Thursday, April 15, 2010

NBA Playoffs: First Round

Well the NBA regular season is in the books and we are only a few days away from the start of the real NBA season (and it's 42 month slog to determining a champion). Hooray. Anyway here's a few thoughts for the opening playoff round.

1)Dallas v. San Antonio (aka Scouts v. Stats)

Probably the most intriguing of the first round games. You can go with the last chance angle, a revenge-rematch from last year angle, two great teams, but I'm intrigued by the stats v. scouts angle. Most scouts and analysts have the Mavs as a more talented team. Nearly all of the advanced stats has the Spurs as the better team. I believe the losing side has to report to Tenochtitlan to be executed.

2)Denver v. Utah ( The Case of Kenyon Martin's Knee )

Somewhere dark in the tombs located directly beneath NBA headquarters is the fact that the Nuggets did make it to the conference finals last year. Halfway through the season there was every reason to think it might still happen. Loki, the mythic trickster of the Norse people, stole the cartilage from Martin's knee. Since then Denver has been in a tail spin. If somehow pressure can be applied to Loki and he return Martin's knee the Nuggets can win. Otherwise Jazz fans will dance to the 2nd round (if Jazz fans did that kind of thing)

3)Cleveland v. Chicago (You wouldn't like John Paxson When He's Angry)

So recently yahoo sports reported that Bull's VP John "Smash" Paxson challenged Bulls' coach Vinnie "Da Bull" Del Negro to a fight. Which makes one wonder what Paxson might do under the strain and stress of a playoff series. I'm hoping for a steel cage match with Paxson's brother, Jim, running in and hitting Del Negro with a chair. In all seriousness the key to this series is Derick Rose. If Rose can get into the lane to feed the Bull's pick and pop the Bulls have a very good shot at winning. If Rose is forced into being a jumper shooter, Paxson's rage may be immeasurable.

Other Bits of Randomness
4)Phil Jackson v. Kevin Durant over referees (or things you could see coming a mile away)

5) Suns v. the Easy Draw - The last time the Suns made it to the conference finals it was thanks to an easy draw. Decimated Trail Blazers appear tobe the first stage of "Operation Really Easy Draw"

6) Old foggies v. Dwayne Wade - Boston has been horrible lately. They have all the life signs of a beached whale. They face a one man team named Dwayne Wade (he also does all of the catering). Can the Celtics even win one series?

7) Hawks v. Boredom - Without Bogut the Bucks simply don't have a chance. Unless the Hawks get bored and decide to spend a few days relaxing by sunny Lake Michigan (which is very nice this time of year)

8) Magic v. Bobcats (aka When does Larry Brown quite ?) I'm betting on Game 3.


MJ said...

I'll be the first to admit that I don't follow the NBA anymore so I have no idea what I'm doing here but that's never stopped me before:


Cavs over Bulls in 4
Magic over Bobcats in 5
Hawks over Bucks in 5
Celtics over Heat in 7


Lakers over Thunder in 6
Mavs over Spurs in 6
Suns over Blazers in 5
Jazz over Nuggets in 6

Gutsy Goldberg said...

1) I need more time to digest Mavs vs. Spurs. Far and away the most interesting matchup. Too bad the Mavs got the 2-seed!
2) the Nuggets-Jazz series is defeinitely 2nd most interesting. Kenyon Martin needs to return or there's no chance. Granted, Boozer may also be injured, so there may be some hope for the Nuggets.
3) I actually like Magic-Bobcats as my 3rd favorite most interesting series.

Mighty Mike said...

Following MJ's lead I too shall throw predictions that I have no clue about (as that's what I constantly do anyway)

Cavs over Bulls 6
Magic over Bobcats 4
Hawks over Bucks 4
Celtics over Heat 7

Lakers over Thunder 6
Spurs over Mavs 6
Suns over Blazers 5
Jazz over Nuggets 6

MJ said...

@Mighty - Cavs over Bulls in 6?! Respect for Chicago or lack of faith in the Cavs?

Like I said above, I don't know much about the NBA anymore but when I look at the Bulls I see Derrick Rose and a whole bunch of scrubs, role players and losers (coached by a loser). When I look at the Cavs, I see the best player on the planet who can beat a team by himself any time he wants to.

I have the Cavs over Chicago in 4. If it even goes 5, I'd be surprised.

Mighty Mike said...

I can't rule out that my thinking is colored by Cleveland angst (as all the stats point to Cavs in 4-5). However why I think 6 is that the Cavs haven't played a meaningful game in like a month (Lebron hasn't played in 2 weeks, Shaq 6) so I guessing there might be a little adjustment period for the Cavs. I would say I'll shocked if the Cavs lose but equally surprised if they immediately are in playoff form given their rust/lack of playing time together...