One thing that really bothers me with sportswriters are those who write about sports and make predictions, is a lack of follow up on those predictions. And so, I will go through and analyze the predictions I made for the first round of the NBA Playoffs. In particular, I will look at the predictions I made using my head, not my heart, as those were my logical, thought out, barely pseudo-expert picks.
#1 Chicago Bulls vs. #8 Philadelphia 76ers
My Prediction – Bulls in Five
The Result – 76ers in Six. I really didn’t see this one coming, despite the fact that I made my predictions after Derrick Rose went out for the playoffs with a knee injury. This is one of those that just shows how futile it can be trying to predict the NBA playoffs. The Bulls look absolutely helpless without Rose and it probably didn’t help that they also lost super-douche Joakim Noah to an ankle injury, either eliminating him or severely limiting him for the rest of the series. The 76ers for their part played the series of their lives, giving a great team effort.
#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 New York Knicks
My Prediction – Heat in Five
The Result – Heat in Five. Well, what do you know? I hit this one right on the head. This one wasn’t hard to figure out. You had an extremely superior Heat team and an extremely poor coached, degraded Knicks team, which plays awful defense and has no real offensive identity other than Iso-Melo. My only miss was that Carmelo would lead his team to a game 3 win, instead of a game 5 win.
#3 Indiana Pacers vs. #6 Orlando Magic
My Prediction – Pacers in Five
The Result – Pacers in Five. Hey! Maybe I’m onto something here. Once again, you have a superior Pacers team, facing a Magic team missing its best player. The interesting thing will be to see how the Pacers do in the next series against Miami. I’ll admit that I probably know less about the Pacers than any other playoff team, so I really need to dig in and do some research before I make my predictions for the next round.
#4 Atlanta Hawks vs. #5 Boston Celtics
My Prediction – Hawks in Seven
The Result – Celtics in Six. When the Hawks won the opening game of the series and the Celtics lost Rondo for Game 2, I should have known. This is my most upsetting playoff loss I have ever experienced as a fan, because it’s the Celtics, we should have won, I let myself believe in the Hawks only to be let down again and because it’s the fucking Celtics! I’m sure I will post many more times about my love/hate relationship with the Hawks, but suffice to say, if I don’t see major changes soon, I’m done with this team.
#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #8 Utah Jazz
My Prediction – Spurs in Five
The Result – Spurs in Four. Utah is a promising team, which certainly has bright days ahead of them, but the Spurs are just too good right now. This is as good a Spurs team as I’ve seen. Ironically, this is basically the same team as the 2003 Spurs, led by Duncan, Ginobli, Parker and Jackson. I’ll let you in on a little hint. I’m going to keep picking the Spurs until someone knocks them out.
#2 Oklahoma Thunder vs. #7 Dallas Mavericks
My Prediction – Thunder in Five
The Result – Thunder in Four. I pretty much had this one figured and called it spot on. The Mavericks made some games interesting, but in the end, they just couldn’t stand up to the youth and downright impressive ability of the Thunder. The Mavericks are really playing for next year, when they’ll be able to pick up a big time free agent or two. They should be amongst the biggest players this offseason.
#3 L.A. Lakers vs. #6 Denver Nuggets
My Prediction – Lakers in Six
The Result – Lakers in Seven. As expected, the Nuggets gave the Lakers a run for their money in the first round, providing us with a seven game series and all of the dramatic glory that comes along with that. It came down to a game seven, where the Lakers finally realized they have two dominant big men and allowed them to take control of the game. This was a fun series and I look forward to watching more Nuggets games next year.
#4 Memphis Grizzlies vs. #5 L.A. Clippers
My Prediction – Grizzlies in Six
The Result – Clippers in Seven. This is one I picked right with my heart, so I’ll take some solace in that. This series proved to be as exciting as I’d hoped and went the full seven games. The Grizzlies will be kicking themselves for some time, as they allowed the biggest comeback in playoff history in Game 1 and lost home-court advantage in the process. Both teams played a physical series more than any other series, this one epitomized hard fought playoff basketball. Worry not though, Grizzly fans, your team is going to be competitive for some time still. As for the Clippers, you know their fans have to be absolutely thrilled to go from being an after-thought to making the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
The End Results
Overall Record – 5-3. Well, I completely whiffed on one series (CHI/PHI), let my hometown bias lead me wrong in another series (ATL/BOS) and missed on a seven game series that could have went either way (MEM/LAC). Overall, I feel like I did ok, and above all else, at least I’m accountable for those picks I made.
How did you do?