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Brown Mamba’s 2011 NBA Playoff Predictions

Ok — it’s my favorite time of the sports year, the NBA Playoffs. And there is no greater armchair sport than making NBA postseason predictions. Football fans call their wives “weekend widows”. During the NBA playoffs, my wife turns into a “May/June widow”. So without further introduction, let’s get started…

FIRST ROUND

Eastern Conference

#1 Chicago Bulls vs. #8 Indiana Pacers
Derrick Rose and company enter the NBA playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, going an amazing 21-2 to end the regular season. The Pacers, on the other hand, stumble into the playoffs having lost 2 in a row including a heartbreaker vs. the Knicks. Not much to see here, expect more of the same from D-Rose and Thibs. Pacers get one game just because the jury isn’t convinced yet the Bulls will have the killer instinct to sweep this team. Prediction: Bulls in 5

#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 Philadelphia 76ers
There’s a lot of buzz right now about how the 76ers, who are playing their best basketball of the season right now, are the team that “nobody wants to play” in the East. I call b.s.. Trust me, the Heat are thrilled to not have to take on Melo and the Knicks. Kudos to Doug Collins for getting as much as possible out of a team with Andre Iguodala and not much else, but the ride is over. Expect Lebron & Co. to sweep this series and make a statement that the Heat are ready for the postseason. Prediction: Heat in 4

#3 Boston Celtics vs. #6 New York Knicks
The 1st round match-up with the most star power: the Big 3, Melo, Amare,Celtics vs. Knicks battleSpike, historic franchises – what’s not to like? I expect Melo to shine in this series and show the NBA why the Knicks gave up the farm to get him. Still, 1 doesn’t overcome 3, and Boston gets by in a hard fought series (that will have consequences for them down the road) Prediction: Celtics in 6

#4 Orlando Magic vs. #5 Atlanta Hawks
Otherwise known as the “Battle of Two Teams Whose Windows are Nearly Shut” series. Both of these teams suffer from the affliction of the early 2000s Trail Blazers/Kings and current day Mavs – having enough talent to deceive yourself into thinking you’re actually relevant, when you never really were (and consequently, never having high enough draft picks to facilitate a legitimate rebuilding effort). This will be a battle between two relatively evenly matched teams — expect the Magic to pull it out purely on the basis of homecourt advantage and a slight edge in playoff experience. Prediction: Magic in 7.

Western Conference

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #8 Memphis Grizzlies
Have things ever looked worse for a #1 seed with 61 wins? On top of some questionable end of season rotations by Pop, the aging Spurs go into their first round match-up with their most valuable player banged up, and having to face a formidable opponent in the Memphis Grizzlies. Still, this Memphis team has yet to prove it has been able to do anything in it’s franchise playoff history, so Spurs fan doesn’t need to worry just yet. They’ll get more of a series than they bargained for, but manage to live for another day (though perhaps, not for long). Prediction: Spurs in 6.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #7 New Orleans Hornets
What you love about Kobe — he may have missed every shot leading into the final minutes of the final regular season game vs. the Kings, but that didn’t stop him from essentially jacking up a three at the end to save what has become a tattered Lakers season. As a #3 seed, things would have looked grim for the Lakers – as a #2 seed, they actually look quite ideal. The Hornets should be a much easier tuneup than the Thunder last year for the Lake Show — expect them to give up one game because, well, they’re the Lakers. Prediction: Lakers in 5.

#3 Dallas Mavericks vs. #6 Portland Trail Blazers
This year’s trendy “upset special” is the 3-6 matchup in the West. Folks have been jumping on the bandwagon of a Trail Blazers team jumpstarted by the emergence of LaMarcus Aldridge and the addition of Gerald Wallace. This should be a close series. (if for nothing else then, do the Mavs ever make ANY playoff series easy for themselves?) That being said, don’t underestimate homecourt in a series like this, and the Mavs have it. Prediction: Mavericks in 7.

