Playoff fever

Posted: April 14, 2011 by djplaymaker in NBA

Wow!! What a hell of a regular season. After 82 regular season games, we have 16 teams (8 on each conference) competing to win 16 games to called themselves champions. We have great storylines like the Lakers looking for a 3rd peat & sending Phil Jackson out w/ a bang, the Miami Heat big 3’s mission to that title, the Knicks back in the playoffs & many more. I could break them down but let me break down the 1st round shall we!!

The Eastern Conference
1) Chicago vs 8) Indiana- The Bulls, w/ Tom Thibedou & the logical choice for MVP Derrick Rose have been the story of the season. Thibedou winning 62 games as a 1st yr head coach is very impressive while Rose has carry that team when both Boozer & Noah were injured. The Pacers are the playoffs for the 1st time since Reggie Miller retired. They are an under .500 team, but got young talent in Danny Granger, Tyler Hansborough, & Darren Collinson from UCLA. My prediction: too much firepower for the Bulls!! Bulls in a sweep

2) Miami vs 7) Philadelphia- This is the moment the Heat have been waiting for since they introduced their big 3!! They are the 2nd seed because the other team besides Chicago & Orlando to compete w/ them in the East made a huge boo-boo(I get to them later). They had all that time celebrating their arrival, now let’s see where their hear at. The 76ers finished w/ the 7th seed, which was surprising me because I didn’t think Doug Collins would get them in the postseason. Last time they were in the postseason, it was in ’09 & Orlando beat them in 5 gtames. The only people besides Doug Collins who have playoff experience are Andre Igoundara & Elton Brand. My prediction: the Bosh/Brand & Lebron/Igondara match-up will be exciting, but the Heat will be on a mission. Heat in 5 games.

3) Boston vs 6) N.Y. Knicks- 1st of all, this is the real reason I’m excited for the playoffs!! The Knicks are back in the postseason party. They were the surprise team w/ a great start w/ Amare Stoudamire, then grew when they picked up Melo & Chauncey. Now, they are heading to a series w/ one of their biggest rivals! The Celtics were my preseason pick to win the East. However, all that changed w/ injureus to Shaq & the trade of Kendrick Perkins to OKC!! Now, they are heading into the postseason w/ many concerns, practically Shaq’s health. If they don’t find it soon, they are in trouble: My prediction: I’m calling an upset here!! For some reasons, I can see the Knicks upset the Celtics!! I Know the Celtics have the big 4(Garnett, Pierce, Allen, & Rondo), but if you think Shaq, Jermaine O’Neal, Krystic, & Troy Murphy is your answer to go along w/ K.G. & Big Baby on the frontline, think again. I say Knicks in 6 games because of their big 3 (Melo, Chauncey, & Amare) & I think D’Antoni will have something up his sleeve.

4) Orlando vs 5) Atlanta- The Magic gets the Hawks in the middleweight division of the Eastern conference. Dwight Howard had a great season, but I was surprised that he lead the league in technical fouls. They also had a huge makeover when they acquired Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas, & bringing back Hedo Turkelogu. The Hawks upgrade in the backcourt whe they acquired Kirk Hinrich in a trade to go along w/ Joe Johnson, who was an all-star again along w/ Al Horford. Jamal Crawfored had another great yr & Marvin williams finally showed some sign of potential. My prediction: too much Howard w/ Jameer, Turk, & Richardso, plus the Hawks’ lack of a big man. I say Orlando in 6 games. The reason I said 6 is because it’ll be hard to win 3 games in THE ATL

The Western Conference

1) San Antonio vs 8) Memphis- The Spurs finished w/ the top seed in the west because of a hot start. Then again, when you have Tim Dunca, Manu Ginoblli, & Tony Parker on the court @ the same time, anything goes. Memphis making the playoffs were a shocker to me. 3 years after trading Pau Gasol to the Lakers, they made the postseason lead by his brother Marc, who was part of the deal. They have a great frontline w/ Zach Randolph, trading to bring back Shane Battier, & Mike Conley coming into his own along w/ Tony Allen, w/ O.J Mayo coming off the bench. Prediction- The Grizz are young, but the Spurs are more experienced. Spurs in a sweep

2) L.A Lakers vs 7) New Orleans- The defending champs drag into the 2nd slot in a funny fashion. Started off w/ an 8-0 start, then had some embarassing losses (Cleveland anyone) before the break. After the break, a gangbusting 17-1 start, then a 5 game losing streak before winning the final 2 games. Kobe & Gasol had great seasons & Lamar Odom is having a 6th man of the yr season( if he doesn’t get the award, we riot). However, they had injury concerns(thank god Bynum’s injury was a bone brusie & Steve Blake getting the chicken pox?), but they’ll be ok. For the Hornets, I love Chris Paul & Trevoir Arizia, but no David West for them will hurt them completely. Prediction: Champs want the 3peat & too much size. I know they swept the season series, but I say Lakers in 5 games. Don’t make it like OKC last yr in the 1st round.

3) Dallas vs 6) Portland- The Mavs capture the 3rd seed & they did something they haven’t done a while: play defense. Dirk was having a Dirk yr, but when they acquired Tyson Chandler, they got someone to protect the paint. Only thing that hurt them was Caron Butler getting injured. The Blazers are the scariest 6th seed I’ve ever seen. You got an experienced point guard in Andre Miller, LaMarcus Aldridge for getting snubbed for the all-star is having a great yr & they got better when they picked up Gerald Wallace. Plus, if healthy, Brandon Roy is dangerous coming off the bench. They are deep off the bench. Prediction: another upset here. Portland can match up w/ Dallas & no Caron Butler for the Mavs hurts them. Blazers in 6 games

4) Oklahoma City vs 5) In my opinion, this will be the best series of the playoffs. The Thunder got stronger & they should thank Danny Ainge & Boston for that in acquiring Perkins & Nate Robinson. Perkins brings toughness & you still have the great 1-2 punch in Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook. The Nuggets feel like a rejunivated team when that Melo drama was done. Instead of have a black hole, the ball moves freely. They have spark plug gurads in Raymond Felton & Ty Lawson, J.R. Smith looks like a go to guy & if Birdman gets healthy, he will protect the rim along w/ Nene. Prediction: this series will be exciting & it will go the full 7. I see the Thunder edging it out!

That’s my 1st round predictions so far. My prediction for postseason awards: Derrick Rose for MVP, Lamar odom for 6th man of the yr, Blake Griffin for Rookie of the yr, Tom Thibedou for coach of the yr, Dwight Howard for defensive player of the year, & Darnell Arthur for Most Improved. I catch ya for the 2nd round. Peace!!!



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