NBA: NBA Playoffs Preview – Trying to beat the Heat
The 2013 version of the NBA Playoffs are upon us, and even though it’s not summer yet, there are 15 NBA teams out there striving to beat the Heat. The defending NBA champion Miami Heat that is. I don’t know if anyone can beat them 4 times in a 7 game series, but stranger things have happened, so I will look into my crystal ball to tell you how I see it ALL going down……
Eastern Conference: 1st Round
1. Miami Heat vs. 8. Milwaukee Bucks: The NBA Champions begin defense of their title against the Bucks. Milwaukee, has actually had success against the Heat the last couple of years, but that was regular season. This is post-seasaon. Heat in a sweep 4-0..
4. Brooklyn Nets vs. 5. Chicago Bulls: is one of the more intriguing first round matchups. Both teams have been very inconsistent, which makes this series hard to call. Due to home court and solid inside play from Lopez and Reggie Evans, I give the Nets the slightest of advantages. Nets in 7…
3. Indiana Pacers vs. 6. Atlanta Hawks: The Pacers have been inconsistent this season also, but should handle the Hawks. Don’t expect the Hawks to just roll over though. They’ve over-achieved all season and I’m sure that won’t stop now. Pacers in 6…
2. New York Knicks vs. 7. Boston Celtics: The inaugural ‘Honey Nut Cheerios’ series should be quite intriguing as well. In more ways than one. KG is back and Melo better beware! On the court, Amar’e Stoudemire probably won’t play in the first round, which in my opinion is good news for the Knicks and bad for the Celtics. The Knicks are simply better without Amar’e and Carmelo trying to share the court or the ball. However, don’t take the latest losing skid by the Celtics for granted. The Celtics are extremely dangerous, as they proved last year. This series is extremely too close to call. Don’t be at all surprised if the Leprechauns eat their Cheerios and win this series, but I’ll take Knicks in 7…
Western Conference: 1st Round
1. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 8. Houston Rockets: The Rockets first playoff appearance since 2009 will probably be a short one. The Thunder are just stronger and more experienced than the Rockets. The Rockets up and down style will provide some nice action in this series, but Thunder in 5.
4. L.A. Clippers vs. 5. Memphis Grizzlies: There isn’t a first round matchup that has more contrasting styles than this one. The team that is able to obtain their tempo will almost definitely win this series. This is a rematch from last seasons 2nd round playoffs, in which I predicted the Grizzlies to win. I like the way the Grizzlies are constructed more than I do the Lob City Clippers, but it’s so hard for me to go against Chris Paul. So, Clippers in 7…
3. Denver Nuggets vs. 6. Golden State Nuggets: The Nuggets point guard, Ty Lawson, is very dynamic and I feel very underrated. That said, he’s very good setting up his teammates, but is not built to carry a team like a Chris Paul can. The injury to Danilo Gallinari hurts what I feel could have been a really dangerous team. Just not enough consistent fire power, now. Not good when you’re about to face a team like Golden State that likes to get up and down, and has shooters like Steph Curry and Clay Thompson. Still, the Nuggets were an amazing 38-3 at home this season. The home court advantage for Denver gives them the advantage for this series. Nuggets in 6….
2. San Antonio Spurs vs. 7. L.A. Lakers: Both 2. vs 7. series are upset alerts in this playoffs. Celtics or Lakers and the word upset really don’t go well together, but you might have to get used to hearing it. A couple months ago, picking this series would have been a no-brainer, but wow how things have changed. No Manu Ginobili for the Spurs, and no Kobe Bryant for the Lakers. Seems like an even drop off. Right? Wrong. Tony Parker is not 100%, and the Spurs have also lost Steven Jackson. Right now, today, the Lakeshow looks better than the Spurs. Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard are starting to mesh together and the Lakers are getting big contributions from Steve Blake. Should be entertaining to say the least. Lakers in 6….
That should be an entertaining 1st round and would set up these 2nd round matchups, and also a brief look at the remainder of my playoff predictions:
East 2nd Round:
1. Miami Heat vs. 4. Brooklyn Nets……… Heat in 5
2. New York Knicks vs. 3. Indiana Pacers……. Knicks in 6
East Conf. Finals:
1. Miami Heat vs. 2. New York Knicks……. Heat in 6
West 2nd Round:
1. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 4. L.A. Clippers…… Thunder in 5
3. Denver Nuggets vs. 7. L.A. Lakers……… Nuggets in 7
West Conf. Finals:
1. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 3. Denver Nuggets……..Thunder in 5
Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder……… Heat in 6
Should be an interesting 1st round. We’ll take a closer look at the matchups in each round as the previous round ends. Until then, enjoy the playoffs!