Sunday, May 3, 2009

NBA Playoffs: Conference Semifinals Predictions

Relative to the rest of the series, game 7 in Bulls vs. Celtics was a bit of a let-down. That being said, that was some of the most exciting basketball we will see in a long time; there were simply too many clutch moments to count.

But here at doubledribbling, we don't like spending too much time reveling in the past. Though round 1 hasn't finished, here's a look at round 2 of the playoffs:

Eastern Conference

(1) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (Winner of Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks)
Honestly it doesn't even matter who wins between Miami and Atlanta. Lebron and the Cavs are on a mission this year, and neither the Heat or the Hawks have the firepower to beat them. If the Hawks can get Horford and Williams healthy, they along with Johnson, Smith, and Bibby will be able to give Lebron a tougher time than Wade will by himself. Either way, the Cavs will come out on top. Cavs in 5 if against the Heat; Cavs in 6 if against the Hawks.

(2) Boston Celtics vs. (3) Orlando Magic
Boston's fatigue is going to be the major factor in this matchup. Pierce, and Allen both logged huge minutes in their series against the Bulls, exhausting both physically and mentally. Orlando ,on the other hand, has had ample time to rest. It would be unwise for me to rule out the Green, but they beat the Bulls because of the Bulls' playoff inexperience. For the Celtics to win, they're going to either need some real hot shooting from behind the arc all series, or for KG to come back. Orlando has weapons both inside and outside, but they are going to need to keep Dwight Howard out of foul trouble (or trouble in general). I think they'll be able to do that much; Magic in 6.

Western Conference

(1) L.A. Lakers vs. (5) Houston Rockets
The Rockets, fresh off their breakthrough series against Portland, are gearing up to face the West's #1 team. Outside of Tmac, both teams are pretty much completely healthy. Bynum has already publicly stated that he wanted the matchup against Yao, but I don't think he's actually ready for China's big-man. Yao's offensive arsenal is simply too much for the Bynum to handle. However, let's not forget Kobe. Kobe has given Artest and Battier buckets in the past, and I expect him to continue doing so. Fueled by Artest's comments praising Brandon Roy, Kobe is going to lift the Lakers over the Rockets. LA in 6.

(2) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Dallas Mavericks
It's safe to say that the Nuggets are no Championship contender wannabes after their first round destruction of CP3 and the Hornets. Chauncey Billups has regained his old swagger, and is leading the Nuggets in some great basketball. Dallas's dismantling of the Spurs was no joke either; they've got the offensive abilities to score with any team in the league. Composure and consistency are going to win this matchup. Nuggets in 6.

No comments: