The NBA Playoffs start on Saturday and all of the match-ups have been set. Depending on your loyalties, you are either happy (Bulls fans) or mildly disappointed (Houston fans). But luckily for you, dear readers, I will break down every match-up and then continue to make hypothetical predictions for the ensuing rounds. This won’t end up like my college bracket, because I will be 100% correct this time. I guarantee.
Out West the first match-up is OKC vs. Houston in the 1-8 match-up. OKC will take out Houston but it will be a fun series. The exciting part of this series will be to see how James Harden plays. He’s going to play well this entire series, but whether or not he goes into F-U mode will determine how many games they win. I think OKC wins the series 4-1.
The next match-up is the Spurs vs. Lakers. This match-up was solidified on Wednesday as L.A. won in overtime. It was saddening as the Lakers avoided being the most over-hyped team to not make the playoffs in history. And fortunately for them, they got one of the struggling top tier teams in the west. The Lakers will be able to play with the Spurs down low, but the Lakers play terrible defense, which as we know, doesn’t win championships. Oh yeah, and Kobe doesn’t appear to be playing anytime soon. Spurs take the series 4-2.
The 3-6 match-up belongs to the Nuggets vs. Golden State. Golden State made huge leaps and bounds over the last year with Mark Jackson finally pulling everything together. I think this will be a surprisingly close series because of the home court advantages for both teams. We all remember when Golden State was the 8th seed a few years ago and put together a crazy run. Denver has only lost 3 home games this entire year, and at altitude is one of the fastest teams in the league. No one will win a road game and Denver advances 4-3.
The 4-5 match-up to round out the West is the Clippers vs. Grizzlies. This proved to be the best series of the first round last year going to 7 and I expect to see some of the same this year. The storyline of this series will be to see who can win more road games and how many times Vinny Del Negro will destroy the Clippers chances. I give this one to the Grizzlies 4-3.
We move out East where things look to be predictable as the greatest team in the league looks to lose as few games as possible throughout their entire run of the East. Miami starts out playing Milwaukee in the 1-8 match-up. I believe, barring injuries, Miami will sweep the Bucks convincingly proving that regular season match-ups are irrelevant when LeBron is involved.
The next match-up is the 2-7 between the Knicks and the Celtics. This is going to be the most interesting playoff match-up out east with the Celtics being the dark horse team for seemingly the whole season. I have never trusted the Knicks, and history shows that the playoffs have not been kind to them. 1 playoff win in 10 years is not on their side. I think they win a few this year, but Boston is reeling through tragedy with the marathon bombing. Boston rallies around their fans and situation, wins all their home games and steals one in the garden. The Celtics take it 4-2.
The 3-6 match-up is Indiana vs. Atlanta, in what is the saddest match-up out east. Atlanta can’t do anything right in the playoffs and that alone will prevent them from advancing to the next round. Indiana is by far the better team, and Atlanta more or less made the playoffs because of circumstances. The East was weak, and Boston lost Rondo. Indiana takes it 4-1.
The 4-5 match-up is my personal favorite as a Bulls fan. The Nets will take on the Bulls for a shot at not being humiliated by Miami in the next round. I think the Bulls come out on top, because we played the Nets well in the regular season. Brook Lopez won’t reach 10 rebounds once throughout the series, Joe Johnson won’t have any 30 point games, and Deron Williams will be the biggest problem for the Bulls elite defense. Bulls win the series 4-2.
This takes us to Round 2!
OKC vs. Grizzlies: OKC 4-2.
Spurs vs. Nuggets: Nuggets 4-2
Miami vs. Bulls: Miami 4-1.
Indiana vs. Celtics: Celtics 4-3.
OKC vs. Nuggets: Nuggets 4-3.
Miami vs. Celtics: Miami 4-2.
THE NBA FINALS!!!
Miami vs. Nuggets: Miami 4-3.
Miami is going to repeat as NBA champions and solidify themselves as a borderline dynasty force to be wrecking with. The Nuggets make the finals over OKC who falters in 7 because of the altitude and the fact that Denver will always be fresh late in the playoffs. No need to watch the playoffs anymore. This is 100% accurate.