First Round Finale

 It has been the greatest first round in NBA history and what would be a better way to finish off with two more game sevens to top it off. There have been five game sevens and only two series that weren’t close. On a day when California’s colors are Chrome not Golden and certainly not Sterling, the L.A the Clippers were true Warriors and advanced to the western conference semi-finals. The League’s MVP shines bright in a small town sending Memphis back to playing the blues once again, and Indiana is back on Pace for their Championship dreams. Last night was one of the most historic nights in NBA history and tonight hopefully won’t disappoint. The Dallas Mavericks vs the San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets vs the Toronto Raptors. Win or go Home.

#6 Brooklyn vs #3 Toronto:Unknown

Going into this series everyone knew it was going to be a battle.  The experience of the Brooklyn Nets vs the young guns of Toronto.  The Raptors have the longest active playoff victory drought in the NBA and they are looking to snap it today.  This game is a battle of two prolific back courts.  The Nets Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are the keys for this team.  Both of them need to heat up early or Brooklyn could start off in a deep hole.  The Raptors dynamic duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.  imagesThese young emerging stars have to show up, which is expected.  Kyle Lowry has to shoot the three ball extremely well.  Lowry is a dead-eye from behind the arch and if he gets hot, it is almost impossible to stop him because of his passing great ability.  Terrence Ross is the x-factor in this game.  Toronto needs to have that third scorer who gives instant energy and Ross is perfect for that role.  He is an excellent defender and his high flying dunking ability can spark the crowd and make it very hard for the Nets to execute their plays.

 

Prediction:  This game may be a game for the ages, both of these teams are so evenly matched their are not many advantages for each team.  I believe the home court advantage will be huge for the Raptors and DeRozan will have a monstrous game including hitting a game winning buzzer-beater to eliminate the Brooklyn Nets and advance to the conference semi-finals to take on the defending champs, the Miami Heat. Toronto 105  Brooklyn 104

#8 Dallas vs #1 San Antonio

No one expected this, San Antonio the team with the best record in the NBA has been images-1beat up all the way to game seven against the eighth seeded Dallas Mavericks, who were one game away from almost missing the playoffs.  Two future Hall of Famers, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan have been going to war in this series, rewriting history to their long historic rivalry.  The Spurs are the best coached team in the entire NBA and the Mavs are arguably playing the best basketball right now.  Monta Ellis is the reason that Dallas has been in this series.  He has always been an incredible scorer, but he has never had his chance in the playoffs because of the quality of teams he has been on.  Ellis is the best player on this Mavericks team and it is his time tonight he has to shine bright with all of the stars in the NBA.  Tony Parker is always going to play well for the Spurs, but he was been sort of rattled by Shawn Marion’s stifling defense.  Kawhi Leonard is the future of this San Antonio team and he is their best defender.  Leonard has been in the spot light already at the age of 22, but Kawhi can’t choke if he want his Spurs to avoid the upset from their bitter rivals.

Prediction:   Who will win the Lonestar state showdown, the reigning conference images-2champions or the upstart underdogs of Dallas? I believe Monta Ellis will play great and Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki will add more to their legacies and the Dallas Mavericks will upset the Spurs in San Antonio and advance to the second round for a date with the Portland Trailblazers. Dallas 96  San Antonio 93 

 

 

 

 

NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions

Heat vs Bucks:lebron13-0106-fire

This is going to be a better series than most people expect, the Bucks have a lot of talent. Monta Ellis is going to rack up points every night, Brandon Jennings will dime assists, and Larry Sanders will play lights out defense. Miami should not under estimate this team. I think the Heat are too strong though.

Prediction: Heat in 6

dm_121116_nba_spikeleeKnicks vs Celtics: 

The Celtics are an old team but they have the playoff experience, unlike the Knicks who have not made it past the first round in three years. Jeff Green has played amazing in the last couple games for the Celtics. He is one of the only young guns on that Boston team and needs to play great for them to get past New York. The Knicks are loaded on offense with Carmelo Anthony, J.R Smith, and Iman Shumpert.

Prediction: Knicks in 7

Pacers vs Hawks: 575686_10151540129552996_705993283_n

The Hawks had the 5th seed stolen right out of their hands by the Chicago Bulls and now they have to play a very tough team, the Indiana Pacers. Both of these teams are talented even though the seeding numbers are lop sided favoring the Pacers. Paul George has been a breakout star for this Indiana team and I think he is the reason they will advance.

Prediction: Pacers in 7

 

playoffs_hp2_130417Nets vs Bulls: 

This match up is a very intriguing match up. One of the most historic programs in the NBA against a team full of playoff inexperience. The Nets are hot right now and Joe Johnson is leading the charge, but I think Nate Robinson will win it for the Bulls.

Prediction: Bulls in 6

Thunder vs Rockets: images copy 2

What a great story line, one of the most controversial trades in the NBA, the James Harden trade. And know Harden is back playing the Thunder in the playoffs. The Rockets are a high powered offense that doesn’t play defense.  They try to outscore opposing teams but they have had trouble against other high powered teams like the Thunder. I have the Thunder blowing out Houston.

Prediction: Thunder in 4

Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim DuncanSpurs vs Lakers: 

This game is a game of the oldies, both teams are very old. THe Lakers have fought so hard without Kobe to make the playoffs. That’s why I think the Spurs will win the series. The Lakers are worn out by the fight they fought to make the postseason.

Prediction: Spurs in 5

Nuggets vs Warriors: images-1 copy 2

This series is going to be intense, it is the high flying offense of Denver against the three point assault of Golden State. This is going to a high scoring series but I trust Ty Lawson to win it.

