Friday, April 27, 2012

NBA playoff Predictions

Finally. After the tumultuous offseason constricted by the lockout, a late start to the regular season, and then the fast paced nonstop schedule the NBA has reached the playoffs. It's the best time of year for hoops fans and over the next month plus, the best basketball players in the world will chase their goal and go head to head for all the marbles. 

Can the Heat and LeBron get that elusive title? Or will Carmelo Anthony take a huge step in his career and pull the first round upset over the Big 3. Can the young Thunder take out the veteran Spurs and Lakers and win their first of hopefully many titles is the KD era. Who is this year’s Memphis? The fun starts Saturday at 1pm EST on TNT in the Windy City as the Sixers visit the Bulls in a very compelling series.

Here are my picks. 


Chicago over Philly in 6-- Young Sixers run with the Bulls, but D-Rose and Chicago take care of business. 

Miami over New York in 6-- Melo wins a game r two but just to much talent for the Heat. Amare has to dominate Bosh if the Knicks want a chance to pull the big upset.

Indiana over Orlando in 4-- The Magic are ready for this season to end. No Howard = no chance. The Pacers have new life and are one f the more underrated teams in the league. Roy Hibbert should dominate all series long. Look for Paul George to be a breakout star in these 2012 playoffs. 

Boston over Atlanta in 5-- This will be a great series but Rondo will be too much for the Hawks. Josh Smith will have to play out of his mind for Atlanta to pull this series out, and I just don't see that happening against the veteran C's.

2nd Rd---

Chicago over Boston in 6-- D-Rose should be healthy and in form by this point in the playoffs and will be able to neutralize Rondo. The Bulls defense and depth will prove to be too much for the Celtics. This will be a low scoring series, but would be an entertaining one.

Indiana over Miami in 6-- My upset of the playoffs. The Pacers have size, athleticism, and a few guys who are primed to breakout on the national scene like Hibbert, George, and Granger. David West will neutralize Bosh and Indiana's depth in the backcourt will prove to be too much for King James, Wade and the Heat.

Eastern Conference Finals---

Chicago over Indiana in 5-- The Pacers will struggle to matchup with Chicago after a tough fought win over Miami. Noah will control Hibbert, and Deng and the rest of that Chicago perimeter can lock down the Indiana guards. The Pacers really don't have anyone to guard Rose, who will be back in MVP form by this point in the postseason.  


San Antonio over Utah in 5—The Spurs have a point to prove this season. They are healthy and want to prove last year’s collapse in the first round was just a fluke. Too much Parker in this series,

Oklahoma City over Dallas in 4-- These aren't the same Mavs. They don't play D, Dirk is their only legit scorer, and they are old. Young Thunder move on with ease.

LAL over Denver in 6-- The Nuggets are a deep team but do not have the size to hang with the bigger Lakers. Bynum and Gasol should dominate. That Kobe guy is capable of doing some things as well.

Memphis over LAC in 7-- The Clippers are going to regret not holding down home court. This series was destined to go 7, and now that Memphis, n the last day of the season grabbed the 4 seed and homecourt advantage, they should move on.

2nd Rd---

San Antonio over Memphis in 7-- Last week I wrote the Spurs would lose in the 2nd Rd to the Clippers. If LA beats Memphis I will stick to that prediction, but with the Clips losing homecourt and Chris Paul having hammy problems, I think the Grizz will move on and play SAS in Rd 2. The Spurs will get a bit of payback and move n to the West finals in what will be a great 7 game series with the home team winning every game.

LAL over OKC in 6-- Too. Much. Kobe. Mr. Bryant will outshine KD in what will be an excellent series. The Lakers will steal a game in OKA and protect their homecourt at Staples. Bynum and Gasol will once again shine, but this will come down to the Black Mamba having one of those series in which he climbs closer to Jordan in terms of legacy. 

Western Conference Finals---

LAL over San Antonio in 6-- This series will be more about the Lakers twin towers than #24. Bynum will have a field day in this series (much like him 30 rebound game) and Gasol won't be far behind him. The Lakers size, along with Kobe will prove to be too much for the smaller, older Spurs. 


Chicago Bulls over the Los Angeles Lakers in 7-- A Finals to remember. Kobe and Rose go at it and steal the headlines, but its Joakim Noah and his ability to stifle the Lakers big’s that proves to be the deciding factor. The Bulls bench is deep and talented. Players like Gibson, Korver, Watson are just too much for the Lakers 2nd unit and that gives Chicago enough to get the cities first title for Derrick Rose, and first title since the Jordan days.
MVP Derrick Rose.

(With D-Rose going down to a torn ACL, my picks have drastically changed. I'll take the Celtics to beat the Bulls Rd 2 in 6 and then Boston over Indiana in 6. That would mean Lakers vs Celtics in the Finals, and I'll take LA over Boston in 6.)

--Lee Kunkel

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