Wednesday, April 22, 2009

1st round predictions

With T-Mac injured for the playoffs, the Rockets can't be considered a lock for a 1st round exodus as they would be with him in the lineup. So let's take the time to examine the 1st round matchups and see if we can predict the inevitable upsets that will occur.

Lakers vs Jazz: Not much to talk about here, Utah just doesn't have the horses to run with the new version of the "Showtime" Lakers but they might be able to steal one at home......L.A in 5.

Nuggets vs Hornets: Sick PG matchup between CP4 and Mr.Big shot himself Chauncey Billups (Can't get over that name...Chauncey sounds like a private school for spoiled rich girls, luckily his last name gives him some credibility......its like the sound you make when when some classic Buju Banton comes on in the clubs.) While the Nuggets might be the least talked about #2 seed ever, don't get it twisted.....this team is nice. N.O doesn't have the depth to compete with a Nuggets team that can score at will but Paul will pull out some magic and steal a game or two....Nuggets in 5.

Spurs vs Mavs: Who would have predicted this as a first round matchup??? But it happened and I'm glad it did......cuz this is a 7 game series waiting to happen. With Ginobilli out, the Spurs are without one of their best scorers and clutch performers. But a injury riddled Spurs team just might be as dangerous as a Spurs team at full strength. Coach Popovich always gets the most out of the least so don't expect them to just roll over and die for a hot Dallas squad. With that being said, Dallas has been playing at a playoff tempo for the last month and they are gelling at the right time. No Ginobilli means no 2nd round for the Spurs.......Mavs in 7.

Blazers vs Rockets: Yao...this is gonna be a sick series!! The upstart Blazers are a team through and through, they play as a team and have a family atmosphere. But as you know all families have problems and this one has a big one named Yao Ming. The Blazers will go as far as Roy and Aldridge take them. While that may mean a 7 game series in the 1st round, they unfortunately will come up a game short. This is the first time in the playoffs for most of the young Blazers, so it will be treated as a learning experience and Yao will be the teacher. Yao showed why the Rockets will advance in game 1 and the basketball gods will help to embarass the team's supposed "leader" Tracy Mcgrady by allowing his team to advance past the 1st round without him in the lineup. Note to Houston GM Daryl T-Mac in the offseason and don't be picky, take what you can get.......Rockets in 7.

The sun may set in the West but its time for a few young teams to rise in the East.

Celtics vs Bulls: Most will head to Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls this year but for my money I'm headin to ESPN to watch Chicago's young Bulls led by Derrick Rose run all over the defending champion Celtics. While the Celts showed they have some fight left with a dramtic buzzer beating win in game 2, they already lost once at home and then needed a Jesus like performance from Ray Allen in the 2nd half to survive another home loss. The C's just aren't the same without Garnett, their unquestioned leader who was lost for the playoffs due to a knee injury. Not to mention the offseason losses of Posey, PJ Brown and the demise of backup PG Sam I am. The Celtics were not able to find adequate replacements for their losses and it will be their lack of depth that will prove to be too much to overcome to outlast the Young and now deep Bulls after acquiring Brad Miller and John Salmons. The Bulls have flourished since the trade and look like a team ready to pull off an upset........and they will. Bulls in 7.

Magic vs 76ers: With a shocking road win in game 1, the Sixers look like an upset is in their future. But don't run to fast to throw all your cash on the Sixers at the bookie. Injuries and a bad stretch to end the season have the Magic running scared, but they are too good a team and have proven themselves to be that time and time again throughout the season. Lewis and Hedo will bounce back and the Sixers youth and lack of depth will eventually hurt them. While that game 1 win was nice, the Magic will wear the Sixers down with Howard's dominance inside and the team's outside shooting . Magic in 6.

Cavs and Pistons: Out with the old and in with the new. The Pistons look old and lack the defensive intensity of previous Piston squads. They don't even look the same as the once did, the cool expressions of a team that believed in their system is gone.....and the frustrations of a team that doesn't trust its teamates or coach has taken over. No Chauncey (don't get me my opinion above) means no chancey for the Pistons as Lebron and his squad are the new cool and confident crew in the East. The Cavs have fun off the court and will have just as much fun on the court beating a team that can't wait for this disastrous season to be over (the Pistons are one of the few teams in the NBA that view making the playoffs as an 8 seed as a failure.) Lebron will hardly break a sweat in this series.......Cavs in 4.

Hawks vs Heat: While many expect an upset with the way D-Wade has been tearing up the mesh this year.......I say naaaaaaah mon!! The Hawks are for real, if you don't believe me than watch their series last year with the Celtics. They have all the tools to be successful and don't have many weak spots. They are athletic and deep, two assets that usually equal playoff success......and in this case it will. The Heat are a much improved squad and D-Wade has been amazing this year, but their run is done son. The heat don't have a secondary scorer to help Wade who will see more double and triple teams than Jenna Jamieson (and while Jenna handles it like a champ, Wade the former champ will not.) Miami has injuries, a lack of depth and an incomplete starting 5, making them easy pickings for the Hawks. Too bad no one in Atlanta will see it as the Hawks management has to find a way to fill their seating holes and gaps better than.......well Jenna Jamieson. Hawks in 6.

See you in round 2.

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