#4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #5 Denver Nuggets
This is perhaps the most anticipated matchup in the first round. Two up-and-coming teams who are bringing it hard and have young talent to spare. Frankly,I just don’t see how the Nuggets pull this one out. Oklahoma City, as the Lakers’ found out last year, may have the most daunting playoff homecourt in

the field, and as we know defense win championships. With Perkins, Ibaka, and Sefalosha playing, the Thunder have a better defense than they’ve ever had. The Nuggets will make this a fight, but the talent disparity will win out in the end. Prediction: Thunder in 6.

CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

#1 Chicago Bulls vs. #4 Orlando Magic
Before the Bulls look forward to a match-up vs. the Heat or the Celtics, they cannot overlook a veteran Magic team that has been there before. Nelson, Turkoglu, and Howard are going to present match-up problems that will require all of Rose’s skills to overcome. All this said, the Bulls pull out this series solely because one team is headed in the right direction, and one team is not. Mr. Momentum will carry the Bulls through. Meanwhile, Magic fans brace themselves for perhaps a final 12 months with Superman. Prediction: Bulls in 7.

#2 Miami Heat vs. #3 Boston Celtics
The ultimate grudge match, and my personal favorite of all pre-Final matchups we could possibly see. The individual skills of Lebron and D-Wade vs. the team-oriented philosophy of Doc Rivers‘ Celtics. With Kendrick Perkins and a Celtics team with more swag, I probably lean towards the Green men. Without Perk, the Celtics seem like mortals, and the Heat seem ready to finally put the old men to bed. The final nail in the coffin will be the Celtics not being able to rely on homecourt to push their tiring bodies through what will be an epic Game 7. Prediction: Heat in 7.

# 1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #4 Oklahoma City Thunder
Don’t look now, but the kids have arrived at the party. Perkins brings all of the things the Thunder lacked last year: rebounding, defense, and most importantly, swag. That swag has rubbed off on his teammates and has the entire Thunder team acting like they’ve been there before. The Spurs, on the other hand, feel like a team that may have peaked to early and don’t enough gas in the tank for a long playoff run. Oklahoma City comes of age in this series while Durant continues to evolve into a tier 1 NBA talent. Prediction: Thunder in 6.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #3  Dallas Mavericks
Yawn. The Mavericks fall into the same category as the Jazz (and many other Western Conference teams in the last decade). Good, but not good enough teams designed to be Laker fodder in the conference semifinals. No difference this year. Move on, nothing to see here. Prediction: Lakers in 5.

CONFERENCE FINALS

#1 Chicago Bulls vs. #2 Miami Heat
America’s MVP vs. The Stat Geek’s MVP. Good vs. Evil. Wind vs. Sun. Position this however you will – but this promises to be a great matchup. At the end of the day, two factors will rule: (1) the Bulls overachieved a bit during theDerrick Rose vs. Dwayne Waderegular season and are not quite as good as they seem and (2) the Heat have a huge chip on their shoulder from everyone telling them what they couldn’t do during the regular season (and by the way, finished the season on a 50-17 tear). Rose will be clutch and prove why he deserves the accolades he’s been getting this year, but in the end, the talent of Lebron and Wade will prevail. Rest easy Bulls nation, your team is ahead of schedule and will be back in this position soon. Prediction: Heat in 6.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #4 Oklahoma City Thunder
This is the appropriate match-up for the Western Conference Finals, because in my mind, these are the two best teams in the Western Conference. The Thunder will give the Lakers as many fits as they gave them last year and Perkins will make a huge difference down low, but in the end, a healthy Kobe and Bynum will push the Lakers over the top. This series will also be the beginning of the discussion around whether Durant and Westbrook can proceed another level from top notch all-stars to potential NBA legends (a vast leap, and one still much in doubt for both of these players) and therefore make the Thunder true championship contenders.  Prediction: Lakers in 6

