NBA Playoff Predictions

By Chris Le

I love the NBA Playoffs.  Maybe more than any other season of sports.  More than March Madness.  More than Sunday at Augusta.  More than the NFL’s championship Sunday.  And definitely more than the BCS bowl season, which fails to crown a true champion.  The only possible exception may be a highly-anticipated fight between the two top fighters of a particular division that lives up to the hype.  But, with the politics of boxing and the sport’s dearth of talent, these are few and far between.

Yup, I’m sure of it: nothing provides consistent entertainment and drama like the NBA Playoffs.

But I don’t know how I feel about this particular postseason.

The opening round looks to be incredibly intriguing.  But for a bad reason: most of the teams are tragically flawed.  Compared to seasons past, it’s a weak field, with almost every team sustaining key injuries.  Manu Ginobili, Kevin Garnett and Tracy McGrady will be in street clothes for the entire playoffs, while the likes of Tyson Chandler and Hedo Turkoglu hobble into their respective series.

Some, like the Bulls and Trail Blazers, are incredibly inexperienced.  Derrick Rose is a rookie.  It’s expecting a lot if you think he can lead his team past the defending champs.  And Brandon Roy is a stud, a bona fide star who is a killer in the clutch.  But this is also his first trip to the big dance.  You can’t possibly expect him to have any success, especially with Ron Artest and Shane Battier all over him.  Right?  You could clump the Rockets, with their lack of postseason results, and the Magic in this group as well.  But at the same time, you can’t discount their collection of talent either.  These young teams are stacked.  So you have to ask yourself, “When does energy and athleticism begin to beat out savvy?”

Other teams (the Spurs and Mavs) are seasoned but on old legs.  No team looks as old as the Spurs heading into the first round.  Check that, no team is older than the Spurs.  They’re dinosaurs, and the mileage from all those long postseason runs — and short offseasons — are beginning to show.  But who’s willing to bet their 401(k) that Tim Duncan and co. are completely done?  Even though all signs point to their window being shut, I wouldn’t take that bet.

There are a lot of unknowns in these first few games, more so than in any other year.  It should all make for some wild finishes.

However, the undeniable supremacy of the Lakers and Cavs has rendered these initial matchups pointless, robbing fans of any true drama — until the Finals.  But if everything goes according to plan, I think we’re in for an epic showdown between the two preeminent players of this generation.  That would make up for the predictability of the opening rounds.

First Round

Western Conference

Lakers in 5 over Jazz
Hornets in 6 over Nuggets
Mavericks in 6 over Spurs
Rockets in 6 over Trail Blazers

Eastern Conference

Cavaliers in 4 over Pistons
Celtics in 5 over Bulls
Magic in 7 over 76ers
Hawks in 7 over Heat

Second Round

Western Conference

Lakers in 6 over Rockets
Hornets in 6 over Mavericks

Eastern Conference

Cavaliers in 5 over Hawks
Celtics in 6 over Magic

Conference Finals

Western Conference

Lakers in 6 over Hornets

Eastern Conference

Cavaliers in 6 over Celtics

NBA Finals

Lakers in 7 over Cavaliers


10 responses to “NBA Playoff Predictions

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » NBA Playoff Predictions

  2. Pingback: Weight Loss and Diet » Blog Archive » The British Curry Experience | Bistro Chic

  3. The Cavs will not make the Finals, although it’d be cool to see Kobe v. LeBron.

    My opening round differences:
    Nuggets over Hornets
    Spurs over Mavericks

    Actually, that entire Eastern Conference looks like it’ll be a wild ride. Some upsets in the first round? I don’t want to say it.

  4. The Blazers/Rockets will be the most exciting to watch. It can go either way. The rest looks very predictable.

    Overall the 2009 season is expected to be the most exciting ever in recent years and I can’t wait for it to began. For me personally as an Albiceleste supporter, things are not looking good but we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Oh yes! I’ve also published my own version (not really mine but a friend name Dave from the NBA Round Table) and would like you to give us your view as well .

  5. I have the Nuggets over the Hornets too. You’ve got them going too far, Chris. Mavs are meeting the Lake Show in the WC Finals.

    I have Magic and Cavs in the East, Cavs in 7 over Superman and co.

    Lakers over Cavs in 6.

  6. I’ll admit, my Hornets pick is more of a gut feeling. But they will be playing with a full roster for essentially the first time all season long. Tyson Chandler, even at less than 100 percent, changes this series. He improves New Orleans’ rebounding (one of their biggest weaknesses) and his alley-oop threat adds another dimension to their offense.

    And James Posey will be key. He’ll probably defend Melo and at times Billups. I’m counting on some playoff magic from him.

    Peja has sucked this season. No doubt about that. But he preformed pretty well against Denver, averaging just over 20 and .500 from three.

    Plus, it’s hard to overlook the fact that Chris Paul will be the best player on the floor. His will to win is up there with anyone in the league, even Kobe in my opinion. Billups is a strong defender, but he can’t contain CP3.

    I’m counting on a lot of “ifs.” But like I said, it’s a gut pick.

  7. CP3 is the best player on the floor in terms of talent; but in a playoff series in 2009, I’d rather have Chauncey on my team. His experience, his leadership, and his more reliable jump shot makes him better than Paul. Paul will be better down the road and in his career overall, but Chauncey makes the Nuggets better today. The Nuggets will cruise in this one. Paul is still a few years and a few supporting pieces away.

  8. Vince, you got the Mavs in the Western Conference Finals? Sick. Dirk’s ghosting already, and we’re only two games in.

    I didn’t want to say it. The Celtics are so done. Yes, in the first round.

    Lakers over Cavs in 4.

  9. Looks like I should’ve gone with my head instead of my gut on the Nuggets-Hornets series. It’s been made evident that Chandler and Posey are still playing on broken wheels, rendering them ineffective. There go my “ifs.” Barring a miraculous ressurection/healing, considering what occurred in game one, Denver should finish off New Orleans in 5 games or less.

    But, Vince, I still disagree with you on Paul/Chauncey. Every team in the playoffs would be willing to do a two month trade with their point for Chris Paul. I’d bet my MacBook on it. The only exception might be the Spurs, since they need Parker’s scoring more than anything else.

    Denver with CP3 would be a legit threat to the Lakers, instead of an empty number-two seed, which is (let’s face it) what they are with Billups. Despite being nine years younger, Paul’s leadership is already up there with Billups’. Last season, in only his second year, was there any denying that Paul was the unquestioned leader of the Hornets? Paul is a gamer and a cold-blooded killer, and players rally behind him.

    Billups is a more prolific three-point shooter, no doubt. But I’ll take Paul’s .503 shooting and playmaking over Billups’ .418.

    BJ, the Celtics are in deep shit, but I’m not ready to stick a fork in them yet.

  10. Man, Chauncey is making me look like a fool.

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