Playoff Picks
I realize that I am one of the 18 people left on the planet that still cares about professional basketball. And I get it that for most of the season, a lot of the players kinda coast until the playoffs and I will admit that from 1999 until about 2005 or so, the NBA was pretty weak.
But now I would argue that it was one of the best sports going and we have an excellent generation of superstars emerging right before us.
I will take pro playoff basketball over the NCAA tourney any day because (A) when the pro players actually care it is the most exciting brand of basketball around and (B) really, how great was the NCAA tourney this year? Thought so.
Give the best being the best any day of the week.
I'm loving being in a pro basketball town for the playoffs this year (bought my Nuggets-Hornets Game 1 tickets today!) and I think we could be headed towards one of the greatest Finals in recent memory.
Here are my humble picks:
EASTERN CONFERENCE 1ST ROUND
#1 Cleveland over #8 Detroit in FIVE games - I will give the Pistons one home win in the series)
#2 Boston over #7 Chicago in FOUR games - I believe Boston will want to make a point that they can win without KG
#3 Orlando over #6 Philly in FIVE games - Just don't like my Sixers in this one. Hope I'm wrong.
#5 Miami over #4 Atlanta in SIX games - When in doubt, go with the best player on the court.
WESTERN CONFERENCE 1ST ROUND
#1 Lakers over #8 Utah in FOUR games - This one could get ugly quick.
#2 Denver over #7 New Orleans in FIVE games - I know Denver has struggled getting out of the first round lately, but neither team is the same squad they were a year ago. Advantage: Nuggets.
#6 Dallas over #3 San Antonio in SEVEN games - This is my one big upset in the first round. I like the way the Mavs are playing right now and the Spurs are prone to struggle without Manu.
#4 Portland over #5 Houston in SIX games - Portland is too tough at home and I think they will steal one on the road
EASTERN CONFERENCE 2ND ROUND
#1 Cleveland over #5 Miami in SEVEN games - This could be a 2nd round classic that could really take the Cavs to the limit but I think Wade's lack of support will catch up to him in the end.
#2 Boston over #3 Orlando in SIX games - Even without Garnett, Boston still feels better than the Magic to me.
WESTERN CONFERENCE 2ND ROUND
#1 Lakers over #4 Portland in FIVE games - This is a young and talented Blazer team that will learn a lot from this playoff experience and will be that much more dangerous in the years to come.
#2 Denver over #6 Dallas in SIX games - The Nuggets swept the season series with the Mavs and just matchup well with them. Making it to the conference finals would be a huge success for a Denver team that has struggled in the postseason as of late.
EASTERN CONFERNCE FINALS
#1 Cleveland over #2 Boston in SIX games - I don't think that the Cavs recent whooping of the Celtics was any fluke. Cleveland is the Beast of the East this year.
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#1 Lakers over #2 Denver in SIX games - I saw this matchup at the Pepsi Center last month and the ONLY thing the Nuggets will have going for them is that they are more physical than Los Angeles but I just can't see Kobe letting the Lakers lose
#1 Lakers over #1 Cleveland in SEVEN games - It would be weird to see LeBron sitting at 0-2 in the Finals, but after last season I just can't see Kobe letting another one slip through his grasp - especially if LeBron is named league MVP. I will be rooting for the Cavs with my heart, but can't go against my head in this one.
What an epic matchup this could be.
You can have UNC and UConn and Michigan State and whatever college team you want. I will take the big boys, please.