Which bring us to…

THE FINALS
If ever there was a basketball equivalent to Armageddon, this is it. The longawaited Kobe vs. Lebron match-up is here on the greatest stage in basketball. Both of them are in, or close to their prime, and both of them have comparable situations (Kobe has a slight team edge in talent, but Lebron has homecourt). This matchup, this year, will decide many questions for years past, and perhaps, years to come. There will be incredible subtexts to this series as well. Can Kobe match MJ with 6 rings, and if so, what is

Kobe and Lebron - 2011 NBA Playoff Predictionshis legacy? How does Phil Jackson go out in his final year as an NBA head coach? Is Lebron destined for greatness, or just the greatest that can’t seem to close the deal? This series is a coin flip. The deciding factors? The Lakers’ length and the ability of Ron Artest to keep Lebron to just being merely great (and not legendary). If it goes 7, I think the Heat win it, but I don’t think it will. Prediction: Lakers in 6.

The NBA championship will once again roll through the crime-filled, bonfire starting, van tipping region of the beautiful LA downtown (otherwise known as the new old Pasadena for you LA natives). Kobe can now buckle down on his ultimate career quest: one upping MJ in titles.

Related posts:

  1. The Race for Home Court: Handicapping the 2011 NBA Contenders
  2. The Forgotten King: 6 Reasons Why Lebron is the 2011 NBA MVP

Discussion

32 Responses to “Brown Mamba’s 2011 NBA Playoff Predictions”

  1. I don’t see it. If the Heat and Lakers meet, the I don’t see the Lakers getting more than a split on the road. Then, I don’t see the Heat dropping 3 in a row in LA. That mean under the 2-3-2 format, LA would have to win at Miami to clinch the series.

    Not happening.

    Posted by theheatison | April 15, 2011, 4:01 pm
    • Theheatison — I agree this is a likely scenario and I’m actually not that concerned about the Lakers winning on the road in Miami. The Miami crowd isn’t Boston (or even Chicago), they have been kind of apathetic the whole season and I can definitely see the Lakers taking one of the last 2 games here (if it came down to that).

      Posted by Brown Mamba | April 17, 2011, 7:39 pm
      • Hi im an NBA fan from overseas. Have you been to American Airlines Arena? I was visiting during the season that Wade and Shaq won. What i can surmise is, when Pat Riley made that lineup, in my eyes, he might became a mafia godfather. Now he’s done it again, and i feel the same aura of a championship again. just sayin (i was honestly looking forward to a “wade-beasly” combo last year before all this began). Pat Riley builds championship teams as well as phil jackson “coaches” teams to titles. This should be an interesting finals if LA meets MIA. Riley’s roster assembly skills vs Phil, i think pat launched a nuke in the NBA scene, you guys from the US are still in schock over it…

        Posted by Strongisn'tWrong | April 23, 2011, 2:42 am
    • Those who knock the Heat crowd haven’t been to a Miami playoff game. Our fans and our building is as loud as any other, and the team goes all out to bring the fans to the highest level in the playoffs. White Hot is annoying to other teams, its hard to focus when you have everyone wearing white, waving white towels. Plus in recent years Miami has played very well at home in the playoffs. They have been one of the best home teams in the playoffs for a long long time. Miami teams for all that the fans are ragged on(often for good reason) do very well at home in the playoffs. Look at how well the Marlins have played at home in their 2 playoff runs. Look at 2 years ago how Miami took an Atlanta team it had no right to be in the same series with to 7 games because of home court. Home court helped boost Miami to its only NBA title. There is no way Miami makes that huge comeback in game 3 on the road. Miami became either the first or second team to win all 3 home games in the 2-3-2 format. Its going to be very tough to beat Miami at home this year and they are a pretty decent road team. Most of Miami’s big wins this year have come at home.

      Posted by Nightbladehunter | April 20, 2011, 11:23 pm
  2. THEHEATISON…
    The finals are under a 2-2-1-1-1 format. Therefore, lakers would win one in Miami, and 3 at home. Definitely possible!

    Posted by Raajn Patel | April 15, 2011, 7:00 pm
    • Raajn — the Finals format is actually 2-3-2 (all other series 2-2-1-1-1). This has historically made it tough on the road team since it is difficult to win 3 games in a row in any finals.

