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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Beauty of Spring

David quoted some poem this week about how spring is beautiful because of death (or something too deep for me to understand). I wasn't sure what he was talking about, until I remembered that as a Pacers fan, every spring has meant death for him.

However, since I am a Pistons fan, spring truly is beautiful. The NBA Playoffs are here!

Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs (63-19) v Sacramento Kings (44-38)
Best Player: Tim Duncan

Kings in 6. That's right, you read it here. Duncan is not healthy, Manu is banged up, and Tony Parker is the only one bringing his game everyday. The crazy fans of Sacramento are motivated by the crazy man playing the swing position for them. (This will be the first 1-8 upset since Denver did it to Seattle back during the shorter series era.)

Phoenix Suns (54-28) v LA Lakers (45-37)
Best Player: Kobe Bryant

This is the era of the team, but LA has the best player in the league (arguably). Alone, Kobe could score 87 and lose the series in 4 games. But lately, Odom is playing great, and (gasp, I can't believe I'm typing this) have you seen Kwame Brown lately? One of the better NBA cover guys in the business, Sam Amico articulates that Smush Parker covers Steve Nash better than anyone else in the league. Phil Jackson works his magic for another round.

Denver Nuggets (44-38) v LA Clippers (47-35)
Best Player: Elton Brand

Is there an upset in this series. If Denver wins, they were the higher seed. If LA wins, they had the better record. The Clips were a wonderful surprise this year, but they are still the Clippers. Denver in 7.

Dallas Mavericks (60-22) v Memphis Grizzlies (49-33)
Best Player: Dirk Nowitzki

I like Memphis. They play hard every night and play the right way. However, Dallas has way too many weapons and beats Memphis in 5. Dallas gets the biggest rest of anyone, making round two intriguing.

Eastern Conference

Detroit Pistons (64-18) v Milwaukee Bucks (40-42)
Best Player: Chauncey Billups/Rip Hamilton/Rasheed Wallace

Michael Redd is the best Bucks player, but if he was on the Pistons, he would be the fourth best player on the team. This is the team with the best record in the NBA facing a team sub .500? Pistons in 4.

Miami Heat (52-30) v Chicago Bulls (41-41)
Best Player: Dwyane Wade

Chicago is a great team. I wish we could see Chicago and Memphis face one another in the "all blue collar" finals. However, Miami far surpasses the Bulls in talent and will defeat them in 5 games. However, Shaq will look tired, unmotivated and old by the fourth game.

New Jersey Nets (49-33) v Indiana Pacers (41-41)
Best Player: ???

Vince Carter plays soft. Jason Kidd is still not fully healthy. Richard Jefferson has not yet figured out his role consistently with Carter on board. However, Jermaine O'neal is becoming the Fred Taylor of the NBA, and Stephen Jackson is the poor man's Artest (I'm glad they split the two of them up before someone died). Peja will completely disappear, making it easier to let him walk via free agency. Nets in 7 (just because Pacer fans like to make it painful for their own).

Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) v Washington Wizards (42-40)
Best Player: Lebron James

Cleveland has the best player in the league (arguably), but the team is a lousy design. Cavs fans should be excited to have a great season, but the good season will probably leave them with expectations too high for this year. Lebron will again look like a man among boys, it's just that all the boys will have Cleveland jerseys. Washington in 6.

Dallas Mavericks (60-22) v Sacramento Kings (44-38)
Best Player: Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas, with a lot of rest, facing a team that got a decent matchup. Dallas will again win easily in 5 games.

LA Lakers (45-37) v Denver Nuggets (44-38)
Best Player: Kobe Bryant

Due to an odd matchup (thanks for this horrible three division system, Mr Stern), the Lakers enter round 2 with the better record. Carmelo is not matchup for Kobe. Don't blink now, but the Lakers and Jackson are in the Conference Finals again. Lakers in 6.

Detroit Pistons (64-18) v Washington Wizards (42-40)
Best Player: Billups/Hamilton/Wallace/Wallace

I'd rather have Chauncey than Gilbert. Hamilton over Daniels. Tayshaun over Caron. Rasheed over Jamison. Ben Wallace over Haywood. Is there any question. Detroit begins to roll. Pistons in 4.

Miami Heat (52-30) v New Jersey Nets (49-33)
Best Player: Dwyane Wade

Wade is amazing, but Carter will match him point for point. Shaq, tired and sluggish, will actually be contained by Nenad Kristic. By game 5, Antoine Walker will think he needs to carry the Heat on his shoulders and Miami is finished at that point. New Jersey in 6.

Conference Finals

Dallas Mavericks (60-22) v LA Lakers (45-37)
Best Player: Kobe Bryant

If Dallas had not had such an easy run, LA could have a fighting chance. But Avery Johnson will have some defensive schemes to slow Kobe, and LA has no answer Dirk. Dallas wins in 5, but the buzz is back in La-La land.

Detroit Pistons (64-18) v New Jersey Nets (49-33)
Best Player: Flip Saunders (coach)

The teams are a decent matchup, but again, New Jersey will be fatigued. Flip Saunders has Detroit playing great team ball (and an important contrast from last year, they are having fun). Lawrence Frank will look outmanned and Jason Kidd will begin running yet another coach out of the league during the off season. Pistons in 6.

NBA Finals

Detroit Pistons (64-18) v Dallas Mavericks (60-22)
Best Player: Dirk Nowitzki

A lousy conference finals gives way to a breath-taking finals. Dallas is rested and has the best player. But Detroit is the better team. The Pistons come up with a scheme to slow Nowitzki and Big Ben gets to wear another wrestling belt for a trophy. It's good to live in the era of team play! Pistons in 7.


  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger RevPharoah said…

    I understood David's posted poem about spring and death, its your sports predictions that leave me confused.

  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger David said…

    Thanks for the support, Rev! And Danny, the last 8 over 1 upset was the '99 Knicks. Otherwise, even though some of these predictions look crazy at first glance, the league talent is so spread out right now that anything can and might happen. I really think this is the NBA's best year this decade.

  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    At least in game one, all the "boys" were on the Wizards.

    How about Eric Snow stepping it up, playing great defense, and scoring double digits? 14-2-4-1-1

    How about Donyell Marshall, lighting it up from inside AND outside. 19 points, 7 rebs

    How about the Wizards' "big" three going 2/15 from downtown?

    I am amazed at your weak assessment of the Cavs. A team of "lousy design" with Ilgauskas, Gooden, Flip Murray, Larry Hughes, Damon Jones, Eric Snow as a SUPPORTING CAST? Sure bro.

    If the Cavs can bash the Wizards with only 2 from Hughes and 10 from Z... it could be a very quick series.

    then again, it's only one game. But I'll be sure to post doses of reality for you after every Cavs win.

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger finch said…

    i dont know, wade steps it up and so does shaq(finally) and the heat win in 7.

  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Well, in game 2, all the "boys" were still on the Wizards.

    Basically, Lebron gave them the game with his 10 turnovers and his 10-seconds-remaining pass to Anderson Varejao (career ppg under 5.0) in the PAINT when the team was down by THREE.

    Nevertheless, dew will bounce back. I would hate to be the Wizards (or their fans) on Friday night.


    In other news, Go Bucks!


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