The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Playoffs!?!?!!?

I don’t usually make a habit of bracketology, but hey, why not? NBA playoffs picks:

Round 1 (fight!)

Cleveland vs. Chicago- Cavs, 4 games
Boston vs. Miami- Celtics, 7 games
Atlanta vs. Milwaukee- Hawks, 5 games
Orlando vs. Charlotte- Magic, 5 games

Los Angeles vs. Oklahoma City- Lakers, 6 games
Denver vs. Utah- Jazz, 7 games
Phoenix vs. Portland- Suns, 5 games
Dallas vs. San Antonio- Spurs, 7 games

Round 2

Cleveland vs. Boston- Cavs, 5 games
Orlando vs. Atlanta- Magic, 5 games

Los Angeles vs. Utah- Lakers, 7 games
San Antonio vs. Phoenix- Spurs, 7 games

Conference Finals

Cleveland vs. Orlando-Cavs, 6 games

Los Angeles vs. San Antonio- Lakers, 7 games

NBA Finals

Cleveland vs. Los Angeles- Cavs, 6 games

I expect this to be one of the best NBA playoffs years in a long time, one I’m actually incredibly keyed up for despite not having a dog in the fight and both of my teams having turned in seek-professional-help level depressing seasons. The East should have the usual collection of walk-over first round matchups, but the West this year is just plain ridiculous. Every single first round matchup is interesting and I legitimately can’t completely count out the chances of any team here- the absolute worst of them won 50 games, for goodness’ sake. I expect that as the rounds go by that will end up having an effect, as whoever comes out of the West is going to be mentally and physically worn out by three brutally tough series on the trot and will be facing an Eastern Conference winner who’s played maybe two, but likely only one.

Notes:

– Milwaukee is hurt by the injury to Bogut, or they’d be written in for more than a cameo.

– I don’t ever really buy teams which fail into the playoffs ack-basswards amidst controversy. Chicago has a .500 record and a GM and coach doing amateur MMA in the locker room; Boston has lethargic and moth-eaten veterans who don’t really get along anymore and are well aware that their team is about to explode the bomb under them, as well as a coach who may be on his way out; no one’s sure who’s coaching Denver, there’s injury problems and the team looks confused. I do not trust these teams at all.

– LA/Thunder has “classic veteran champion vs. disrespectful punk team on the rise” written all over it, except that the Lakers are kind of disrespectful older punks and the Thunder as a group are so unnervingly polite that they actually employ the league’s only Swiss player. Be that as it may, that series is going to be Fucking Fantastic. If you care at all about basketball, watch this- these kinds of series are always fun, Durant and Kobe are going to try to out-do each other which can only be entertaining, and the Thunder are about 1-3 years away from being really, really fucking good.

– Do not count out the Lakers. Yes, they’re older and injury-ridden and Ron Ron hasn’t totally fit in and Derek Fisher has been replaced by a potted plant, but a Phil Jackson/Kobe Bryant team does not go away easily. They can be beaten and I expect they will be eventually as the games wear on and they wear down, but there’s almost no chance of them going out there and just blowing up on the launch pad in the first round. It gets harder after that, but a great late game closer + home court is probably going to give them a slight advantage which could be crucial in what’s inevitably going to be one or more close series.

– As a general rule for the West, don’t be surprised by anyone beating anyone other than Thunder over LA; there’s just not a whole hell of a lot separating these teams. To put this in perspective, the difference in average scoring margin in the West from best playoff team to worst is 2.6 (Utah at +5.3 to Dallas at +2.7); in the East it’s 8.1 (Cleveland at +6.5 to Chicago at -1.6). Moreover, in the East it’s a linear progression of values 8-1, while in the West the marks are all over the map with the #2 seed having the lowest mark, the #7 seed having the second highest, etc. Injuries are going to be a hugely determinative factor out there.

– And finally, yes, I’m picking the Cavs to win it all. Never bet against the best player in the sport when he’s on a mission; this year is LeBron’s chance to be Jordanesque, he knows it, and I fully expect him to take it. Hail to the King, baby.

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April 16, 2010 - Posted by | Other NBA

2 Comments »

  1. As a Celtics fan, let me set you straight: There is a 0 percent chance they’re getting out of the first round. I’m not sure where you stand with Bill Simmons, but he’s totally on that one; they are not good.

    Comment by TK | April 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. Oh, and as good as Lakers-Thunder looks, imagine if OKC ended up in the 7 seed and Phoenix got the 2 seed? Good God, that would have been entertaining.

    Comment by TK | April 16, 2010 | Reply


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