2012 NBA playoffs preview:
These predictions are baseless and I am writing/predicting what I want to happen as much as what I think will actually happen. So do not look here for any Hollingeresque insight. My main motivation for writing this is to get every pick right and then rub it in fellow BSB writers Weaver and Rob’s faces.
Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers:
Bulls in 5
1 vs. 8 matchups in the NBA are the worst, too many teams make the playoffs and there is a definite top tier of teams in the NBA. Every once in a while there is an upset but I don’t see it happening here. The media tried to create drama in this series by snipping quotes from Evan Turner saying he would rather play Chicago than Miami, but unfortunately he was too smart to get caught up in it and defused the situation. But honestly, who wouldn’t rather play the Bulls than the Heat in the first round?
Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
Heat in 6
I really hope that this is an epic ‘Carmelo vs. the evil 3-headed monster’ series. I would love to see Anthony put the Knicks on his back and beat the Heat in Game 6 in the Garden. This would possibly be the most entertaining 1st round game in the history of the NBA. Please let me be wrong with my prediction and for this to happen.
Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic
Pacers in 7
This is another interesting match-up. I am really hoping Stan Van Gundy pulls off a “miracle” and the Magic beat the Pacers without Howard and it makes it way harder for the Magic brass to fire him in a few weeks, which is as close to a foregone conclusion at this point as Howard creating drama this off-season. The funny part is I don’t know if this would really even be considered a miracle, I could see the Magic getting hot from 3 in 2 of the first 3 games and then the young and inexperienced Pacers panicking and getting tight, while the veteran Magic grind out two more wins in the next 4 games. Also, if the Magic win without Howard could he possibly look even worse after this season…
Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks
Celtics in 5
The Celtics are playing really well and the Hawks love exiting in the early rounds of the playoffs. I think the Celtics will go all out because they are old and don’t want to play any extra games in these early rounds.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz
Spurs in 5
Admittedly, I have not come close to watching a lick of a Utah Jazz game this year and probably couldn’t name three players on their roster if put on the spot. I can name considerably more than that on the Spurs so I am picking them. Go ahead, find fault with that logic.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
Thunder is 6
This is another intriguing matchup. All season long it has been “wait for the post-season and the Mavericks will turn it on.” But now the postseason is here and the Mavs have essentially shown no signs of turning it on. They also drew one of the worst possible first round matchups. I like the Thunder a lot and don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t roll in this series, but something tells me it wont be that easy. A team of veterans that have won it before vs. a young, inexperienced team that has proved nothing, I am excited to see this play out, I just don’t see Dirk going down without a fight… I don’t think.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets
Lakers in 4
JaVale McGeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. For Rob: I refuse to believe a team with McGee on it can win a playoff game… especially when he is matched up against Andrew Bynum… and after he embarrasses Kobe and pisses him off with a huge block and ensuing chest bumping in the first game… actually I am pretty excited to watch this sweep.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Grizzlies in 7
One of the best things the Grizzlies have going for them is that they are naïve enough to buy into the hype that says they are the “team no one wants to play in the first round.” This coupled with the fact that every sports fan can quickly point out that the Clippers are the worst organization in the four major sports and you have two polar opposite mentalities. The Grizzlies are better at every position except point guard and I think Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are going to absolutely harass Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. For the Clippers to win Chris Paul is going to have to take over and play out of his mind, which I have enough faith in to have this series going to 7, he can be a beast in the playoffs.
Before I started writing this post I opened about 15 tabs about the playoffs to reference in the post. I did not look at a single one. Full disclosure.