Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 NBA PLayoff Predictions - First Round

#1- San Antonio Spurs vs #8- Utah Jazz - I have always been a die hard Jazz fan my whole life and I am really glad that we made the playoffs. When we crashed last year, I will be completely honest, I had begun to lose hope for the future of our team. Things didn't look very bright at the start of this season as well and I was almost certain that we were destined for the lottery this year. However, our young players stepped it up big time and gave us a lot of hope. A young team consisting of Burks, Hayward, Favors, and Kanter actually could be quite scary in a few years. It took some injuries to players like Raja, Howard, and CJ to get Corbin to play them more, but hey. Now they have experience and will get some much needed playoff experience. However, if there is one team in the playoffs that I don't want to play it is the Spurs. One, the Spurs are on fire. They have lost only like one game in their last 20 games (to the Jazz ironically - but that was a fluke because they rested the big three) and momentum is huge in the playoffs. Two, the Jazz have a terrible history against them. Ever since a man name Tim Duncan started playing for them, they have beaten us like 90% of the time they play us. This playoff series will end quite quickly, but it will be good for our young team. The future is bright. Prediction: Spurs 4-0

#4- Memphis Grizzlies vs #5- Los Angeles Clippers - This match-up here just might be the most intriguing match-up of the first round. Neither franchise has had a great history in the playoffs as both have had one playoff series win in their team's history. This stat is more embarrassing for the Clippers since they have been around since 1970 while the Grizzlies came into existence in the mid-90's. However, both these teams are in a position right now that could do some damage and/or pull of some upsets that will throw the playoffs off of the track people expect it to go. The Grizzlies are a team that no one especially wants to play. They are a tough team that is riding the momentum train via a 6 game win streak and a last minute push to grab the number 4 seed. Meanwhile, the Clippers just recently fell from the number 3 spot to the dreaded 5 spot. Despite that I still believe that Paul, Griffin, and company will get the job done. But it will be a dog fight. Prediction: Clippers 4-3

#3- Los Angeles Lakers vs #6- Denver Nuggets- Kobe and the Lakers haven't been overly impressive this year, but they've been good enough to get the job done. Which makes it kinda hard to predict what they are going to do come playoff time. I could see them getting knocked out early and I could see them barely making it through the first two rounds and sneak into the conference finals. In looking at all the match-ups, the Lakers have the highest chance out of all the top seeds (not counting the number 4 seeds) to get eliminated and so I am going to roll the dice and call upset on this one. The Nuggets are riding a good four game win streak in addition to winning eight of their last ten. Plus, this isn't a Phil Jackson coached Laker team. It's Mike Brown. Since when has he ever been a good playoff coach? Prediction: Nuggets 4-2

#2- Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7- Dallas Mavericks - This one is an easy one to pick in my mind. I really don't think the Mavs have much of a chance. Yes, the Mavs are the defending Champs, but they haven't played nearly as well this season than they did last season. They've had their moments this year, but having those moments at the right time is key and right now the Mavs have been reeling recently and only avoided dropping to the eight spot because they hold the tie breaker against the Jazz. You can't go into the playoffs playing like that and expect to knock off the Thunder in the first round. It's just not gonna happen. The Thunder are just too good. Prediction: Thunder 4-1 

#1- Chicago Bulls vs #8- Philadelphia 76ers - I don't know how the Bulls have done it, but they did. They have been playing without Derrick Rose for a big portion of the season. Also, Deng has been injury plagued a bit as well and him, Noah, and Boozer have had up and down haven't played great either. Yet they still manage to win games. Kudos to Tom Thibido. That's the only way to describe it. I think their great regular season will translate into a great playoff and playing to 76ers will only be a minor block in the road. I respect what Doug Collins has done with the 76ers and I think that they could become one of the top teams in the future, but this year is not the year. Prediction: Bulls 4-1.

#4- Boston Celtics vs #5- Atlanta Hawks - Now this is quite the interesting match-up. Because of the fact that the Celtics won their division they couldn't drop lower than four, but they ended up with a worse record than the Hawks, so the Hawks get homecourt advantage. This match-up is quite even, but the Celtics know how to win in the playoffs and the Hawks don't. They Hawks are the team that always does good in the regular season, but flops come playoff time. I think the Celtics have at least one more playoff run in them and so that's where I am going with this one. Celtics 4-2

#3- Indiana Pacers vs #6- Orlando Magic - Pacers anyone? They quietly had a really good season. I mean, come on. How many people have talked about the Pacers much this year? All the press goes to the Bulls, Heat, Magic, Knicks, and Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Not the Pacers. But I think that they could turn some heads and do some serious damage in these playoffs. And I think that they will take out the reeling Magic quite easily. Maybe after they do so, people will start realizing that they are actually pretty good. Prediction: Pacers 4-1

#2- Miami Heat vs #7- New York Knicks - This will easily be the biggest and most talked about match-up in this first round with Carmelo and the Knicks facing off against LeBron and the Heat. Carmelo has never done good in the playoffs, but could this be the year? Knocking off the Heat in the first round would be a huge accomplishment. Imagine all the crap the Heat will get if they get dropped in the first one? I certainly think they will give the Heat a run for their money and I wouldn't mind at all a Knicks victory, but I think the Heat will pull this one off by the skin of their teeth. Prediction: Heat 4-3

Quick Glance Beyond the First Round

Conference Semi Finals 
Spurs over Clippers
Thunder over Nuggets
Celtics over Bulls
Heat over Pacers

Conference Finals
Spurs over Thunder
Heat over Celtics

Spurs over Heat

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