It’s what I’ve been waiting for and looking forward to since last June–the 2012 NBA Playoffs! I’ve never put together NBA Playoffs predictions before, but I’ve followed the season pretty closely this year and watched a hell of a lot of games, so I’ll give my best analysis here, starting with the Eastern Conference Round 1.
Please feel free to comment with your own input and predictions–all opinions and insights are welcome!
(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers:
The Philadelphia 76ers have been a big disappointment to me the second half of this season. I was really enjoying reading about their success before the All-Star Break, even though they were rarely nationally-televised. Unfortunately, things fell apart and the 76ers had a truly awful latter half of the season. I think they’ll be able to muster some of their mojo and pick up a victory here in the first round, but Chicago will hardly break a sweat in this match-up. The Chicago Bulls have the deepest roster in the Eastern Conference, and the 76ers are just completely outmatched here.
Dabid’s Prediction: (1) Chicago Bulls defeat the (8) Philadelphia 76ers 4-1
(4) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks:
The Hawks have a better record and home-court advantage despite being the lower seed, but it’s not going to matter. The Boston Celtics have been a totally different team since the All-Star Break, and I don’t believe that the Hawks have the firepower to keep up with Boston’s Big Three and Rajon Rondo. I legitimately believe that the Celtics have a chance to win not only this match, but defeat the Bulls and Heat later on as well. I can’t say the same for the Hawks at all. Atlanta may avoid a sweep, but this series is Boston’s to win.
Dabid’s Prediction: (4) Boston Celtics defeat the (5) Atlanta Hawks 4-1
(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) New York Knicks:
My heart says to hope for a miracle and a New York Knicks victory, but my brain says that that’s not going to happen. The Knicks, with Jeremy Lin, may have had the slimmest chance in Hell of taking this series. But the Knicks don’t have Lin, and without him I don’t know that they have “enough” to seriously threaten the Heat. I expect tempers to flare in this series, and if Tyson Chandler doesn’t get at least one technical within the first two games I will be stunned. While I think the Knicks may win a couple games in this series when all of the stars align and JR Smith and Steve Novak have a couple hot nights, I just can’t see the Miami Heat falling here.
Dabid’s Prediction: (2) Miami Heat beat the (7) New York Knicks 4-2
(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Orlando Magic:
This match-up is the biggest joke in the Playoffs this year. I genuinely thought that the Charlotte Bobcats would avoid infamy by beating the Orlando Magic this week, and Orlando’s play has been so sporadic that the Bobcats nearly did so. The Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic would be hard-pressed to beat any quality team, and their beating a consistently-performing Indiana Pacers team is a near-impossibility. I think the much more interesting question here is how well a hot and likely well-rested Pacers team will do in Round 2 against a potentially worn-out Miami Heat.
Dabid’s Prediction: (3) Indiana Pacers Sweep the (6) Orlando Magic 4-0