Okay so I know I’m a little late checking in seeing as the second round is already under way, but like I said it was my birthday weekend so fuck off. Before I get into my prediction for how the rest of the playoffs will play out, we’ll take a quick look back at the first round. Didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but didn’t completely fuck up. I thought the Bucks would be able to come away with a W in at least 1 game in Milwaukee, but they didn’t, so instead of Heat in 5 it was Heat in 4. Nailed the Celtics/Knicks series with Knicks in 6. Didn’t expect the Hawks to win more than a game against the Pacers, but they ended up winning 2, so instead of Pacers in 5 it was Pacers in 6. Took the Nets in 7 for some reason, even though I knew the Bulls were as tough as a team as they come and that’s what the playoffs is all about, must have been high when I chose the Nets. But it was a hell of a series. Overall did pretty well with the East. But then we come to the West. I said Thunder in 5, but that was before the irreplaceable Westbrook went down for the playoffs. Took them an extra game without their point guard, as they took the series in 6. Thought the Lakers with Dwight Howard and company would be able to win at least 1 game vs. the Spurs, but they just flat out didn’t show up for the playoffs. Instead of Spurs in 6, the Spurs swept in 4. Didn’t have the heart to pick against my Nuggets despite admitted the fact that I was very scared of the series because of Steph Curry and the Nuggets inability to defend the 3. And that’s exactly where the Warriors were able to expose us. Curry fucking went off, he is flat out unguardable right now. So instead of Nuggets in 7, it was Warriors in 6. Didn’t see the Nuggets losing a game at home, and if they had won game 2, or game 6 on the road for that matter, I can guarantee that they would have took game 7 at home, but that basically means nothing because neither of those things did happen. Hell of a year for the Nuggets though, we have a bright future moving forward. Hats off to the Warriors who are arguably the scariest team in the playoffs right now because of some guy who goes by the name of Steph Curry. Finally, I took the Clippers in 7, again going against the conventional wisdom that tough, defensive minded teams succeed in the playoffs more often than not. Don’t know what I was thinking going against the Bulls and the Grizzlies, but whatever. Hindsight’s 20/20. Clippers didn’t really show up in this series after game 2, but credit Memphis for figuring out how to beat them and proceeding to follow through with that game plan. So like I said, didn’t do as well as I had hoped in the first round, but it could have been a lot worse. On to the second round.

Heat vs. Bulls

This is going to be one hell of a series. The Heat have only lost 3 games since February 3, an unbelievable span that has included 41 wins in 44 games. However, 2 of those 3 losses were to the team they currently find themselves down 1-0 to, despite opening the series at home, the Chicago Bulls. A few months ago I said that there were only a few teams that could beat the Heat in the playoffs, and the Bulls were on that short list. The only way to beat them is with superior physicality and slowing down the Heats transition game. The Bulls have shown multiple times that they are capable of that. Only problem is that the entire Bulls roster is dead. They are more banged up than any team in recent memory that has made it past the first round. Derrick Rose needs to get past his stupid little “mental block” and get back on the fucking court, because he would be that extra offensive punch that would allow the Bulls to outscore the Heat in 4 games. Otherwise, I don’t think they will be able to win the series, because as good as their defense is, their offense is pretty fucking terrible on some nights. If the Bulls can pull of yet another win on the road tonight, and go back to Chicago up 2-0, then I think they will take this series in 7. But, with how banged up they are, I don’t really see that happening, as much as I would like to. The Heat will even this series up tonight, the Bulls won’t go quietly in the series, but they are just too hurt and have been missing their best player since day 1 of the season. Heat in 7. (again, if D-Rose makes his return, which no one knows what the fuck is going on with that, then it will be a different story and I’ll check back in)

Knicks vs. Pacers

This series has played out pretty much how I figured it would in the first two games. This is going to be another back and forth series. The Pacers are quite capable of beating any team in the NBA on any night, but then they have games like last night where they are just fucking brutal offensively, much like the Bulls. And they aren’t going to win against anyone left in the playoffs when they have those nights. This series is pretty much guaranteed to go 7 games. Only thing is, I don’t know who to take. Despite the Knicks being a New York team, which I always fucking hate, they have two of my favorite players in the game in Melo and JR Smith. But I also love the Pacers physical style of play and how they’ve basically come out of no where over the course of a year and a half. I’m going to have to go with that conventional wisdom that I ignored in the first round and take the physical, defensive team to win. Pacers in 7.

Thunder vs. Grizzlies

Its so sad to see the Thunder playing without Westbrook. It completely changes the entire dynamic of that team. Instead of Durant, AKA the best scorer on the planet, being off the ball and being able to run off screens and binge open for shots when Westbrook drives, he is the one who is handling the ball most of the time. That makes him a lot easier to defend because you can double him, and he doesn’t have any other all stars to give it up to anymore. With Westbrook, the Thunder are arguably the best team in the league. Without him, they aren’t close to that. They have come out and stated that Westbrook won’t return this postseason, but who really knows what’s going to happen. Crazier things have happened. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will be able to win this series without him. The Grizzlies are one of those few defensive minded, physical teams in the league. Mike Conley just had a monster game that I think will be a break out game for him for the rest of the playoffs. And they have a knack of knocking off higher seeded teams over the last few years. If the Thunder can force a game 7, I think they would be able to win at home in front of that crowd on the back of Kevin Durant, but I don’t even see this series going 7 games. Grizzlies in 6.

Spurs vs. Warriors

What a fucking game 1 this series gave us. Not sure if that was an epic collapse for the Warriors, or just an incredible comeback from a veteran team, or both, but that was one of the best games I have seen in a long, long time. Like I said before, Steph Curry is unguardable at this point, and he is liable to go off for 20+ in just a quarter, let alone a half or a game. Mark Jackson is a great coach. The Warriors have a bright future and I really like their style of play. But the Spurs showed in game 1 that they can take the Warriors best punch and still come away with a W. Their “big 3” with Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker, is as talented and experienced as any other “big 3” in history. They have accomplished so much at this point in their career and experience is something you just can’t teach. And the Spurs have managed to put together a plethora of talented youth around them, and everyone buys in to the system put in place by the best coach in sports, Gregg Popovich. The Warriors’ time will come, mark my words on that, but that time isn’t going to be this year. I think they can come away with 2 wins though. Spurs in 6.

 

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