NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW
Welcome to the NBA Playoff Preview!
David: Sorry NBA, the Rockets have no chance here. I understand that the big thing is Hardin’s revenge, but lets be frank. He was the THIRD best player on that team. Houston has Asik, and If i’m OKC, he’s the guy I’m worried about, since Durant lead the team in boards- never a good thing. You also have to look at the medical report on the Thunder. Seems like half the team is crippled. I look the Thunder to do their best to sweep the series, and try and heal while hoping the Lakers live a week in the second season.
Bill: As much anticipation as there may be so see James Harden play a full series against his former teammates, I have trouble believing that HOU has enough punch in Harden, Lin, Asik, et al to pull this series out against a vastly superior team in OKC. Houston barely squeaked into the playoffs as it were and by doing so, they now face the arguable favorite to come out of the Western Conference. Your play on the Rockets has shown how well rounded of a player YOU are, James… but it simply won’t be enough. I see HOU stealing at least one game from OKC. Outcome? THUNDER in 5.
San Antonio Spurs vs LA Lakers
David: The Spurs didn’t want this. The Lakers almost missed the playoffs, and ended up the 7th seed the last week of the season. The Spurs should blow the Lakers out of the water, but they are hurt. The Spurs biggest advantage though, is on the sidelines. Pop is going to run circles out of Mikey, and Duncan is going to see round 2 in 6 games as the Lakers start thinking Kobe vs Howard for the rest of the decade.
Bill: I hate to say it, but I’m going to miss not seeing Kobe Bryant trying to will the Lakers to a first round victory this season. Without Bryant, the Lakers’ chances become significantly tougher despite the combined talents of Gasol and Howard (and Earl Clark.. WTF did all this play come from?). The Lakers have enough to avoid a sweep… but barely. The Spurs are once again an arguable favorite to win out the West, but the journey to close out strong for aging vets Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili will only get tougher after this round. Outcome? SPURS in 5.
Denver vs Golden State Warriors
David: I want to take the Warriors, I really do. Karl might be the only Tarheel coach I simply don’t trust. Yes that includes Matt. The problem is, I simply don’t know what the Warriors bring after Curry late in the fourth, and the Golden Staters also have their own disappointment ex-Tarheel. I’ll take the Nuggets in 5, but the Warriors could be more interesting next year.
Bill: This could be the matchup with the most firepower on display for the entirety of the playoffs. These two teams could easily put up 110+ each during this series, but I suspect that a slightly slower and more methodical pace will end up being what works. GS has some gunners in Curry and rookies Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson, but will it be enough against the wily vets of the Nuggets? The Nuggets can score and board with the best of them and were first and second in those categories respectively this season. Andre Igoudala can still put the ball in the basket from range or up close and few players are better at rebounding than the machine that is Kenneth Faried. This could go either way, but only one can move on. Outcome? NUGGETS in 6.
LA Clippers vs Memphis Grizzlies
David: FINALLY! An upset! I love the Clippers, but they have two major problems. One is the idiot on the bench, and the other is the tendency to let teams hang around too long, then pleading for the best point in the NBA to save them. The Grizz bring the best center in the NBA (I said it) and should get just enough shooting to win this series, and hopefully, fire Vinny as the Grizzlies win in 6 games.
Bill: This marquee matchup shouldn’t disappoint. The upstart team known as “Lob City” versus a team once thought to be the second best team in the conference. Though still dangerous, the Grizz aren’t quite what they were a mere two seasons ago. The cornerstone of the team, Zach Randolph, is beginning to come down from his 20+/10+ days and is no longer as dominating inside as he once was (though he’s still plenty dangerous). Is their supporting cast enough to send the high flyers from LA packing? I’m sure that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan will have something to say about that.. and they’ll be bringing their Pacific Division winning game along with them. Outcome? CLIPPERS in 6.
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