      Posted by theheatison | April 15, 2011, 10:55 pm
  3. Prediction, If the Knicks get by the Celtics they will go to the finals.

    Posted by Bob | April 15, 2011, 8:15 pm
    • Bob — thanks for the comment. I love your optimism, but I just don’t think the Knicks play the D required to be a serious contender for the ring this year.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | April 15, 2011, 10:56 pm
  4. I’m sorry, that 50-17 terror you mention is negated by the Bulls going 21-2 after the All-Star break and playing better as the season keeps going. Not to mention a full roster 1-12 of a team that plays together and gathers the most rebounds and plays the best defense in the league. Every championship since the Lakers lost to the Pistons in 2004 have been defined by the team that played the best defense and had the most depth and best team play. By those measures, the Bulls are the favorites with the Lakers having the punchers chance. The Heat style of run and gun, no half-court offense, lack of depth, and team play will give them nothing this year and possibly not even the coming years. Starts don’t make a team. Good coaching, unselfish, high defensive intensity, and team play win championships. Count the Heat out and every single one of those accounts.

    Posted by Levi | April 15, 2011, 10:03 pm
    • Levi — thanks for the comment. Couple of things here:

      1. I think the Bulls played to the best of their abilities in the regular season. I can’t see them playing any better and think they have peaked.

      2. The Bulls are a great defensive team no doubt, but I wouldn’t underestimate the Heat defense. Lebron and Wade have both become elite defenders.

      3. The Pistons team in 2004 had one of the great defenses of all-time. They had tremendous frontcourt length in Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince as well as underrated defensive guards in Hamilton and Billups. Additionally, that team had incredibly quick rotations. While the Bulls have had a good defensive year, I don’t think they compare to the 2004 Pistons.

      4. It’s a good point that you need a half court offense to win in the playoffs and the Heat don’t have much in this area. That said, their talent at the top far outmatches the Bulls and I believe this will be another difference in this series.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | April 15, 2011, 11:03 pm
  5. Once again, you give short shrift to the Bulls, and show your obvious bias toward LeBron.

    On the Bulls-Magic series – it will be over in 6 games max, possibly 5. The Bulls lost once badly to the Magic on Dec 1, then handled them easily the remaining 3 times they faced off. The Bulls front line of Noah-Boozer-Asik-Gibson-Thomas gives them 30 potential fouls against Dwight Howard, with Asik and Thomas in particular able to contribute solid backup minutes. Hack-a-Howard, get him angry and committing technicals, and the Bulls win the series easily. Howard shoots less than 60% on FTs both this season and his career – and you know Noah will be counting 10 seconds to the refs every time he’s at the line.

    And did you seriously write that Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu present matchup problems for the Bulls? :-) Derrick Rose and Luol Deng will easily overcome these two. In 4 games against the Bulls (34 min per), Hedo is averaging 6.5 points on 22.5% FG and 10% 3PT. Hardly a juggernaut. And Nelson averaged 13.8 pts, 6.8 ast, and 3 TO against the Bulls – which is less than one point and one assist over his total season average. Speaking of average, Howard averaged 24 points, 12 boards, and 3 blocks against the Bulls, completely in line with his season average.

    When you factor in the preparation of Tom Thibodeau versus Stan Van Gundy, it’s hard to imagine the Magic doing much better in a 7-game series than they did in the four games against the Bulls in the regular season (1-3).

    As for the Heat, they are the team that worries me the most in the NBA. But to imply that the Bulls have ‘peaked’ already is short-sighted. They have seven new players and a new head coach, and they’ve only been learning to play together so far. Furthermore, they haven’t been at full strength all season, until the very end – which happened to coincide with their best play during the season. If Noah and Brewer can heal up from their dings, especially if the Bulls can close out the Pacers and Magic relatively quickly (which the Heat and Celtics battle) – it’s equally as likely that the Bulls can become BETTER in the playoffs than they were in the regular season.

