So the Playoffs start on Saturday and it should be exciting, there are so many questions that need to be answered and a bevy of teams who could take home the crown. No one would be shocked to see any of the following teams win it all, Spurs, Heat, Thunder, Bulls, Celtics, Mavericks, and Lakers. Now that’s parity!!
Let’s start in the East.
Can Lebron make his MVP regular season translate to the Playoff’s? say what you want but he was absolutely brilliant against the Bulls last year even if he checked out in Dallas series, he will need to put it together for all 4 rounds if he wants the illusive ring. It will not be easy he will likely face a quality opponent in every round starting with the surprisingly defensive New York Knicks.
Speaking of the Knicks has any one player meant more to a team than Tyson Chandler, He has brought an intensity to the back end that has made the Knicks a top 5 defensive team, the Knicks have had a rollercoaster season, Linsanity, quitting on Dantoni, Amare’s personal/back issues and Melo finally becoming Melo again, They play D have knock down shooters and one of the Greatest offensive players in the league and remember last time there was a strike shorten season what happened they rode an 8 seed to the finals beating the Heat in the 1st round. Can history repeat itself?
The Celtics are playing well and Playoffs is their time to shine. Even thou they won their division the Hawks have a better record and will get home advantage and that could be huge Boston is great at home and soso on road. Doc has done a great job doling out the minutes and keeping Garnet Fresh, Rondo will be the key but the real question will be whether or not Ray Allen can play well and if he can get back into the starting lineup during crunch time after being supplanted by Avery Bradley. Ray is ultimate professional and has handled the demotion with grace but the C’s need him if they plan on making another run.
The Pacers enter the playoffs as a 3 seed and will take on a howardless Magic team, can Orlando pull it together for Van Gundy and show the NBA they really don’t need Dwight to be competitive, They have shooters and they may pull off the upset but I really dig Indy. They have length and grit play well on the back end and will be a tough out for Miami in the 2nd round provided they both get there. This might be the year Danny Granger becomes a household name.
The Bulls are in as the 1 seed and have been solid all season even with their superstar missing more than 35 games, I worry a little about their chemistry but as always Tom T has them playing great D and that always translates into success in the postseason when possession totals are lower and buckets are a premium. Rip was added to this team to give them a veteran presence but I have heard all his RA RA this is how it is done has not gone over well in the locker room but he will have to be a factor if they want to win a title…..oh ya D Rose has to stay healthy and that’s a big IF.
And now for the West
The Spurs faltered last year in the 1st round after having a great season, this year I think will be different. Pops has sat his guys a lot hell he benched Parker, Duncan and Manu when they were on an 11 game win streak early in the season. They are deep and well rested and they have that Championship Pedigree, The bench has been great and with the stars rested they could be real dangerous. They will get LA/Memphis winner in 2nd round and if Memphis they will be out for revenge.
Speaking of Memphis they are again that team no one wants to play, The difference this year is now they have a healthy Rudy Gay, I remember people saying last year that they were better without him and that’s just crazy, he is extremely efficient and helps this team immensely, they should be favored over the clips based on front court alone, Griffin is a terrific scorer but he is a horrible post defender and ZEBO/Gasol will eat him alive for buckets whenever needed. Chris Paul deserves some MVP votes and has been a terrific playoff performer but Memphis decided advantage in experience and depth and that will be the difference, sorry for every one hoping for an LA/LA matchup that could only happen if both teams make it to the conference finals.
It looks like the Defending champs will get the Thunder in the 1st round, Ha! Who says the regular season doesn’t mean that much, Denver still has 2 games to play but they play the Thunder without Hardin and probably resting guys because they are locked into the 2 while Dallas has ATL who is still fighting to lock up home court in 1st round. Dallas really misses Chandler and while I won’t count them out for a run it’s not likely they will get past the Thunder. James Hardin concussion will be a big deal he has till Saturday to get ready but if he can’t go it will be a giant concern for Scotty Brooks. I really like the Thunder to move on no matter what too much Durant/Westbrook.
The Lakers will be without the player formerly known as Artest for the 1st 6 games of their series with Denver but the real question is how they will defend the high paced offense of the nuggets, LA will have a front court advantage and they have Kob so they can slow it down but Denver will try and run and if they create turnovers it could be a long series for the Lakers. Ramon Sessions will have to play great and be efficient, you know what your gona get from Kobe, Pau and Bynum but who else will show up, Can Matt Barnes be an effective perimeter defender? I just don’t know this could be your upset special of the 1st round.
Every series should be competitive and anything can happen it’s gona be a fantastic and intriguing 10 weeks!!!
Ill try and repost after every round or sooner!!!!