Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Oh Warriors, Come Out And Play-yay..."

That they did, as Nellie and crew knock off the Trail Blazers and clinch a playoff spot for the first time in 13 seasons, kicking the Clippers out and finalizing the playoff picture. My track record regarding predictions is still crap, but that still won't stop me. Let's do this:

Western Conference:

Warriors (8) vs. Mavericks (1) -- the funny thing about this series is that the Warriors have just, well, owned the Mavs this year, going 3-0 on the season matchups. Playoffs are different though, and Dallas' bench is too deep. I'll call a six-game series, though.

Lakers (7) vs. Suns (2) - The Lakers had the Suns on the run last year in the Western Conference semis, but this Laker team is a little more disjointed than the last one, and while I think this one will be fun, and Kobe will have a 50 point game in the series (he's still my MVP choice, more on that later), this one belongs to Phoenix in six.

Nuggets (6) vs. Spurs (3) - The worst possible matchup for AI, Melo, and Co. The Spurs play any style and play ferocious defense. The Nuggets are best when running, and they don't play a lot of defense. It hurts to write this, but Spurs in five. I'll be happy to eat my words if the Nuggets knock them off.

Jazz (4) vs. Rockets (5) - Due to a quirk in the new playoff scheduling, the Rockets are a five seed with home court advantage (Jazz won their division; Rockets have the better record). Utah has the season series, but few of those games were with both Yao and McGrady both playing. Give me the Rockets in 7.

Eastern Conference:

Magic (8) vs. Pistons (1) - Thanks for showing up, Dwight. Hope you guys can make it a five game series.

Wizards (7) vs. Cavaliers (2) - Cavs make the most of winning on the last day to get the two seed, thus avoiding a first round matchup with Miami and getting a Wizards team that will be lucky to be competitive. Cavs fans, get your brooms out.

Nets (6) vs. Raptors (3) - Vince Carter goes back to where he whined his way out a few years ago. Nets knock the Bulls into the 5 spot and both Kidd and Carter are ON right now. They don't have anyone inside to defend, though, and Toronto will be able to line up Bosh and Bargnani. However, if Kidd and Carter are that on, it'll be tough for a team that hasn't had this nucleus in the playoffs before. Nets in seven.

Heat (4) vs. Bulls (5) - both 4-5 matchups have that home-court quirk, I guess. Unless Ben Wallace is the Ben Wallace of last year, I'm not sure how the Bulls get past Shaq in the middle, unless Wade is completely not in form. Heat in six.

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