NBA Playoff Previews! Part Two

Welcome to the 7poundbag Playoff Previews! Yesterday we talked about the series that kick off on Saturday, and today we will finish with the Sunday-starting Series.

 

Dallas Mavericks San Antonio Spurs

Dallas Mavericks

 vs.

San Antonio Spurs

EJ: The Case for the Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki! Dirk Nowitzki! Dirk Nowitzki! Dirk keeps defying father time and he keeps hitting that one footed jumper from about 18 feet out. Add to that solid production from Monta Ellis, and the Mavericks have the feel of a playoff upsetter.

The Case for the San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs are old. Very old, but somehow Tim Duncan manages to hold off father time. Father time may be undefeated, but Duncan looks like he’s beating the old man in his 12 round match. Alongside Duncan is Tony Parker, and a healthy Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs may be aging but they got a title run left in them.

So who wins? I like the Spurs in 5 games. The Mavericks have had a great season but I don’t see them slowing down the steamroller that is the San Antonio Spurs.

DJ: The case for the Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs have very little shot in my opinion at actually winning the series, but they have a great player in Dirk who is still a clutch performer. He has some help this season in free agent signings Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and Devin Harris with holdovers Shawn Marion and Vince Carter. The last time Dirk had a supporting cast like this….the Mavs shocked the world by knocking off the Miami Heat for the NBA title.

The case for the San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs have Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, the rest of the supporting cast and Pop. This team is just so damn good….how can you pick against them?

I like the Spurs in 6. SA will win, but I think Dallas can give them all they can handle and steal a few games. It’ll be a tough series.

David: The Case for the Dallas Mavericks: Doesn’t it always seem like we get the Mavs and the Spurs? This is almost a yearly thing. The Mavs have overachieved, and with the Spurs, Manu going down in a heap is always in play. There is also the potential for Ellis to discover why he’s getting paid so much.
There is no player on the Spurs roster than can handle Dirk, even as he declines, and Popovich doesn’t have many opposing coaches that are as good as he is, but the Mavs have one of them too.

The Case for the San Antonio Spurs: Some big dude they have is pretty good. He’s not a 30/20 threat, but picks his spots better than anyone in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard is a solid cog again. The slower pace of the Spurs just makes their life easier.

So who wins? Unless Tony Parker goes down, this is a 5 game Spurs win.

 

new-bobcats-logo miami heat

Charlotte Bobcats

 vs.

Miami Heat

EJ: The Case for the Charlotte Bobcats: Big Al Jefferson has had a career season in his first year with the franchise. The All-Star snub seriously deserves an MVP vote or two for how he led this franchise to the playoffs. The Bobcats are the 7 seed, and while it wasn’t Big Al alone who got them here, he does deserve the bulk of the credit. The Heat will have a tough time limiting his game.

The Case for the Miami Heat: This is the fourth off season for the Big 3. They lost to Dallas in 2011, and rebounded to win titles in 2012 and 2013. They may have faded horribly down the stretch, but this is a unit that knows when to flip the switch. Also, would you count out a team that has LeBron James on it?

So who wins? Sorry David, but I like the Heat in a sweep. The Heat may not have an answer for Al Jefferson, but they can easily limit the rest of the roster from hurting them. This should be easy pickings.

DJ: The case for the Charlotte Bobcats: Did anybody see the Atlanta Hawks yesterday? Um, well….the recent struggles of the Pacers and Heat down the stretch show why the Bobcats (and Hawks) could surprise the favorites.

Al Jefferson was mocked when he signed with the Bobcats, most assumed he was signing for the money. Well, he was a huge reason Charlotte turned around the fortunes this season. Along with Kemba Walker who has developed his game, the Bobcats

The case for the Miami Heat: Seriously? LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade are the best trio in the NBA. Still. Wade played in just 54 games in the regular season because the playoffs are what the NBA is all about. Wade needs to play well, but the Heat are loaded.

The Heat in 5 games. I think Miami slips up somewhere and the Bobcats win a game.

David: The Case for the Charlotte Bobcats: NOOOOO! Not the Heat.
I would almost be willing to take the Bobcats over any team in the first round, other than the Heat and the Bulls. Its just a horrid matchup.

The Case for the Miami Heat: Big Al could have his way with Bosh, but unless Kemba becomes Isiah Thomas in the next 48 hours, then Wade is going to destroy the Bobcats, plus some dude from Akron is going to go nuts.

So who wins? The Bobcats cannot beat the Heat, barring injury or mind-meld. The Cats are just too young, and got a horrid matchup. They could win a game, at most. Heat in 5. 

 

Wizards Chicago Bulls

Washington Wizards

 vs.

Chicago Bulls

EJ: The Case for the Washington Wizards: I really like this Wizards squad. They are young and they are good. John Wall is in his first playoffs, but the point guard has had a terrific season. Bradley Beal is starting to emerge at shooting guard and the team has good veteran support in Ariza and Nene. The Wiz played hard down the stretch and enter these playoffs with some confidence.

