Quick Playoff Predictions

Things have been hectic which is why I haven't been able to post in a while. I hope to get back to my normal posting routine now that things have cooled down.

Since the playoffs are upon us, I'm going to give a quick prediction on each series. We all know that the rounds before the Finals are just entertainment before the Cavs and Lakers play.

Eastern Conference

Cavs vs Pistons: The Pistons don't have a chance. Yes, the Pistons have a lot of experience, but experience does not matter when you are a sub-500 team going up against the team with the best record in the league and the player who will undoubtedly be named the MVP. Look for this series to be the only sweep all playoffs. Prediction: 4-0 Cavs

Celtics vs Bulls: This series will be a breeze for the Celtics. Of course, the big drama is losing KG for the playoffs. The Bulls still don't have the personnel to match up to the Celtics firepower. We will get a treat to see a two up-and-coming point guards in Rondo and Rose go up against each other. It will also be interesting to see the KG story unfold. Will he be on the bench as an emotional lift? Will it be too painful for him to be on the bench? Will he focus on rehabbing so he can possibly make a comeback later on in the playoffs? That is why everyone will pay attention to this series. It has more to do with the storyline than it does basketball. Prediction: Celtics 4-1

Magic vs Sixers: Again, not much to see here. The only weakness I see for the Magic is the health of Lewis and Turkoglu holding them back. Even without them healthy, the Magic have a lot more than the Sixers. Who is going to Dwight Howard? I bet Tony DiLeo has been asking that question since these matchups have been set. The Sixers barely edged out a Cavs team on the last night without any of their starters. Look for this series to be over quick. I do think the Magic are a little too inexperienced to effectively close teams out. This is also virtually the same team that gave the Pistons fits last playoffs. I could see the Sixers putting up a fight. Prediction: Magic 4-2

Hawks vs Heat: I really think the Hawks could sneak up on people. They took the Celtics to 7 games and then people started looking their way. The Hawks pretty much have the same roster as last season, and they have had some big wins this season. Just like many players (Robert Horry and James Posey) come out during the playoffs, I think we will see that with the Atlanta Hawks. They won't have it easy though. Dwyane Wade, the MVP candidate, is an overachieving team. Wade is good enough to single handedly win a series. Look for Wade to put this team on his back as he has all season and give the Hawks a lot of trouble. I think Wade will only be able to carry his team to a certain extent. Their inexperience under playoff conditions will cause them to drop 1 game at home. Both teams are horrible on the road (16-25 and 15-26, respectively). I'm giving the series to the home team, the Hawks. Prediction: Hawks 4-2

Western Conference

Lakers vs Jazz: The Jazz played the Lakers hard last year. Although people think the Lakers will waltz through the playoffs, don't expect it to be that easy. The Jazz are going to put up a fight. Deron Williams is the second best point guard in the league. He is a big time player that comes through in clutch situations. If the game is close, I wouldn't be surprised to see Williams drop 11 straight points. The Jazz are a physical team that doesn't have much of a low post presence outside of Boozer. They also play pretty good defense and have bodies to put against the big front line of the Lakers. To counter Deron Williams, the Lakers have #24. We are all aware of what Kobe can do. The Jazz will have to try and limit the rest of the Lakers and let AK47 to the best he can against Kobe. To make matters worse, Pau is the best 2nd option in the NBA. Like Boozer, he is a double-double machine. Boozer will have to play amazing defense against Gasol in order to have a chance in this series. As for Bynum, if he is half as productive has he has been, it is going to be a long night for the Jazz. No surprise here. Prediction: Lakers 4-1

Nuggets vs Hornets: The best point guard in Chris Paul and the third best point guard in Chauncey Billups go at it. The Nuggets have the big names, but their embarassing loss to the Blazers the other night could not have been encouraging for George Karl. Melo is still inconsistent and has a chance to make a name for himself. Billups is a proven leader with championship experience. Nene is a solid big man that can go up against a healthy Chandler and the Nuggets have, in my mind, the 6th man of the year in J.R Smith. Smith is explosive and dangerous. The more you see Smith play, the more you know he is for real. Smith was the only reason the Nuggets didn't get completely embarassed last year against the Lakers in the first round. If the Hornets have a healthy Chandler and Peja can come back to somewhat of what he has been in the past, the Hornets have a chance. In fact, I think a healthy Chandler means the Hornets win. David West and Melo will also be an interesting matchup. The Hornets are only 6 games worse in terms of records compared to the Nuggets. Their seeding is not indicative of their talent. Prediction: Hornets 4-3

Spurs vs Mavericks: Like the Celtics, the talk is about losing Manu. Pop is going to let that distract his team. The Spurs have a lot to lose by going out early in the playoffs. An early loss for the Spurs will have the basketball world talking Tim Duncan retirement. The Spurs have a lot to prove. The Mavs have always been the team that never could. The Spurs have the young gunners and the veteran leaders in Parker and Duncan. The Mavs have veteran gunners like Dirk, Josh Howard, and probably the 6th man of the year in Jason Terry. Most importantly, Jason Kidd is the veteran that needs to step up and lead this team. This is about as good as it gets for NBA fans. A team that has nothing to lose in the Mavs, and a team that has everything to lose in the Spurs. This is going to be a good one. In the end, I don't think the Mavs are durable or patient enough to hang with the steady Spurs. Prediction: Spurs 4-2

Blazers vs Rockets: This could be the year the Rockets finally make it out of the first round. The good news for the Rockets is that they match up to the Blazers well. The bad news is that they are the Rockets. Battier will play Brandon Roy and that is going to help them out a lot. If they can limit Brandon Roy, things might swing Houston's way. The Rockets have a couple of offensive options. Nothing too overwhelming. The Blazers have great offensive players like Aldridge and Outlaw. They also have a good group of young players in Bayless, Fernandez and Rodriguez. The Blazers are undoutedly more talented right now compared to the Rockets. There are rumblings that Yao's foot is hurt and won't be 100% for the playoffs. I think that is where it ends. Another injury-plagued season for the Rockets leads to another tough first round matchup, and leads to an early summer vacation. A lot of people think this series will be close. I would like to see this go to 7, but it will end in Game 6 at the Toyota Center. Prediction: Blazers 4-2