It’s mid-April and that can only mean one thing: NHL and NBA playoffs. But while I do like hockey, I’ll leave my predictions for the next round, because I’m busy finalizing my latest book.
However, I do have time to some first round NBA predictions and although all series already started I don’t think any of those first results affected what I already thought it would happen.
And as we’re talking about eight games, let’s get down to the brass tacks…
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons: The Pistons put up a good fight in the first game but LeBron, Irving and Love played very well. It was really difficult for Detroit. But at least they can dream of getting a win when the series go to Auburn Hills. And that’s all they’ll be able to do. The future looks bright for Detroit, but it won’t happen just now. Cavaliers 4-1.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics: That looks more like a series to me. Both teams had the same record in the regular season and the fact that Atlanta blew a 19 point lead and still won the game shows that no one will ever be safe in this series. Avery Bradley’s straining hamstring can be a factor and if Al Horford plays wells every game will be tough for the Celts. Hawks 4-3.
Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets: I have a huge amount of sympathy for the Hornets because of Michael Jordan. Not only that, they have Kemba Walker starting to play the way he promised when in Connecticut. However, the Heat has a healthy Dwayne Wade, a seeming reborn Amare Stoudemire, Luol Deng and Goran Dragic playing great and Joe Johnson who is a great player. As much as I like the Hornets, they’ll have to wait a bit more, just like the Pistons. And everybody should pay attention to the Heat. Heat 4-1
Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers: In my opinion this is the best series of the Eastern Conference simply because Paul George is playing outrageously great again. I mean, if you look only to the standings and how DeRozan and Lowry were playing, Toronto should sweep the series. But when player at the level of Paul George start playing this way, it is tough to beat his team. This is a tough, tough one, but I’ll give credit to the Raptors record in the regular season. Raptors 4-3
Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets: This is one of the easiest ones of all playoffs. Against this dysfunctional Houston team, even if Stephen Curry can’t play 100%, the Rockets have no chance. No chance at all. And Patrick Beverley can try and intimidate Curry as much as he wants, it won’t work. Warriors 4-0
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail-Blazers: Okay, let’s be honest, this one is also an easy prediction. The fact that the Blazers even made the playoffs in the tough Western Conference is already commendable and worth praises for coach Terry Stotts and the talented Damian Lillard. But with Griffin back, Crawford playing well, Reddick hitting threes and CP3 being CP3, they have no chance. Clippers 4-0.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks: Okay, let’s be honest part II: this one is also easy. The Mavericks have an OK team, but their best player is still Nowitzki and he can’t put them on his shoulders anymore. Unfortunately, even legends do age. I don’t think the Thunder is an amazing team, but they have two amazing players that when catch fire, you can’t hold down. And that should be enough to make them cruise in this series. Thunder 4-0.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Okay, let’s be honest part III: isn’t it amazing that in a Conference as competitive as the Western Conference, the first round is so unbalanced? Memphis was plagued by injuries the whole season and not even Tony Allen coming back will help them beat such a well-oiled machine like the Spurs. Plus, San Antonio is healthy and Gregg Popovich. Spurs 4-0.
All in all, as always I’m looking forward to have some fun until the finals are over, so this is just the beginning.
Christian Mistress – To Your Death
Panopticon – Road to the North
Mott the Hoople – The Hoople
Zac Brown Band – The Foundation
Joanne Shaw Taylor – White Sugar
Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”
You can contact me at: email@example.com
Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico
Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico