NBA Playoff Predictions

I know I’m a few days late. I blame that to spring break travel, as there is absolutely no WiFi in the middle of Ohio. But never fear, I wrote my predictions down the day before the postseason started. And trust me, I’m being honest when I say that this is exactly what I predicted. Watching some of the 1st games made me want to change my picks, some made me feel like a real genius. But all of this was never changed and written before the tip of Cavs-Pacers Game 1. Get ready, because here’s my full preview of what’s going to happen over the overextended and agonizingly long but wildly entertaining 3 month period known as the NBA Playoffs.

Eastern Conference:

Bulls over Celtics, 4-2                                                                                                                             Wizards over Hawks, 4-3                                                                                                                     Raptors over Bucks, 4-2                                                                                                                         Cavaliers over Pacers, 4-1

Wizards over Bulls, 4-0                                                                                                                          Cavaliers over Raptors, 4-2

Cavaliers over Wizards, 4-2

Western Conference: 

Warriors over Trail Blazers, 4-1                                                                                                          Clippers over Jazz, 4-1                                                                                                                            Rockets over Thunder, 4-3                                                                                                                    Spurs over Grizzlies, 4-0

Warriors over Clippers, 4-0                                                                                                                  Spurs over Rockets, 4-3

Warriors over Spurs, 4-2

NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Warriors over Cavaliers, 4-1: Finals MVP – Steph Curry

I also wanted to display the potential playoff bracket if conferences were abolished, a topic I’ll delve into full depth at a later point in time.

1 Warriors vs 16 Bulls

8 Clippers vs 9 Wizards

4 Celtics vs 13 Bucks

5 Cavaliers vs 12 Grizzlies

6 Jazz vs 11 Hawks

3 Rockets vs 14 Pacers

7 Raptors vs 10 Thunder

2 Spurs vs 15 Trail Blazers

Sorry, I just think that’s an interesting topic. Back to my actual predictions, specifically my 1st round picks. Before I start with the Celtics-Bulls, I’d like to say my prayers are with Isaiah Thomas whose little sister passed away this last week in a car crash. Just a tragic event and it’s courageous of him to play. But unfortunately, I did pick the Bulls. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that they can pull it off, but I wanted to pick an upset and I thought this was the best one. The Celtics have struggled in previous playoffs and are bad rebounders, while the Bulls are littered with postseason veterans and are a good rebounding team. It’s just a bad match, and after a few years without first round upsets, I feel like were due.

I’ve been a fan of the Wizards after seeing their thriller with the Cavs earlier in the year and they do have real potential. However, I did not like the match-up with the confusing Hawks who are suddenly hot. But the Wizards have too much and should pull out this grind of a series, with it culminating in a bone-headed play by Dwight that seals the Hawks’ fate.

The Bucks over the Raps was my second choice for an upset, but after last year, I think the Raptors will pull it out. They have experience and are a very deep team, not to mention, they’ll have motivation to earn a rematch with the Cavs. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Freak, but I just think his supporting cast is not ready to help him beat the Raptors.

The Cavs are a boring pick. LeBron is a boring pick. But no one in the East can challenge him, at least based on the last 6 years. I do hope that some team may knock him off and give us a creative burst. But ‘Bron is the King, and he’s just too great to pick against.

It’ll take a miracle for someone to stop the Warrior train. I know that’s what we thought last year, but this year they have something extra, and I’m not even talking about KD, but he does help. No, I’m talking about motivation. As developed by Bill Simmons in The Book of Basketball ,  the Warriors are a level 3 team. Which is a proven champion team coming off an embarrassing playoff exit, coming back with added help and an inhumane desire to show the rest of the league who’s boss. Sound like anyone we know? There have been 3 other cases of this in NBA history, the ’86 Celtics, ’87 Lakers, and the ’96 Bulls, all great teams. Poor Blazers, at least they usually make games against the Dubs entertaining.

Also, poor Jazz. Finally make the playoffs, have a great year, but blow the chance for home court advantage and play a team that’s owned you for 5 years straight. Not only that, but it took 11 seconds for their game changing center Gobert to go down with injury. Miraculously, they won with some magic from iso-Joe but things do not look good for the series. I don’t like the Clips, but they’ll probably be advancing to the next round, only to be lit up like a Christmas tree against the Warriors.

The most anticipated 1st round battle ever. A battle of MVPs. They could potentially have 50 point triple-doubles against each other in one game. This is by far the most interesting series. Hopefully it lives up to the hype, because Game 1 did not. The Rockets struggled shooting, but Harden got creative while angry Russ had one of his worst, our-of-control nights of the season. I know I picked Westbrook for MVP, but days later I honestly changed my mind back to Harden. I don’t care about rules, delay the voting and give it to whoever wins the series. Anything to get rid of the horrid idea of NBA awards night in which we finally find out winners after the entire season is already freaking over!!!

I was confused to see this as a match-up. Why would the Spurs roster be taking on their practice squad for an actual series, that doesn’t seem fair. (Just kidding, kind of) The Spurs lit up the Grizzlies so bad last year, I don’t care about this year’s regular season games or rosters or whatever. The Spurs will sweep the slow, can’t-make-a-shot, Grizzlies. Did you see Game 1??? Maybe the Grizz could steal a game if they had Tony Allen back. Or if they begged Pau Gasol to come back. Or if they went back in time, changed the result of the ’03 lottery so that they could land LeBron instead. Maybe.

And so, my Finals pick is Warriors over Cavs (original, I know), but there’s just no other reasonable expectation. But I do hope we get some madness and have a few teams that can prove me wrong.