NBA Playoffs: 2nd Round Outlook

With a stellar 7 out of 8 first round predictions correct, and being pretty close on the length of the series, we now take a look at the second round series. Just like my first predictions, the picks have not changed. Even though most of the series have started.

Eastern Conference

Heat vs. Pacers

For once, I would like a team that talks a bunch of nonsense to have proven themselves before they go running their mouths. Rather than criticize the style of play of arguably the best team in the league. I think this only motivates the Heat even more, even though after hearing the comments LeBron, Wade, Bosh and Coach Spo, all brushed it aside. Of course the Heat flop, EVERY TEAM IN THE NBA FLOPS. Unfortunately, this has become a huge flaw in the NBA, but that is a whole different situation. I think making a run like the Heat did last year helps them and benefits them.

Pick: Heat in 6

Celtics vs 76ers

The 76ers played fantastic in the first round, granted the Bulls were without Rose. However, they are still a young team and the Celtics are proven. There is no need to elaborate the accomplishments of the B. Rondo will dominate the flow of the game like he usually does and take the Celtics to the Conference Finals.

Pick: Celtics in 6

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Western Conference

Spurs vs. Clippers

This is a very intriguing series, it could be given the title “Old School vs New School”. A boring team with tremendous  talent, pitted against a team full of highlight reel players. I think this is going to be a fantastic and drawn out series. It will be interesting to see the pace of the game, and who dominates that. Whoever does that will obviously win the series, but I think that the Clippers are still 1 year away.

Pick: Spurs in 7

Lakers vs. Thunder

Just like the other Western Conference series, this one could have its own title “The Passing of the Torch”. This is going to be the best series out of the four that are being played. There is the best scorer in the NBA right now against the most dominant player of the last decade. Among other story lines that this series has is the play of both teams bigs. Whether or not Pau and Bynum will show up in this series is yet to be determined as they both play like a furnace in the spring time, on and off. Also, the James Harden vs Ron Artest (he earned that name back with that childish move). I think the torch is passed in this series and Durant out duels Kobe.

Pick: Thunder in 7

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Author: Zach Tanton

NBA Playoffs: 1st Round Outlook

With this being posted almost a day through the first day of the playoffs and a few major injuries later, my predictions have not changed through the first round. The regular season played out, for the most part, exactly how the experts picked and lead to all playoff match-ups being any teams series for the most part.

Eastern Conference

Bulls vs 76ers

With or without Derrick Rose the Bulls can handle a young and inexperienced team. They have shown throughout the regular season, they can win without Rose. In my opinion I think that this could be almost a blessing in disguise for them. They were playing fantastic when Rose was out during the year and with him out, they do not have to try to work him back into the flow of the game. The only thing that hurts them is not having that proven, closer that a team needs.

Pick: Bulls in 5

Heat vs Knicks

This series is going to be interesting, the Heat proved today that they can flick on that defensive switch and lock down any and all players on the opposing team. They will not be able to do that every game, but look for them to give the opposing team fits. With two of the top superstars in the league, its easy to pick them. I think that the shortened season, injuries and a new coach, hurt the Knicks. With LeBron being able to lock down Melo and him and Amare trying to figure each other out still, they don’t have a chance this year.

Pick: Heat in 5

Pacers vs Magic

This is probably the most intriguing series in the playoffs, both teams are inexperienced. The Magic do not have their go to guy, and the Pacers are young and aren’t proven yet. This should be a back and forth series and I look for Danny Granger and Jameer Nelson to be the most important guys in this series.

Pick: Pacers in 6

Celtics vs Hawks

The Celtics are old and everyone knows that, and with Ray Allen injured it could be tough for them. However, the Hawks have Tracy McGrady on the squad, i can just leave it at that. T-Mac hasn’t made it out of the first round in his career.

Pick: Celtics in 6

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Western Conference

San Antonio vs Utah

This is an easy pick, say what you want about the Spurs but hey can play. No matter what their age is, Parker is an MVP candidate, Duncan is well, the same Timmy that has played since the Twin Tower days, and Ginobili is still one of the best European players in the league. The Jazz are in a position where no one thought they would be, and ill give them credit, they fought tooth and nail to get the 8 seed and the deserve it. They will still have a tough time with the Spurs.

Pick: Spurs in 4

Oklahoma City vs Dallas

This could potentially be the best first round series in the playoffs, the best 1-2 scoring punch in the league against the defending champs. I think that OKC is more skilled at the guard positions with Westbrook, Sefolosha and Harden coming off the bench then the Mavs are, and i would say its a push in the front court. I would say that everyone cancels each other out, however Ibaka will be a huge problem for the Mavs not being able to get into the lane. The Mavs have been the most inconsistent team in the NBA this year and I look for them to be them same way in the series.

Pick: OKC in 6

Lakers vs Nuggets

This is going to be probably my favorite series of the playoffs. So much drama going on with the Lakers and the ultimate TEAM in the Nuggets. When i say the ultimate team, i am referring to their ability to share the ball, not care who is the leading scorer and my favorite part, not have the “superstar” that most playoff teams have. I think that the suspension of the man formally known as Ron Artest, will definitely hurt the Lakers. It wont hurt their chances of moving on though. I look for the Black Mamba to be his usual self and dominate the game without a primary defender to lock him down. It will be a long series though, and Metta World Peace will be back just in time to help close out the series.

Pick: Lakers in 7

Clipper vs Grizzlies

This will definitely be the best 5 on 5 team match-up of the playoffs. It will be interesting because both teams have good players at each position and anybody on the team can score. The Grizzlies have been here before, whereas the Clippers are a first time playoff team together. I look for Rudy Gay and Chris Paul to carry their teams. However any player on either team can have a huge night.

Pick: Clippers in 7

Check back after the first round is over to see not only if these picks are right, but for the second round picks as well.

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Author: Zach Tanton