    There are two important statistics that you don’t even mention in your analysis. What are the two most important parts of the game in the playoffs? Defense and rebounding!

    The Bulls were #1 in both defense and rebounding during the regular season. The Bulls led the NBA in opponents FG% during the regular season (43.0%), albeit with Miami, Boston, Orlando, and the Lakers close behind (43.4 – 43.7%).

    The Bulls were far and away the best in rebound differential this year (+5.8/game), followed by Orlando (+3.5) and Miami (+2.9).

    Miami and Orlando do present the biggest challenges to the Bulls, but the Bulls combined to go 6-1 against them in the regular season. The Bulls depth counteracts Miami’s top 3, and Thibodeau is by your own admission (in previous posts) a much better coach than Spoelstra. And Dwight Howard has been nothing more than average against the Bulls. In fact, when he scored over 40 against them, the Bulls still won, because the rest of the Magic weren’t involved.

    Defense and rebounding win championships. And the Bulls could very well have their best ball ahead of them, rather than having peaked already, as you seem to think.

    Posted by Whatever | April 16, 2011, 6:49 am
    • Whatever…I’ve read your comments on this blog and you make excellent arguments, especially in the Lebron article. And once again you’re right about the Bulls dominance in the season series against those teams.

      But the bottom line is that everyone is 0-0 now and history shows that not just in this league but pretty much every sport that having the best regular season is not necessarily conducive to a deep playoff run. The Bulls depth and commitment to defense certainly gives them as a good of a chance as anyone. But they’re also extremely young and relatively inexperienced in the postseason. I also think their lack of star power outside of Rose is also a cause of concern. Having great players that can step up during crunch time is of utmost importance in the post season.

      I will say that the fact that the Bulls are just now getting all their pieces back is probably the best argument of all given the fact that they still continued to play at a high level despite all the injuries. But ultimately I think the Bulls will also lose to the Heat. I think the Heat have been through a lot this year. They’ll play with a chip on their shoulder and will elevate their game. Regular season #s may favor the Bulls but I’m just going with my gut here.

      Posted by Milhouse | April 16, 2011, 9:09 am
      • There’s one ‘argument’ that people make against the Bulls that I just don’t understand: their inexperience in the playoffs.

        Every non-rookie member of the Bulls has playoff experience except for CJ Watson. Their starting 5 have a combined 107 games of experience. Their bench 5 (Watson-Brewer-Korver-Gibson-Asik) have 62 games of experience, primarily because Watson has none, Asik is a rookie, and Gibson a 2nd-year player. And Kurt Thomas has 89 games of playoff experience himself.

        If one wants to make the argument that they don’t have this experience *together*, well, the same argument could be made about the Heat, then, and several other teams. And looking at the Heat’s roster, outside of LeBron and Wade, who really has any meaningful experience among them? Chris Bosh has less playoff experience than Rose or Noah, and Bibby and Dampier only have so much experience because they’re old as dirt (12 and 14 years in the NBA respectively).

        Furthermore, compare the playoff experience of the head coaches. Spoelstra has been to the playoffs twice, and has lost in the first round twice. He was an assistant on the Heat’s NBA Championship team. It’s Thibodeau’s first trip to the playoffs as a head coach, but he has been an assistant on 3 Finals teams, including one Champion, so that’s essentially a push.

        The only teams in the playoffs that have true “experience” that matters, meaning experience of all the main players together, are probably Boston and the LA Lakers.

        To be honest, looking at Miami’s roster for playoff experience, I’m surprised at how old they are. It’s the Big 3 & AARP!

        Posted by Whatever | April 16, 2011, 10:42 am
        • “outside of LeBron and Wade,”

          That’s the thing. I think you only need a couple guys who’ve been there to bring the younger guys along. And these two are obviously the focal point of the team.

          And watching the Bulls game up to this point is pretty much exactly what I was talking about. It’s a new season and what happened in the regular season doesn’t mean shit. The Pacers came to play and have punched the Bulls in the mouth. The Bulls may win this game but as of now (3:26 in 3rd) they look flustered, forcing shots, sloppy on defense and having a hard time with Indiana’s bigs.

