Friday, April 15, 2011

Thought It was about time for a new post - It's NBA Playoffs!

A little talk about the playoffs on facebook got me even more excited about the next two months... it's NBA Playoff time!

I'm bummed that my Clippers didn't show up for the first half of the season and blew any shot at the postseason, but there's always next year.

And hometown hero Stevie Nash just couldn't will his team to rise to the occasion and squeak in. It would've been nice to slip into that 8 seed, because I'm pretty sure we know how to beat the Spurs (see last years playoff series).

I'll just brag for a moment about how I snuck into first place in the last week of the season to win my NBA Fantasy League this year!! It was greeeat!

Anyways, this post is for a little Western Conference Rd 1 Playoff preview. So here we go:

This one should be a gimme as far as I'm concerned. I'm still not sure how the Grizz hung around all season and managed a playoff spot. Rudy Gay has played great ball this season (really, who from the 2010 summer U.S.A. basketball team hasn't played great this season?), and they've got a pair of pretty good bigs in Randolph and Gasol... but what else?

I've always been a Spurs hater, but it's been mostly because of their players. So while the likes of Ginobli and Parker are still around, at least the Horry is gone, and I've actually come to respect Duncan. And I've been a fan of some these new guys they've picked up. Not the most talented group, but this year's Spurs team palys together and has just the right mix of youth, energy, and experience. As much as I don't like saying it, there's a reason they've got the best record in the league.

My name is Michael and I'm a Laker Hater. I am not ashamed.

That being said, I don't see the Hornets beating the Lakers. At all. There's a chance they might not get swept. But without David West, the hornets don't have much. Trading for Landry helped their cause. He's a capable starter at the 4. But really, when you're starting 2 guard is named Belinelli, you  might as well just play with 4 players on the court. No offense Belinelli.

Chris Paul is probably the best point guard in the league, and he sure has his Laker counterpart (Fisher) outmatched. But it just takes more than that to win a 7 game series. Which stinks... since I hate the Lakers.

This one is my favorite match-up of the first round! To me at least, it seems like the Trail Blazers have been underrated all season. They have a handful of underrated players that, when healthy, make this team a lot deeper than people realize. LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-Star (even if he didn't make the All-Star team) and has been playing amazing ball since Brandon Roy started having knee troubles early this season. Wes Matthews was a steal from Utah (maybe not a steal - they are paying him pretty good - but no one expected him to play this well), Nicolas Batum has been solid, and Andre Miller is a solid veteran point guard. With the addition of crash - aka - Gerald Wallace, this is a deep team that could easily win this series.

That being said, The Mavericks have enough talent and experience that it wouldn't surprise me if they came out and won it in 5 games. I really like the addition of Chandler (evidently, so did he. Chandler played SO much better this season than last). He brings toughness and a defensive big man to the line-up that Dirk just doesn't. Losing Butler hurt their depth, but getting Rodrigue Beaubois healthy brought a larger than expected boost to the offense.

Officially, I'm picking the Portland in the upset, but I wouldn't be surprised if they can't beat the Mavs.

This one should be a really great series as well. A lot of youth and energy and loads of talent.

Following the Carmelo trade in february, Denver Nuggets GM Masai Ujuri said "We feel like we got killed in the trade... "  But did you Ujuri? Did you really? The Nuggets got almost the entire Knicks starting line-up in the exchange. All quality players. This is a team that lost it's superstar but now has the deepest team in the league. I was a Denver fan before, and I'm a bigger Denver fan now.

However... I have to pick OKC in this series. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and now Kendrick Perkins?! How can you pick against that in this series? With Perkins in the middle, the rest of the Thunder defense shouldn't have a problem covering Denver's outside shooters. And while the trading away of Green hurt their offense a little, Hardin has stepped up and hey... you've still got the leading scorer in the league.

This should just be a fun series to watch. I hope it goes to 7 games...