Aaah…It’s that time of the year again. We are smack dab in the middle of the NBA and NHL playoffs, the NFL draft is upon us (what lockout?), and baseball season is on, full speed ahead.
In the usual fashion of the NBA playoffs there have been some surprises. The eight seed Memphis Grizzlies have a commanding 3-1 lead over the team with the best record in the game during the regular season, the San Antonio Spurs. The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are not skating by on Chris Paul and his Hornets and are currently deadlocked 2-2 in the series. Boston completed a sweep of the injured New York Knicks and now gets to sit back and relax until the next round. The Oklahoma City Thunder have come out swinging, Kevin Durant is dominating the boards, averaging 30.3 points a game, second only to Dwight Howard in this postseason. The Nuggets seem to be lost out there, the Thunder leads the series 3-1. Speaking of Dwight Howard, he is having a record postseason, he is number one in Points scored, Rebounds, and Field Goals, but, unfortunately these numbers don’t mean much when your team is down in the series 3-1. The overrated Miami Heat took a commanding 3-0 lead, only to lose the clinching game to the Philadelphia 76’ers. The eight seed Indiana Pacers are trying to hang in there with the ever so talented Derrick Rose and his Chicago Bulls, the Bulls are up 3-1. Last, but certainly not least, the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers are fighting it out, Portland is on top 3-2.
My predictions for the conference semifinals:
(3) Boston- (2) Miami
(1) Chicago- (5) Atlanta
(8) Memphis- (4) Oklahoma City
(6) Portland- (2) LA Lakers
Not going to give you my final predictions just yet, definitely not because I haven’t made the decision, but more because I want to explain my decision thus far.
On plenty of rest, Boston will beat the Heat in 6. In true Lebron fashion he will barrel his way to the net and get his share of foul calls, but unless they have a significant lead over the Celtics with five minutes left in the fourth, the Heat will do what they do best-choke. The Celtics are not intimidated by the Heat and this series will separate the men from the boys.
Oklahoma City has been impressive to say the least. Serge Ibaka has been dominant in the playoffs, leading the postseason in blocks with 3.75 and second in rebounds. Kevin Durant has proved in dramatic fashion that he should have gone fist overall over Greg Oden. Oklahoma will take the series in 5.
Memphis doesn’t have much of chance with a healthy Derrick Rose. The Bulls have been the team to beat all year and that fact remains in the playoffs.
The Lakers are going to barely beat the Hornets. The Hornets are better than Portland. Sorry Portland fans, even with Lamarcus Aldridge bringing his A game, they are not beating the Lakers, especially if Pau Gasol decides to go “hard” this series. Pau Gasol has not been the Gasol the Lakers are used to. He is bound to rebound, I see it happening against Memphis.
My predictions for the Conference Finals:
(3) Boston-(1) Chicago
(4) Oklahoma City- (2) LA Lakers
To be continued…..