          Posted by Milhouse | April 16, 2011, 11:52 am
          • Bulls win! Looks like the Bulls’ playoff experience prevailed over the Pacers! ;-)

            In writing that “the Bulls game up to this point is pretty much exactly what I was talking about”, you’re actually contradicting yourself, in that the Pacers are actually a vastly inexperienced playoff team compared to the Bulls.

            The Bulls aren’t rookies. Many of them have gone deep in the playoffs, and even the young guys have great experience – Luol beating the defending champs in 2007 (Heat ’06), and Rose and Noah’s experience in the great series against Boston two years ago, and all three of them last year against LeBron.

            And that’s probably one reason why Thibs kept playing them down the stretch, in order to get the best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs – to help get them acclimated to a playoff atmosphere as a unit.

            Posted by Whatever | April 16, 2011, 1:17 pm
        • Whatever, when I said “the Bulls game up to this point is pretty much exactly what I was talking about” I was referring to:

          “But the bottom line is that everyone is 0-0 now and history shows that not just in this league but pretty much every sport that having the best regular season is not necessarily conducive to a deep playoff run.”

          and

          “I also think their lack of star power outside of Rose is also a cause of concern. Having great players that can step up during crunch time is of utmost importance in the post season.”

          The experience comment was more for the teams they’ll be up against after the first round where the teams overall talent level will be closer and things like experience may make a difference.

          In any case it was a fun game to watch and looks like it will be a competitive series. Good wakeup call for the Bulls

          Posted by Milhouse | April 16, 2011, 8:17 pm
          • Guys — good discussion here. Whatever — I tend to side with Milhouse here, not because I’m a Lebron fan (as you claim — which couldn’t be further from the truth — I really hope the Heat don’t make it through), but simply because i think yesterday was evidence of what the Bulls are. Rose had to have a ridiculous game for the Bulls to squeak by the Pacers at home. Boozer, was no where to be found (a often reoccurrence from his Jazz days). I don’t believe Rose can do this for 3 straight series (but he’s good enough where anything is possible).

            The Heat on the other hand, if you watched yesterday’s game, had relatively subpar games from Lebron and Wade and still toyed with the 76ers. (sure the 76ers made a comeback, but was the outcome of that game ever really in doubt?)

            I believe the Heat can win on their off days, less sure about the Bulls.

            Posted by Brown Mamba | April 17, 2011, 9:16 am
          • Indiana got lucky, plain and simple.

            The Pacers were one of the worst jump-shooting teams in the Association this year – yet they hit 50% of their jump-shots from 16+ feet (16-23 & 3-pointers). Maybe the Bulls need to close out better, but in general they did exactly what they wanted to: force Indiana to take jumpers.

            http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=310416004

            The Bulls owned the boards (49-34) and owned the paint (44-32). Unless Indiana can continue shooting lights-out from the perimeter this will be a sweep, and game 1 could likely be the most competitive of the series.

            Boozer going MIA is slightly worrisome, but I’m not certain what ‘reoccurrence’ you’re writing of from a guy who has averaged 20.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 50% shooting in 45 playoff games during his career. In any case, the Bulls have both Taj Gibson and Kurt Thomas ready to step in at their deepest position, if Boozer continues to be ineffective.

            Meanwhile, I don’t see LeBron (21/14/5) and Wade (17/7/5) as having had subpar games. Sure, LeBron only shot 4/14, but he was 13/14 from the line, meaning his shots were highly contested. And if LeBron and Wade shoot more, it’ll only take away shots from Bosh (25/12, 8-17 and 9-11), because it was the entire team that was subpar outside of these three. Ilgauskus, Bibby, and Jones will be highly overmatched in future series, the rest of the bench is warm garbage, and if Wade or Bosh can be taken out of their game (which is quite easy in Bosh’s case), Miami has more holes than swiss cheese.

