|Who will be taking this bad boy home this year?|
Here are my picks for this year's second season:
Western Conference Quarterfinals:
(1) San Antonio over (8) Memphis in 5 games: This is a conservative choice, as opposed to the sweep most analysts will call. I think Memphis may steal one at home, but this will be an easy series win for the Spurs.
(4) Oklahoma City over (5) Denver in 6 games: I will probably watch more of this series than any of the others, with the exception of maybe the Hawks/Magic. Even though the Nuggets have proven they are still a good team without Carmelo, the fact that George Karl came out and said he'd rather play Dallas than the Thunder should tell you something.
(3) Dallas over (6) Portland in 7 games: I think home-court advantage will be a big factor in this series. Dallas has been really streaky this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if they lost here, but they are the better team, so they should take care of business.
(2) Los Angeles over (7) New Orleans in 5 games: Even though the Lakers have played poorly down the stretch, they are clearly better than New Orleans, but don't be surprised if a couple of these games are decided late by the Black Mamba.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
(1) Chicago over (8) Indiana in 5 games: Indiana has the capability of pulling off more than one win, but I think they will only get one at home.
(4)Orlando over (5) Atlanta in 7 games: This one should go the distance. Atlanta has lost their last six going in to the playoffs, but did win the season series 3-1 over the Magic. This Orlando team isn't nearly as good as last year's edition (bad trade) and I really wouldn't be shocked if Atlanta won the series. They will have to win in Orlando to get it done, though.
(3)Boston over (6) New York in 6 games: Boston is too playoff tested and savvy to let the Knicks take them to the limit. This is a talented Knicks squad that will make each game tough for Boston.
(2) Miami over (7) Philadelphia in 5 games: Miami has the propensity to hit the snooze buttons during games, which should let the Sixers steal at least one game in this series, but Miami is too good to not win this series.
Western Conference Semifinals:
(1) San Antonio over (4) Oklahoma City in 7 games: I really like the Thunder, but i don't think they are ready to beat a team like San Antonio four times. Maybe next year will be their year, as they grow with Westbrook, Durant and Perkins. I think the Spurs' home court advantage and big game experience will overpower the upstart Thunder.
(2) Los Angeles over (3) Dallas in 6 games: I can't see Dallas pushing the Lakers to a game seven, they're just not mentally tough enough to win in LA.
Eastern Conference Semifinals:
(1) Chicago over (4) Orlando in 5 games: Whether or not it's the Magic or Hawks that Chicago faces in round 2, I don't see either giving them a long series.
(2) Miami over (3) Boston in 7 games: This is the series everyone wants to see, including me. Boston won the season series, but I think the talent of Miami's Big Two-and-a-Half will overcome the older Celtics, with some help from the officials...
Western Conference Finals:
(2) Los Angeles over (1) San Antonio in 7 games: This will be a great series that I think will be won by the Lakers. Honestly, I think the Spurs have a deeper roster, but I feel a Lakers win.
Eastern Conference Finals:
(2) Miami over (1) Chicago in 6 games: Again, star power wins in the playoffs. Chicago has a great team, but I don't think they can beat Miami four times out of seven. I actually think Boston will give Miami a tougher series than Chicago will.
Miami over Los Angeles in 7 games: Keeping with the star power theme, I'll take these two, since this is what the majority of the nation wants to see. I kind of can't believe I'm picking these two, as my gut tells me that Boston and San Antonio are the best teams in each conference. I think this is the matchup everyone wants to see, so don't be surprised to see some funny officiating to help these two teams.