My Round 1 predictions for the NBA Playoffs were pretty much a total bust. The Dallas Mavericks simply didn’t have enough vigor to pull off even one victory over the OKC Thunder, and Derrick Rose’s injury unceremoniously ended the Chicago Bull’s hopes and dreams. The Knicks suffered crippling injuries of their own but managed to score one victory over the Heat, while the Los Angeles Clippers upset the mighty Memphis Grizzlies to make a historic trip into the Western Conference Semi-Finals. San Antonio cruised past Utah, while Denver took the L.A. Lakers to their absolute limit. When all was said and done, it turned out to be a thrilling first round after all. But now it’s on to Round 2, and a fresh new set of predictions!
Please feel free to comment with your own input and predictions–all opinions and insights are welcome!
(4) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers:
The luckiest team is basketball is the Philadelphia 76ers. They talked smack about the Chicago Bulls, and thanks to Derrick Rose’s calamitous season-ending injury, they actually managed to back it up. Their fairy-tale trip through the playoffs ends here, though. Barring any more surprise injuries, the 76ers are simply outmatched by the Celtics. Rondo and Garnett were amazing in Round 1, and I think the Celtics are a lock to roll into the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Dabid’s Prediction: (4) Boston Celtics defeat the (8) Philadelphia 76ers 4-1
(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) Indiana Pacers:
The Miami Heat are probably pretty overconfident going into this series, especially considering virtually every analyst (sans Charles Barkley) has discounted any possibility the Indiana Pacers have of advancing any further in the 2012 Playoffs. I want to believe in the Pacers, but with the relatively few TV appearances they’ve had this year, I haven’t seen enough of them to be convinced of their chances in this series. The Pacers have statistically played extremely well this year and been in the overall Top 5 in the NBA, but I don’t think they’re at a level yet where they can feasibly topple the Miami Heat.
Dabid’s Prediction: (2) Miami Heat defeat the (3) Indiana Pacers 4-2
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Los Angeles Clippers:
The San Antonio Spurs quietly and without much fanfare decimated the Utah Jazz and strolled into Round 2 of the playoffs. No one’s talking about them, the networks hate them, but the Spurs have nonchalantly won 14 games in a row entering Round 2. Lob City is a strong opponent, but with various injuries hindering the team, I don’t think they have what it takes to get past the overall top-seed remaining in the playoffs. The Spurs are the complete package, and while I think the Clippers may scrape by with one victory, I can’t imagine any more. Spurs will cruise into the Western Conference Finals, guaranteed.
Dabid’s Prediction: (1) San Antonio Spurs beat the (5) Los Angeles Clippers 4-1
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers:
To me, this is the most clear-cut match-up in Round 2 of the playoffs. The Lakers barely managed to escape the Denver Nuggets at all, whereas the Thunder decisively crushed the defending champions in Round 1. In the last game of the regular season between the Lakers and Thunder, World Peace had to attack James Harden and Kevin Durant’s game had to fall apart in the second half for the Lakers to (barely) win–in double overtime. Kobe Bryant may want a 6th ring, but the sporadic play of the Lakers isn’t going to get the job done here against the explosive Oklahoma City Thunder. A lot of people will challenge me on this, but I predict a quick and easy sweep for the Thunder.
Dabid’s Prediction: (2)Oklahoma City Thunder Sweep the (3) Los Angeles Lakers 4-0