nba playoff predictions: conference finals

Another round done and another series of predictions gone wrong. 🙂 Just kidding, although my results were once again mixed:

Actual (Predicted):
Chicago Bulls 4-2 Atlanta Hawks (4-2) +2
Miami Heat 4-1 Boston Celtics (4-1) +1
OKC Thunder 4-3 Memphis Grizzlies (4-2) +1
Dallas Mavericks 4-0 LA Lakers (1-4) +0

Looks like I kept with the trend of pretty much everyone screwing up the Lakers-Mavericks series. I have to say that I was more than surprised to see how easily the Mavs were able to dispatch the Lakers. Unfortunately, this had to happen in the season that I decided to disown the Mavs to prove my full-on support for the Rockets. Hmmph. Well at least the Mavs have Jason Kidd and Peja Stojakovic, two players I was a fan of when I was growing up. Also, I have to mention Terry and Peja’s unconscious shooting in that Game 4 wipe. They were, what, 15-16 from deep? That’s nuts. That’s better than what you could manage in NBA 2K11 (or what I could manage, I guess).

Now on to the conference finals. I get to cheat a little bit here since I’ve already seen Chicago destroy the Heat in Game 1.

Conference Finals Predictions:

Miami Heat (2) 4-2 Chicago Bulls (1)

Yes, I suppose I’m going with a somewhat unconventional pick and also saying that Miami will go 4-1 in the remaining games. It’s a dangerous pick, but I can’t see the Bulls sustain their play over the course of the playoffs. Chicago’s defense is elite, but you really can’t rely on the likes of Luol Deng stepping up every game. If Boozer had been having a better playoff, I’d give Chicago the edge, but with Wade-James, I think Miami will have enough offense to overpower the Bulls. That said, Miami’s depth is definitely going to be problematic, with only 19 points today coming from players not named James, Wade or Bosh. However, they still have those three players compared to Chi-town’s Rose and company.

Oklahoma City Thunder (4) 4-3 Dallas Mavericks (3)

I think OKC will pull this one out. Durant has been, apart from that Game 6 failure, been on fire these playoffs. He was always a huge scorer, but his touch from beyond the arc in this postseason has made a huge difference. Harden has been amazing as well and as for Westbrook, the Thunder have been winning despite him chucking up all manners of shots. The Mavs have found a consistent scoring option in Jason Terry, but I think the Thunder, with their young legs, will match up a lot better than the Lakers. Ibaka’s length and athleticism should bother Dirk, but we know that Nowitzki will probably find a way to get his points. Both these teams rely on runs through periods of awesome three-point shooting to pull away. It should be a fascinating series.

That’s it for now!

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