            Meanwhile, you also saw the effects of coaching – a solid coach like Doug Collins having his team prepared for battle, and deer-in-the-headlights Spoelstra relying on his players physical gifts. The Sixers should be able to steal a game or two in this series based on Doug Collins, let alone if Wade’s migraines continue.

            Posted by Whatever | April 18, 2011, 4:21 am
  6. Two corrections to Brown Mamba’s first draft: :-)

    1. Portland over Dallas in Round 1 (with the Lakers over Portland in Round 2). The Mavs are.not being given any chance to get past Round 2, but they are under pressure to win Round 1, and if there’s one thing we know about Dallas in the playoffs, it’s that they don’t respond well to pressure. The Blazers are more physical and will play loose and care-free since they’ve got house money. Looks like an upset to me.

    2. San Antonio over Oklahoma City in Round 2 (with the Lakers over San Antonio in the West Finals). This is a series that, on paper, the Thunder should win, but I have a feeling that the Spurs’ superior experience and playoff savvy will make the difference down the stretch in one or two games to swing what will probably be a 7-game series.

    Posted by E-Dog | April 16, 2011, 12:58 pm
    • I agree 100% with E-DOG’s comment.

      Posted by WORD | April 16, 2011, 11:17 pm
      • E and Word — you may have wanted to wait until yesterday was over before making prediction #1 :) I’m just now seeing from the Blazers. Roy isn’t the Roy of 2 years ago. Aldridge still doesn’t play much D. And I don’t think Dallas feels as much pressure as they used to when they were a 1 or 2 seed.

        Re: the Spurs — you could be right on this one. Still, I think the addition of Perk to shut down the low post game of the Spurs puts the Thunder over the top.

        Posted by Brown Mamba | April 17, 2011, 9:11 am
  7. Why are you all sleeping on the Grizzlies?

    Posted by Gil Meriken | April 16, 2011, 11:10 pm
  8. I think I am just going to go with the good ole’ “Anyone but the Lakers” pick again this season. This isn’t to say that they don’t deserve it, just that I don’t like them…

    Add to that my team is an annual basement dweller… =(

    Posted by drubacca117 | April 17, 2011, 8:44 pm
  9. since when did artest shut down lebron james, if anything the one guy who artest cannot guard has been lebron james, and d wade is gonna destroy kobe, hes a liability on defense, hayword on the jazz lit kobe up, montae ellis in the 2nd half figured out it to drive on kobe and lit him up, thorton on the kings lit him up,imagine what wade will do, and kobe is all that efficient, I have the thunder or lakers going to the finals, trust me , kobe has been owned by LBJ thru out the playoffs and he will be owned in the finals, lets not act like La is the boston garden of old, ya did see the jazz win on their homecourt, and most recently the hornets win on their floor, brown mamba has some sort of inner love for all things kobe ,and is damagining the credibility of a a non biased informative site.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 18, 2011, 3:46 pm
  10. correction I meant to say kobe is NOT all that efficient and its fact his numbers tend to go down and he gets LESS efficient in the finals, his lack of efficiency and his ineffective defense, along with artest being unable to stop james, will be the lakers downfall, assuming they even get past the thunder , who have a point guard that kobe cant sag off and let shoot (westbrook has a jumper now) and perkins is their to negate bynum (they had collison and kristic last year) if artest gets lit up by durant like he did in LA, Im gonna say thunder in 5 or 6.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 18, 2011, 3:49 pm
  11. so you think lebron would get slowed down ,and kobe will still be able play his game with dwayne wade on him or that gasol wont be effected by an all star like bosh and do what he normally does.I thinks not, in fact the heat are a BAD matchup for the lakers, they are better off against the bulls or boston without perk , trust me the heat or thunder (another bad matchup) the lakers want no part of either of them.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 19, 2011, 3:20 pm
  12. Good call on the Lakers.

    You sure know your stuff sir.

    Posted by Dustin Hoffman | May 13, 2011, 6:16 pm

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