So here we are. One week away from the NBA All-Star weekend and midway point to the season, and the playoff picture is still a mess in both conferences. While the top seeds seem to be set and surely not moving, the rest of the field is wide open. In the East, spots 3-10 are separated by only six games, and in the West, spots 2-8 are separated by a mere seven. Along with this, we still have the trade deadline coming up and multiple key players coming back from injuries. So trying to predict the final playoff picture would seem like an absurdity at this point, right? Well, yes. But I’m bored so what the hell. Using this awesome strength of schedule graphic from Ed Kupfer and taking into consideration injuries and history, here is my final playoff picture.
Current (2/10): 1. Indiana 2. Miami 3. Toronto 4. Atlanta 5. Washington 6. Chicago 7. Brooklyn 8. Charlotte
Prediction: 1. Indiana 2. Miami 3. Toronto 4. Brooklyn 5. Washington 6. Atlanta 7. Chicago 8. New York
Notes: Indiana has the 3rd easiest SOS going forward and Toronto has the easiest, justifying those predictions. I feel the Knicks will make a surge as Melo fights to keep them relevant and I think the Nets will also gain momentum as their team continues to build chemistry and J Kidd gains more experience.
Current (2/10): 1. OKC 2. San Antonio 3. Portland 4. Clippers 5. Houston 6. Phoenix 7. Dallas 8. Golden State
Prediction: 1. OKC 2. San Antonio 3. Clippers 4. Houston 5. Portland 6. Golden State 7. Memphis 8. Phoenix
Notes: OKC and the Spurs seem to be set to claim the top two spots (OKC w/ the SOS edge and Westbrook coming back). Portland has a brutal schedule coming up and I feel as though they won’t be able to sustain this type of play going forward especially with their stars getting so many minutes (3 starters in top 22 of minutes per game). My surge team in the West is the Grizzles. With their experience and semi-easy schedule going forward, they shouldn’t have trouble sneaking into one of the last couple of seeds (they would be a dangerous 7 seed…). Lastly, I hope Phoenix can make the playoffs, and I think they will. I love the way Goran Dragic (my biggest All-Star snub) is playing right now and this team is really gelling.
So there it is. Some awesome potential match-ups in this years playoffs. I would love to see the 3-6 Clippers/Warriors high scoring, probably seven game, draw come true along with the potential Melo takes on the Pacers match-up. What do you guys think? Leave some comments below and let me know how you think this years playoffs will unfold!
With a 94-91 win over the Chicago Bulls on May 15th, everyone was feeling deja vu setting in. The Heat had won 50 of their last 55, swept the Bucks, nearly swept the Bulls, and were rolling once again. Even with their recent grueling seven game series with the Pacers (which they won), its hard not to see this Miami Heat team repeating. They have the best player on the court every night, an incredible supporting cast, and just seem to be unbeatable in a best of seven series. But will they repeat?
After the jump, I go into detail on why the Heat will win the NBA finals, and why the Heat won’t win the NBA finals. There are plenty of reasons for both and a case can be made either way, but if you really want my prediction, I say Spurs in 7, Duncan MVP.
P.S. I’m hoping for an incredible series, Stern, so don’t let me down….I’ll surely be watching the foul/flop count…
Tonight marks game two between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and it should be great. In case you missed it, game one might have been one of the best games of the playoffs so far, if not thee best. You had it all. Close game throughout, scuffles, huge shots, buzzer beaters, overtime, and even a game winner to cap off a great night of basketball. But what will happen in game two? Today I look to provide a little insight into what we might see going into game two and the potential outcomes it could produce. But in case you missed it, here are the two huge plays that essentially sum up game one:
Paul George Game Tying 3 Pointer
LeBron Game Winner
Kevin Durant just cannot win these days. Despite doing everything possible, he lost the MVP award almost unanimously to Lebron James and now he finds his team down 2-1 to the Memphis Grizzles. Never has a player been so good but clearly just the second best player in the NBA. It appears this year he won’t get the chance to prove himself against Lebron, through no fault of his own. Westbrook went down due to a freak injury in his otherwise very healthy career. I still favored the Heat in a finals rematch, but the Thunder certainly had more than just a punchers chance with Westbrook.
Coming into the playoffs the Thunder seemed like a lock to make the finals and face Miami in a highly anticipated rematch. Now the Thunder are in serious jeopardy of being bounced out in the second round despite Durant averaging 32pts/12reb/6ast all while shooting 50% against a strong defensive team who can concentrate all their energy on him. The inability of Durant’s teammates to generate anything offensively has the Thunder in dire straights (that would be even more dire were it not for Durant’s heroics in game 1). Kevin Martin has shot just 38% in the series and left all the pressure for Kevin Durant. The Thunder have zero shot creators outside of Durant, the only player who comes close is Reggie Jackson, who has played well in stretches. Most Thunder fans must be thinking, “It sure would be nice to have James Harden right about now…” Continue reading