As I promised on my last post, here I am to give you my predictions about the NBA conference semifinals that already started. Before anything, I would like to say that it will probably be one of the greatest playoffs second rounds of all time. All teams are very even.
An example of that could be seen in number of series that went seven games in the first round: Spurs/Mavs, Clippers/Warriors, Thunder/Grizzlies, Pacers/Hawks, Nets/Raptors. And how about the Blazers/Rockets series – that finished 4-2 Portland, in an incredible Damian Lillard buzzer-beater?
Yes, it seems that we’re in for great months of basketball in May and June.
Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers: The Wizards are already leading 1-0 with a victory in Indianapolis and are playing with extreme confidence. Trevor Ariza, John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene are playing extremely well and I see some trepidation in the Pacers and I’m guessing some problems in the locker room. It maybe a stretch, but I think the Wizards will pull up the upset a move on to the Conference finals. Wizards 4-2.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat: In my humble opinion, no contention on this one. Based on what I saw last night, the Heat will burn (pun totally intended) the Nets with ease. The great asset with the Heat is that not only they got the Big 3, but they also got Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier and the Birdman (ok, not brilliant, but nonetheless useful). The main players in the Nets are old (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams) and the team will suffer inside the paint due to Brooke Lopez injury. They do have Joe Johnson but it’s too little to face the Heat (woops, that’s a Scorpions reference). Heat 4-0.
LA Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: The Western conference is much more even and interesting. This promises to be one of the greatest series ever. Now that the turbulence with its asshole owner passed (I refuse to write his name), the Clippers seem poised for greater things. Of course, CP3 won’t score 8 threes and 32 points like yesterday every night, but he and Blake Griffin have a great asset: their supporting cast helps them! Matt Barnes scored 10, J. Redick scored 12 and Jamal Crawford scored 17 last night. And how about the Thunder? Durant managed to score 25 and Westbrook 29. But of all other players, only Ibaka managed to get double figures with 12. Durant and Westbrook will need help in the long run. I’m a huge KD fan, but they hanged by the skin of their teeth against the Grizzlies and I don’t see them doing it again. Clippers 4-3.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail-Blazers: I left the toughest one for last. Despite the 24 points rout last night, Portland is a young and extremely talented team. Lamarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are playing brilliantly and they are rather tough to beat at home. As for the Spurs it’s that same old, same old: wonderful team work and sometimes brilliant performances from Parker, Duncan and Ginobili. When I saw the way they played against the Mavs, I thought the Blazers had a huge chance, but now I’m not so sure. The Spurs are a well-experienced team and especially enjoy playing against teams with great individual players but not a great team work. (Let’s remember, they should have won the league last year if it was not for those two damn free throws). Portland will have its moments, but the Spurs will prevail. Spurs 4-2.
As a final note, the most important thing is that all games should be great fun to watch!
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