Prediction: Nuggets in 6

hi-res-144360253_crop_650x440Clippers vs Grizzlies: 

This seems like it is becoming a playoff rivalry after a few years. Lob City vs the Grizzlies. After Memphis traded away Rudy Gay they seem more solid as a team. I think the Grizzlies will get revenge from last year and win. It looks like the Grizzlies may be walking in Memphis a little longer.

Prediction: Grizzlies in 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA Playoff Prediction – Eastern Conference

The NBA Playoffs are almost here and it has been a great season but the best is yet to come. The top teams have made a stand and the eight seeds are fighting for just a spot, I can’t wait. So here’s my prediction for the seeding in the Eastern Conference. 

 East: 

  1. Miami Heat:   The Miami Heat were riding one of the biggest win streaks until the imagesinconsistent Chicago Bulls ended it. Even though their streak is dead they have the best record in the NBA and they are the reigning  Champions. LeBron has just been great this year, Wade hasn’t disappointed, and Bosh has been solid too. They have some of the biggest names in basketball on their team, and they are no fluke. The Miami Heat are going to be a tough out in this year’s Playoffs. 

 2.  New York Knicks:  The Knicks were also recently on a winning streak which similar to the Heat’s was crushed by the Bulls. New York has never been able to get back to the topshumpert since the days of Patrick Ewing. It always seems like the Knicks are an easy out in the first round, but this time I have a feeling that won’t happen. Carmelo Anthony has really had a stand out year, he has finally made his team a real contender, and is giving Kevin Durant a run for his money in the scoring title. Also I think Iman Shumpert could play a big role in the Knicks success. After he tore his ACL last year in a playoff game against the Heat, the team never seemed the same. Now he is back and healthier than ever. Shumpert I think is going to be a future star. If the New York Knicks want to make a deep run Shumpert has to have a big role. 

3. Indiana Pacers:  Paul-George-BasketballThe Pacers have really come out of the shadows, and they are looking like a old Reggie Miller Pacers team. One of the main parts of their success is rising star Paul George.  For the past couple years the Pacers really didn’t have a star player. They were just a solid team without a superstar. This year their shooting guard, Paul George, has risen to the occasion. He has had the greatest season so far of his young career, has made his first all-star appearance and he has lead his Pacers team to a number three seed. George has played outstanding and so has the whole team. The Pacers could be very dangerous, so watch out Miami. 

4. Brooklyn Nets:  The Nets have a new face to the franchise ever since Jay-z bought them and moved them from New Jersey to Brooklyn. They got a new logo, new colors, media_9ffce5aaeb9742c2a5108f6770854d85_t607new jerseys, they picked up some new players, and most importantly they upped their game. Signing Joe Johnson in the offseason helped put them in the playoffs. He has really turned this team around, and I think he has to be the one to play big if they want a chance to win the East. Johnson has playoff experience from his time with the Hawks and the Suns but he is one of the only players on this team that actually has experience in the playoffs. The Nets inexperience might come to hurt them but people said that about the Thunder last year and they made it to the Finals. I think the Nets might have a tough road ahead of them which could start in the first round. 

5.  Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks are a team that you expect to make the Playoffs every jeff-teague-adidas-top-ten-2000-south-beachyear. In the offseason they lost their best player, Joe Johnson, to free agency and everyone thought that the Hawks might have a rough season but they proved them wrong. Josh Smith has had a big year as we expected but also point guard Jeff Teague has played exceptionable. Teague has been a role player for most of his young career but he is suddenly transforming into a star. He is a great passer, a good on-on-one defender, can hit from mid-range, drives to the hoop well, and he is a lethal three point shooter. He plays great in the spot light and this is his time to shine. If Teague has a good postseason the Hawks could go far. 

6.Nate the Great Robinson Chicago Bulls:  This year hasn’t been that great for the Bulls. You might be asking yourself, they made the Playoffs …isn’t that good?  Well in Chicago there is a high standard set by the greatest player that has ever lived, Michael Jordan. The city of Chicago loves their basketball and they are quite upset with the Bulls, trust me I am from Chicago. It really wasn’t their fault though because they have been bitten by the injury bug. Last year their star player, Derrick Rose, tore his ACL and has yet to come back this year. Then Joakim Noah stared to take over the star role and he got hurt. Although this season hasn’t been the best, there is one bright spot. Nate Robinson has stood out and has played like Russell Westbrook. The year is still young and Robinson can be the spark to help the Bulls go far.  The Bulls will probably have a brutal bracket to get through but Nate Robinson has the talent to pull them through it. 

7.  Boston Celtics: The Celtics have had a rough year. Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, images-1Kevin Garnett is hurt, and Paul Pierce is also injured. So the big bad Celtics have been narrowed down by injury. The Celtics go far almost every year, but this year it is not likely to happen. They are an old team that is hurt. Jason Terry is their only star who will play. He might have won the 2011 finals with the Mavericks but he is getting very old. I don’t think the Celtics are going to be able to run with the young teams in the Playoffs. I believe that the big bad Boston Celtics will be an early out. 

8.  Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks haven’t made the Playoffs since 2010, but this ellis-jenningsteam has a lot more talent then the 2010 team. The turn around for the Bucks was when they got Monta Ellis. He was a perfect steal. He complements the play of Brandon Jennings very well. It has been awhile since the Bucks had two superstars on one team but they do now.  Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have done a great job turning around this team and getting them to the playoffs. They have a very hard first round ahead of them and will probably play Miami. 

 Stay tuned for my Western Conference predictions.