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Saturday, April 28, 2012

In celebration of Opening Day

With Christmas coming for basketball fans ,literally. Here are a few of the great moments/performances from NBA Opening Nights and Christmas Day Matchups


The King's Debut

Magic's Debut and Over-Celebration
Shaq Returns to LA


Just like the 2011-2012 Season this playoff preview will be a bit quirky so just follow along . In a season filled with injuries and just plain bad basketball, the season went from having three real contenders (OKC, MIA, CHI) to now having as many as six (add MEM, LAL, SAS). So here are the predictions in three different forms, now there is a chance none of them will be right but then again anyone who can predict this season probably should have played that $619M Powerball a few weeks back

Eastern Conference- First Round
1 Chicago  over 8 Philadelphia   4-0
4 Atlanta over 5 Boston             4-2

2 Miami over 7 New York         4-1
3 Indiana over 6 Orlando           4-0
Notes:  The Bulls and Heat should have minimal issues getting through round one and more importantly DRose's legs get some rest.. not believing in Knicks and 76ers have been lottery worthy since March 1. Atlanta is a better matchup for the Bulls and Orlando irritates me, the quicker they go, the better we all are off

Eastern Conference- Semifinals
1 Chicago over 4 Atlanta       4-1
2 Miami over 3 Indiana         4-3
Notes: The Hawks should be a lot better even with no Horford but the longer the playoffs go the worse their offense tends to get, I will give them one game in Highlight Factory.  Indiana's depth gives Miami problems and stretches out the series longer than it should go before Heat put away Indiana in Game 7 pretty decisively

Eastern Conference-Finals
1 Chicago over 2 Miami  4-3
Notes: We were cheated out of a seven game series last year (Thanks a lot Boozer and Noah) but this year we get what everyone wants or anyone with a real basketball soul wants. GAME 7 in the UC. In that game 7 the Bulls ugly it up and Rose has regained his legs enough to come up with one big effort and the Bulls get past the hated Heat

Western Conference- First Round
1 San Antonio over 8 Utah  4-0
4 Memphis over 5 LA Clippers   4-2

2 Oklahoma City over 7 Dallas  4-1
3 LA Lakers over 6 Denver   4-3

Notes: Spurs too good and too experienced for Utah. Dallas not good enough to take advantage of Thunder's youth. Memphis lays the hammer down on Blake and bullies their way to a series win.Denver (Indiana-West) extends the Lakers only to fall short in LA in a Game 7

Western Conference Semifinals
4 Memphis over 1 San Antonio   4-3
2 Oklahoma City over 3 LA Lakers  4-1
Notes: Memphis is the team you want if you are talking an underdog on the road in a Game 7. Oklahoma City ends the Mike Brown era with a decisive series win including two 50's by KD

Western Conference Finals
2 Oklahoma City over 4 Memphis  4-2
Notes: Durant, Westbrook, and Harden as an offensive trio are good enough to win all the close games. There are a couple of altercations involving Perkins, Z-Bo, Allen, Harden in what should be a very entertaining series

NBA Finals
1 Chicago over 2 Oklahoma City   4-2
The "feel good" Bulls use their depth, defense, rebounding , and just trying hard than everyone else to win a title which of course sparks all of the "doing it the right way" convo and this is a team you can feel good about talk

Eastern Conference -First Round
1 Chicago over 8 Philadelphia   4-2
5 Boston over 4 Atlanta   4-2

Notes:  Rose's health and offensive worries make this series closer than it should in similar fashion to the Indiana series for the Bulls last year. Boston's veteran know how and Rondo allow them two road wins in Atl.

