(04-19-2011 09:42 PM)Mark Wrote: - Chicago is basically all defense + Derrick Rose. If Rose can keep playing at MJ levels the whole playoffs, they have a good shot. But that's a really big "if."
- Heat is a 3-man team and will eventually be exposed.
- Boston needs Shaq back. If they can get Shaq back, they match up well against Miami and may be able to get by Chicago with experience.
- Orlando is done either this round or next.
- Spurs are too small and old. Nice record, but not going to work in the playoffs.
- Lakers may come alive. I still think they're the favorites out west.
- Mavs are flawed and will be bounced either this round or next.
- OKC has the talent and depth and Durant and Westbrook are both clutch. Will come down to toughness I think.
- Nuggets and Blazers: interesting teams on the way up, but won't make conference finals most likely.
I think out east it will be either Chicago or Boston, depending on who wins the Boston/Miami series and if Shaq gets back in time. I think if Boston beats Miami and has Shaq, they'll have enough to take on Chicago.
Out west I think it'll be Lakers or Thunder with the Blazers as a dark horse. If Blazers beat the Mavs, they match up REAL well with the Lakers and if the Lakers can't get their shit together, they may get upset.
But if I had to put money on it, I'd say Lakers/Bulls finals with Bulls winning in 6 or 7, Derrick Rose averaging 35+ a game, and Kobe's legs finally giving out.
I can't believe I'm having to argue for the Celtics case with a Boston fan! Where is all the one-eyed supporting? Weren't you smugly nodding your head to Paul Pierce when he said "we're not going back to LA" last year? I oughta burn your Garnett jersey son...
Ok, so here's a little less solid analysis than what I offered the first time around, but the logic is undeniable.
Knicks can't defend for peanuts. Boston loves teams with players who score 40 plus points against them in a game, because they know that if you're getting that much it's because you can't do anything down the other end of the court. Carmelo Anthony, I'm looking at you. 4-1 in this series.
Heat will shine brightly only to burn out. Yes, Dwayne Wade's ice cool composure will help to disguise from the fact that he doesn't know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Why would he need to know that? Because LeBron will be choking! The fact is, LeWhine is not a winner. What do I mean by that? I mean that he can score 50+ points in games 1,3, and 6, tie the series 3-3, have game 7 tied at 86 all and be at the free-throw line with 0.6 seconds on the clock, and he will miss that free throw. When it really, really, really comes down to it, when you have that split second between accomplishing everything you dreamed of, of achieving that blissful state of reaching a destination instead of just inching closer than ever to it, he will think back to when he was 8 years old and the big kids teased him by playing keep away with his backpack, and he decided he was gunna teach them a lesson when he grew up, and those feelings of being a loser will rise up, and overcome him, and he will miss that shot. 4-3 in this series (4-2 actually, but then my story wouldn't apply).
Chicago aren't going to win this year. Why? Only four players in the history of the NBA have won their first MVP award and their first NBA title in the same year. The most recent is Hakeem Olajuw, in 1994. In the current era, it's even more unlikely, because individual players don't dominate teams like they did in periods of the 80s and 90s. You simply must have at least 3 good players in your team and a decent bench. Chicago are very close to this, but they're not there yet. Both Noah and Rose need more playoff games under their belt, win or lose, so they can truly understand what is required to win 16 playoff games. Ok, so this just explains why they'd lose to LA or Spurs in the final, but not to Boston. So I'm going to go with an injury to either Rose, Boozer, or Noah, and the inability of the team to cope with that.
Spurs in the final. Boston won both games in the regular season. If you saw the first game, you won't need any more arguments as to who'll win this match-up. 3 of the Spurs titles have come against piss-poor finals opponents (LeBron in 07=4-0 sweep), and the only exception was the 05 title versus the Pistons. I think the Pistons were just tired from taking 7 games to beat the Heat though. Ginobli was a lot younger too, and the Spurs will hurt more from their age than the Celtics will. 4-2.
LA in the final. This one's easy. If LA win, they become the most successful NBA team of all time, with 18 titles to Boston's 17. Do you think, especially after last year's Finals, that men like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would let their team be the one to allow LA to take that from Boston? If so, you need to watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyjOy7fRzs0
Man I'm hyped for LA vs Boston round 3!