The Case for the Chicago Bulls: The Bulls were expected to tank once they dealt Luol Deng for Andrew Bynum in a salary dump. Instead they finished with the 4 seed in the East. Head coach Tom Thibodeau coaches his team hard, and hates losing. Thibs may have lost Deng, and he never really had Derrick Rose, but he does have Joakim Noah. Noah took a huge step this season. He can rack up a triple double when he feels like it, and his defense is strong.

So who wins? The Bulls but I think this series is better than it looks on paper. I’ll go with Bulls in 6. The Wizards are pesky, and I can see them wearing the Bulls down before they face off against the Pacers in the 2nd round.

DJ: The case for the Washington Wizards: The Wizards have the better backcourt in Wall and Beal. This will mean a lot. Wall and Beal are head and shoulders better than Chicago’s backcourt and they will be a reason they win the series. Not to mention, Ariza is an excellent defender who is having a career season and will be a huge factor.

The case for the Chicago Bulls: They are a scrappy team that plays tough defense and are well-coached.

I like the Wizards in 7 games. I just don’t think they have enough scoring to win this series, although it will go to 7 games. Their defense will keep them in most games. But, the Wizards are peaking at the right time.

David: The Case for the Washington Wizards: I want to take the Wizards, I really do. The Wizards have one of the best scoring points in the NBA in John Wall, who can go off at any time. They also have great rim protector in Nene, if Ariza and/or Beal were consistent  they would be home for a series. This is a growing pain series for them, I would not be stunned if they pulled the upset.

 The Case for the Chicago Bulls: It all comes down to offense. If anyone, and I mean ANYONE can crack 20 points then the Bulls can win. When you can’t score in High Gear, how the heck do you score in low gear? The Bulls have home field, and they have a great coach.

So who wins? You know what? Screw it. I’ll take the Wiz. I mean for the Bulls to win they need Gibson to step up and take pressure and time from Noah. Thats not a great thing to hope for. Wizards in 6

portland trail Blazers houston rockets

Portland Trailblazers

 vs.

Houston Rockets

 EJ: The Case for the Portland Trailblazers: The Trailblazers got off to a hot start, and was one of the best teams in basketball earlier this season. I had a chance to see them play in person against the Nets and I was very impressed with Terry Stotts’ team. Injuries, and a natural fall to Earth, sees them as the 5th seed in this playoffs but if Lillard and Aldridge can get their shots off then the Rockets will be in trouble.

The Case for the Houston Rockets: Let’s see: Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Chandler Parsons. That’s a solid trio. Add in scoring off the bench in Jeremy Lin, as well as a rim protector off of the bench in Omer Asik, then the Rockets have the makings of a team that can make a playoff run. I like the Rockets. I really do.

So who wins? I’ll go Rockets in 6 games, but as much as I like Houston, I’d hardly be surprised if the Trailblazers won this series. It’s a legitimate coin flip.

DJ: The case for the Portland Trail Blazers: It all starts and ends with LaMarcus Aldridge and Damon Lilliard. These are the two players that stir the drink for the Blazers. If they imitate LeBron James and Dwayne Wade…they have a shot, but they both have to score 25 points a game for them to have a serious shot at pulling the upset after the way they choked the second half of the season.

The case for the Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Chandler Parsons is an excellent trio and they’ll be hard pressed to be contained by Portland. I also think Kevin McHale will be the better coach at making game to game adjustments.

I like the Rockets in 5 games. I think it will be 5 competitive games, but I like Houston because they are deeper. Portland has a nice starting lineup, but other than Mo Williams? The Blazers have little depth, the Rockets are much deeper.

David: The Case for the Portland Trailblazers: Lillard and Aldridge. Its those two. If they can counter the scoring of Harden and the rebounding of Howard, then the other parts can take the series, thats a tall order though.

The Case for the Houston Rockets: Chandler Parsons, Chandler Parsons, Chandler Parsons. He has to score- or at worst, make the Blazers worry about him. Lin alone isn’t panicking anyone anymore, and the Blazers are too smart to not go after him defensively the second he steps in.

So who wins? Rockets in 5. The Blazers were a great story, and a team on the rise, but the emergence of Parsons without killing the defense is just too much. No one wants the Rockets in a spread out series.

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About Earl (EJ) Brewster 284 Articles
Born, raised, and still reside in Brooklyn, New York. I'm in my mid 30's, and I love sports, music, politics, and blogging about real life. You can find me on Twitter at @EJ_Brooklyn_Own

2 Comments

  1. What, the Spurs aren’t old and slow. I mean yeah, Duncan and Ginobili are old but they’re not the Nets where every starter is an old man. Leonard is a key, key player at just 22. Also the Spurs were sixth in PPG this year at over 105 0PG; they’re not the Spurs of old that slowed it down and focused on defense. This Spurs team is the NBA’s most efficient offense and SA looks to outscore people these days.

  2. Spurs, Bobcats, Wizards, Rockets.

    The Heat are not motivated and Al Jefferson is the NBA’s most underrated game changer. Also the Bulls have zero offense and Washington should be able to match them in points with minimal problems. The other two Western Conference series’ are pretty obvious, IMO

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