My favorite period of time of all my years have been the NBA Playoffs (except for the entire NFL season). I've had ups and I've had downs. I have seen my Hawks get murdered every year, and I've seen my boy Kobe fill up a hand worth of rings! The 2012 NBA season was sort of a joke with the whole lockout situation, but nonetheless, I was happy to see some exciting games this short season. Below are my picks for the 1st round of the Playoffs....
San Antonio Spurs VS Utah JazzI really like the Jazz in this matchup. Al Jefferson, Paul Milsap, and Derrick Favors are all talented big men, and San Antonio only has an old version of Tim Duncan. I also like Raja Bell on the Jazz. The reason I won't pick the Jazz is because of Devin Harris' inconsistencies! If Devin Harris can give me 25 pts and 13 assists per game, and turn Tony Parker into a jump shooter and not a driver, the Jazz will win this series in 6, but Devin Harris won't do that so the Jazz will lose in 5!
Memphis Grizzlies VS Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers would win the whole playoffs if this were a get the most dunks contest. As a team, I am not too impressed. Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan have a lot of learning to do. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are seasoned NBA big men and I see them exploiting Lob City by getting Blake and Deandre in early foul trouble and I see Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo, and Mike Conley scoring often! Memphis in 6!
Los Angeles Lakers VS Denver Nuggets
The Lakers losing Derrick Fisher and Lamar Odom was huge. They were vital to their championship runs a few years ago. With the addition of Ramon Sessions and the emergence of Andrew Bynum, I don't see the Lakers struggling too much with the young Nuggets. Kobe is still the greatest scorer in the league, and I think he learned a valuable lesson last year getting embarrassed by the Mavericks. Lakers in 4!
Dallas Mavericks VS Oklahoma City Thunder
If Dallas would've kept Tyson Chandler, I would've given them a repeat for the title, but getting rid of one of the best defenders in the league is going to be devastating to their chances to beat the best run and gun offense in the league! Dirk is still one of the greatest, but he'll need a MJ type series if he wants to get past Durant and Westbrook! OKC in 5!
Chicago Bulls VS Philadelphia 76ers
I don't see any competition in this series whether Derrick Rose is hurt or not. I dont think the starting 5 of the 6ers could compete with the bench of the Bulls. Chicago sweeps the series!
Boston Celtics VS Atlanta Hawks
I will try and be unbiased as possible! These Celtics are just washed up! Rondo is the bread and butter. If we can keep him out of the paint, and Joe plays good Defense on Pierce, let Ray Allen do what he does, and get KG ejected because he always hating on ZaZa. The only fear I have is that ZaZa and Al Horford are hurt now, and I'm afraid we may get rebounded, but the Hawks have too much young talent. Jeff Teague and Rondo will be a great matchup. The Hawks' bench is one of the deepest in the league with Willie Parker, T-Mac, Vlad Rad, & the young Pargo. If the Hawks can get out of the 1 on 1 ball, its hard to stop us! I think we will win in a long series, because of home court advantage. Hawks in 7!
Indiana Pacers VS Orlando Magic
In my eyes, the Pacers have been the surprise of the season! Their athleticism is top notch. Though I don't see them getting past the 2nd round, I do see them in some finals in the near future as they mature. The Magic without Dwight Howard is like the internet with www.Fatdreek.blogspot.com. U get my drift? Pacers in 5!
New York Knicks VS Miami Heat
What can I say? This is what the playoffs are all about! Lebron Vs. Melo. The Knicks haven't benefited from the short season with their team-chemistry. They definitely have the chess pieces to win it all, but sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't look that good on the court. The key to this series is Chris Bosh! I don't see Wade being too much of a factor with Shumpert on em. I think Lebron and Carmelo will wash each other out. If Chris Bosh can drain those mid-range jump shots and play decent defense on Amare, the Heat have a great chance. The Knicks with the addition of Tyson Chandler and JR Smith really make this series interesting. The Heat have a horrible bench, and this may hurt them in the long run! With the Knicks lack of chemistry, I have to give the series to the Heat in 7!