2 Miami over 7 New York
3 Indiana over 6 Orlando


Eastern Conference- Semifinals
1 Chicago over  5 Boston   4-3
2 Miami over 3 Indiana   4-1

Notes: Boston is the prototype "bad" matchup for the Bulls because the teams mirror each other and with Rose's entire lower half being questionable this is a series that Boston could win. Homecourt advantage gives Bulls just enough edge to win. LBJ dominates Granger and George and Wade is too much for Barbosa, Hill and Heat win relatively easy

Eastern Conference-Finals
2 Miami over 1 Chicago    4-2
Notes: after a hard fought series with Boston, Bulls don't have a lot left in tank, Already banged up Rose and Luol Deng have to do too much against a focused Miami team that sees the Finals. Heat steal one early in the UC and then cruise behind the Big 3 and Chalmers holding his own against a fatigued Rose

Western Conference- First Round
1 San Antonio over  8 Utah  4-0
5 LA Clippers over 4 Memphis  4-2
Notes: My "beloved" Grizzlies have no answer for CP3 and despite the bully tactics, can't keep the Clippers out of transition and getting open 3's

2 Oklahoma City over 7 Dallas
3 LA Lakers over 6 Denver

Western Conference- Semifinals
1 San Antonio over 5 LA Clippers
3 LA Lakers over 2 Oklahoma City
Notes: The veteran savvy of the Spurs and Lakers are too much for the inexperienced of arguably the two most entertaining teams in the league

Western Conference-Finals
1. San Antonio over 3 LA Lakers   4-1
Notes: We have seen this movie before with Lakers vs Spurs in playoffs this time. However with the Finals in sight, Kobe reverts back to the Kobe of early season form, shooting too much and not getting the ball to Bynum and Gasol who have a clear advantage...Spurs easily

NBA Finals
1 San Antonio over 2 Miami   4-2
Notes: Here we go again, the Lebron haters are out in full force as the Spurs pick the Heat apart in six games and the "Breakup the Big 3" stories come in by the thousands.  Twitter also ceases to exist after Game 6

Eastern Conference- First Round
1 Chicago over 8 Philadelphia   4-0
4 Atlanta over 5 Boston            4-3
Notes: Philly has been a mess so the Bulls make light work and despite his overpaid status Joe Johnson has been a very good clutch player and in a series that will be tightly contested, hits just enough big shots to get ATL through

2 Miami over 7 New York    4-0
3 Indiana over 6 Orlando      4-0

Eastern Confernce -Semifinals
1 Chicago over 4 Atlanta  4-1
2 Miami over 3 Indiana  4-1
Notes: With their sights set on each other, the Bulls and Heat roll through the Semis barely breaking a sweat

Eastern Conference-Finals
2 Miami over 1 Chicago  4-2
Notes: When your best player is 75% at best and the guy who is supposed to be your #2 option has played small when needed the most, you have a problem. There is no real difference between this year and last year and if you are Bulls fan like me, its not a good thing. Would love to be wrong, afraid I am not

Western Conference- First Round
1 San Antonio over 8 Utah     4-1
4 Memphis over 5 LA Clippers  4-2
Notes: Start the Phil Jackson alert after Vinny Del Negro gets fired when Clippers get dumped in First Round. I repeat: There is no way VDN coaches Chris Paul and Blake Griffin their entire Clipper careers

2 Oklahoma City over 7 Dallas   4-2
3 LA Lakers over 6 Denver  4-2
Notes:  The Thunder and Lakers can have their issues on the roads which will make both series longer than they should.

Western Conference- Semifinals
4 Memphis over 1 San Antonio      4-2
2 Oklahoma City over 3 LA Lakers   4-3
Notes:  Memphis does it to San Antonio again behind the tanks of Z-Bo and Gasol. The wings of Gay, Mayo, and Allen have the edge over a banged up Ginobili and 55- year old Stephen Jackson, and rookie Lenonard. OKC's homecourt advantage gets them past LA despite what will be a rocky series

Western Conference- Finals
2 Oklahoma City over 4 Memphis  4-3
Notes: I have gone back and forth on this one and just like this NBA season I am very unsure. I think OKC has enough firepower to get past Memphis despite their youth. This will be the best series of the entire playoffs

NBA Finals
1 Miami over 2 Oklahoma City  4-2
Notes: The Lebron/Heat haters can only lean on a shortened season to take shots as LBJ outduels Durant with his all around game , racking up the MVP as the Heat breakthrough and win the title this year.

There you have it folks. Based on the way this season has gone, just about everything listed above could happen or none of it could happen. Your guess is just about as good as mine. Whatever happens, no doubt it will be entertaining as ever. NBA ACTION, ITS FFAAAAANNNNNTASSSSTTTIICCC