THE NBA PLAYOFFS
1 Pacers vs 8 Hawks
It almost seems like this matchup has happened before.. Maybe it happened last year.. Overall this looks to be a fairly boring matchup in multiple respects, but there should be some good defensive play. Atlanta is a little better than their win/loss record would indicate, but they still are not a very good team. Indiana has been fairly bad as of late, but I think that the Pacers will start the playoffs by rolling over the Hawks. Some people have seen the Pacers swoon and thought that the Hawks have chance to make the series interesting, but I do not think that is the case. I could certainly see the Hawks taking one game, but beyond that possibility the series should never be in doubt, as opposed to what some experts think.. The Pacers should be able to dominate the paint, I fail to see how the Hawks will be able to stop them. I might be a little bit too much influence by going against the public perception of the Pacers right now.. If the Hawks had Al Horford then this series could go six or seven, but since they do not I think that Indiana will get out their brooms. Pacers in 4, despite being approximately the eighth best teamin the NBA
4 Bulls vs 5 Wizards
The Bulls may have the lowest PPG in the NBA, but they also have the best defense, in terms of PPG. The Wizards are a fairly interesting team, they lack quite a few things, but they make up for that with superior speed and decent play-making by Wall. The Bulls seem to have a somewhat high variance in that they tend to blow teams out or get blown out, which is especially odd considering how their games are in effect shortened by their style of play. Chicago has a very even distribution of points across their team. Noah has taken another step forward in his play this year. The Bulls are actually the slightly better team with the superior coach, but I'll take Washington. Wizards in 6.
3 Raptors vs 6 Nets
The Nets certainly have the advantage over the Raptors in terms of playoff experience. The Raptors actually have a fairly impressive starting lineup and bench, other than Salmons they are all fairly decent players to vaguely decent. Once again Tyler Hansbrough should be getting more playing time. The Nets lineup is rather ehh, although Plumlee is quite decent and should be getting a lot more playing time. This series has some excitement value, but it shouldn't be all that close in the end. Raptors in 5.
2 Heat vs 7 Bobcats
I am certain that the Heat were upset that they would be matched up with a team that just recently set the record for futility in the NBA. Then in the next round they either get a team that got bounced in the first round last season or a team that hadn't even made the playoffs since Bosh was on their team. The East is very weak. If a team like the Warriors or Timberwolves would be in the quarter of the bracket with the Pacers, then I would probably take that team to advance to the EC finals.
Anyways though, the Bobcats are a very bad team and in various aspects should not even be in the playoffs. The Heat, meanwhile, most definitely should be in the playoffs and should be in essence gifted with a first round bye. I think that the cleaning crew will be busy for the second time in the playoffs. Heat in 4.
1 Spurs vs 8 Mavericks
I really would have preferred that the Grizzlies would be facing the Spurs and the Mavericks would be facing the Thunder, but because of a bounce of the ball that is not what is happening. The Spurs are an extremely good team, as evidenced by there impressive record, but still I think that they're a somewhat vulnerable team. However, I don't think that the Mavs are a team that can exploit their weaknesses very well. The Mavs are a team that I don't really understand in that, in the games that I have watched they tend to launch a high portion of their shots in non-quality locations, and yet they are still a fairly decent team. I could see this series going in a couple different ways to the Spurs, but I'll go ahead and split the difference and take the Spurs in 5. This series could easily be a sweep, my mind was just blown by the Spurs players' Win Shares. I don't understand.. How can a team have only players (those who consistnently get minutes) that are pluses for their team? Wow.
4 Rockets vs 5 Trail Blazers
The Rockets may be in the second tier of teams, but due to my affinity to the team, the players, and the way and places that they shoot the ball, the Rockets will probably end up being my dark horse team to win the Finals. The Trail Blazers are a nice surprise, in some regards anyways, and should offer some challenging play to the Rockets. A healthy Patrick Beverly and Dwight Howard will be key for the Rockets. Rockets in 6.
3 Clippers vs 6 Warriors
The Clippers have the distinct advantage in this series because of the one-two punch of CP3 and Blake Griffin, however Iguodala and Steph Curry offer a serious challenge. The Clippers have a serious upgrade from last postseason in that they now have Doc Rivers as HC. I think that this series has quite a bit of potential variance, I could see Lob City in 4 or Warriors in 7. The Warriors are kind of an underrated team by mean, but my mind was just partially blown by how good the Clippers are. Consequently, I'll take the Clippers in 5.
2 Thunder vs 7 Grizzlies Two of my favorite teams are matched up here, which further increases my confusion as to what to do with this series. I don't like how either team is right now, but I could still see either team challenging for a title. KD nearly produced 20 wins for the Thunder according to Win Shares, wow. And his PER was an unreal 29.8.
Whether I look at the conventional stats, the unconventional stats, the advanced stats, the basic stats, the eye test, the ear test, just about any test really, Tayshaun Prince does not seem to pass any of them. Like seriously, every single stat and almost all the times that I have watched the Grizzlies and him play, they seem to be against him. And yet Prince starts and provides a black hole on offense and mediocre to poor defenses of shots. I don't understand.
If Westbrook would be healthy (unless that would change the way he plays the game..) and Prince would be out of the lineup for the Grizzlies, then I would actually peg the Grizzlies as the favorites, but since neither of those are the case I still like the Thunder to win the series. If KD would be on the Grizzlies, then I would pick Memphis to win the NBA Championship.. But again that isn't the case.. Also, why does Westbrook jack an average of 5.5 threes per game? That is efficient basketball at its relative worst.
Perkins played 1200+ minutes for the Thunder this season. That happens to be 1200+ minutes too many. He has the same problem as Prince, he fails every single test, other than the have hands that cannot catch passes test which he passes with flying colors. Thunder in 5.
A lack of upsets in the first round once again. But I think that things will change in the second round.
At this point I needed to get to doing other things, so I didn't go into too much detail for these series.
1 Pacers vs 5 Wizards
Pacers in 5.
2 Heat vs 3 Raptors
The Raptors are a surprisingly young team. Heat in 5.
1 Spurs vs 4 Rockets
Finally a completely legitimate upset. Rockets in 6.
2 Thunder 3 Clippers
Redick is the difference in this series, Clippers in 6. Someday the Thunder may learn that playing bad players tends to hurt your chances of winning... It isn't all rocket science people.
I gave a little thought to getting cute and picking an upset in the second round for the Pacers' and Heat' games, but I didn't get very close to pulling the theoretical trigger.
The matchup that has seemed to be inevitable all season indeed does come to fruition and
home court advantage proves to be the deciding factor in it. The Heat are the better team, kind of by far, but I again decided to pull the upset. Pacers in 7.
3 Clippers vs 4 Rockets
I think that there is a bit of rock-paper-scissors to the NBA in that if the Rockets were to play the Thunder instead of the Clippers, then they would most likely lose in 5, but against the Clippers they have a legitimate chance to win the series.
This was another tough series to pull, but I ended up with Rockets in 6.
1 Pacers vs 4 Rockets
I would be a bit bored with something conventional like Heat vs Clippers or Heat vs Spurs, so that is part of the reason why I ended up with this series. That and also I think that it has approximately an 9% chance of happening, which isn't great, but there are a lot of different possibilities for championship series and I would put it in the top 5 most likely. Thankfully the NBA Finals home court format has finally been changed to the decent format that it should be. Although in this case that change actually favors the Pacers, in my humble opinion. Rockets in 6.