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sportsfan0518

2013 NBA Playoffs Prediction Thread

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Well, it's that time of year again! The playoff matchups have been set and they kick off this Saturday. Here are mine, and please post yours and maybe even explain them!

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Bucks vs. Heat

Brandon Jennings is my favorite team to watch, but this is gonna be a solid sweep. Do not be surprised if the Bucks give the Heat some trouble and win a game, this will be very similar to their series vs. Philly in 2011. Heat 5

Bulls vs. Nets

As a Nets fan, I'm just happy to see my boys back in the playoffs. We may not have Jason Kidd and VC, but DWill and Joe Johnson is the best scoring backcourt in the NBA. That April 2 matchup was a preview of what we will see in this grind. All the match ups are even with both teams, except the back court. That's why the Nets win. Nets 6

Hawks vs. Pacers

This is a unique series. Both of these teams are relatively under the radar, and they both have 6'9 monsters in Josh Smith and Paul George. Granger is a huge loss, but they have proven they can play without him with Indiana's excellent D. Great offense vs great defense? I'd take defense any day. Pacers 6

Celtics vs. Knicks

Remember the Bulls Celtics first round matchup? This is a remake of it. With Carmelo leading the NBA in scoring and fresh of their Division crown, the Knicks can win any game when Melo can shoot. However, they just ran into a Boston team with a whole city and nation behind them. As the sentimental favorite, just picture Game 3 in Boston in your head. That's why this heavy-hearted Celtics team will continue Carmelo's first round losing trend. Celtics 7

Nets vs. Heat

Simple, LeBron and Wade are on a mission. The Nets are just happy to be here. I wanna say sweep, but Joe Johnson will hit a clutch shot or two to win. All in all, too much to handle for the Nets. Heat 5

Celtics vs. Pacers

You have two teams without their best players, Rondo and Granger. However, the battle of the Pauls (Pierce, George) will be the centerpiece of this awesome series. Hibbert will take this team as far as he wants them to go, because Kevin Garnett can box him out despite the 4 inch height difference. Celtics 6

Celtics vs. Heat

2012 ECF, part two. Need I say more? Even though I thought the Celtics should have won a year ago, they do not have Ray Allen. With his incredible three point shooting, Boston will wish they resigned their once beloved Big 3 member. The emotional ride ends here for Boston, and a King is one step closer to the ring. Heat 7

Rockets vs. Thunder

I know a lot of people think the opposite, but James Harden will prove why Oklahoma City should have never traded him. With the Lin and Harden backcourt, Houston is deadly. The key is if Chandler Parsons can stop Durant, but I think that is possible. Rockets 6

Grizzlies vs. Clippers

Both teams have excellent frontcourts, but it will come down to Chris Paul in the backcourt. Memphis is a team that will never backdown from a fight, but there is too much talent in Lob City, that the Griz cant handle. Clippers 7

Warriors vs. Nuggets

Nothing but great basketball for the next two weeks. Steph Curry and Andre Iguodola are the two most underrated players in the NBA, and man they are exciting to watch. I'd pick the Nuggets if Faried and Galo were healthy, but that is not the case. Three point shooting stops up tempo teams, thats why Golden State takes it. Warriors 7

Lakers vs. Spurs

The Lakers are still good with the Nash-Pau-Howard lineup. That would be a big 3 on any other team. This team without Kobe is completely different though, just watch their game vs. Houston. The Spurs have too much talent and play unselfish. The Lakers might win one, but I'd be shocked to see the series go past 5. Spurs 4

Rockets vs. Clippers

After a brutal series vs. Oklahoma City, the Rockets will be tired. Chris Paul will shine againt Jeremy Lin, and Blake Griffin will dominate Motiejunas and Asik. Clippers 5

Warriors vs. Spurs

Simple. One man show, or a quality team with experience? Give me the unit. Spurs 4

Clippers vs. Spurs

This will be a completely different series from a year ago, CP3 and Griffin finally have playoff experience, but the Spurs have more. Gregg Popovich knows how to win games this time of year, and San Antonio is back home in the Finals. Spurs 5

Spurs vs. Heat

The best team of last decade, vs the best team of this decade. Get ready for a classic matchup with a ton of hall of famers on the floor. I'd like to pick Miami to win, but the difference is Tony Parker. The Chalmers Parker matchup is the difference in this incredible matchup. This will be a lot of fun to watch. Spurs 7

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Thunder/Spurs -> Thunder (in 5)

Heat/Knicks -> Heat (in 7)

Heat over Thunder (in 6)

Also, Clippers lose in the first round.

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-Quarterfinals:

---East

-----MIA over MIL in 4

-----NY over BOS in 6

-----BRK over CHI in 6

-----IND over ATL in 5

---West

-----OKC over HOU in 5

-----SA over LAL in 6

-----MEM over LAC in 7

-----GS over DEN in 7

-Semifinals:

---East

-----MIA over BRK in 5

-----NY over IND in 7

---West

-----OKC over MEM in 5

-----SA over GS in 6

-Conference Finals:

---East

-----MIA over NY in 7

---West

-----SA over OKC in 6

-NBA Finals:

-----MIA over SA in 6

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Heat > anyone

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-Quarterfinals:

---East

-----MIA over MIL in 4

-----NY over BOS in 6

-----BRK over CHI in 6

-----IND over ATL in 5

---West

-----OKC over HOU in 5

-----SA over LAL in 6

-----MEM over LAC in 7

-----GS over DEN in 7

-Semifinals:

---East

-----MIA over BRK in 5

-----NY over IND in 7

---West

-----OKC over MEM in 5

-----SA over GS in 6

-Conference Finals:

---East

-----MIA over NY in 7

---West

-----SA over OKC in 6

-NBA Finals:

-----MIA over SA in 6

What he said.

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Milwaukee vs Houston NBA finals. Milwaukee in 7. You heard it hear first.

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I posted these in the NBA thread so I'll transfer them over.

My predictions for the whole postseason:

WEST:

First Round

Thunder over Rockets (in 5)

Clippers over Grizzlies (in 7)

Warriors over Nuggets (in 6)

Spurs over Lakers (in 7)

Semi-Finals

Thunder over Clippers (in 6)

Spurs over Warriors (in 6)

Conference Finals

Thunder over Spurs (in 5)

EAST

First Round

Heat over Bucks (in 4)

Nets over Bulls (in 6)

Pacers over Hawks (in 6)

Knicks over Celtics (in 5)

Semi-Finals

Heat over Nets (in 5)

Knicks over Pacers (in 7)

Conference Finals

Heat over Knicks (in 6)

2013 NBA Finals

Heat over Thunder (in 5)

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WEST:

First Round

Thunder over Rockets (in 6)

Clippers over Grizzlies (in 6)

Nuggets over Warriors (in 6)

Spurs over Lakers (in 5)

Semi-Finals

Thunder over Clippers (in 6)

Spurs over Nuggets (in 7)

Conference Finals

Spurs over Thunder (in 7)

EAST

First Round

Heat over Bucks (in 4)

Nets over Bulls (in 7)

Pacers over Hawks (in 5)

Knicks over Celtics (in 7)

Semi-Finals

Heat over Nets (in 5)

Pacers over Knicks (in 6)

Conference Finals

Heat over Pacers (in 6)

2013 NBA Finals

Heat over Spurs (in 6)

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Thunder over Rockets

Clippers over Grizzlies

Nuggets over Warriors

Spurs over Lakers

Heat over Bucks

Bulls over Nets

Pacers over Hawks

Celtics over Knicks

Thunder over Clippers

Spurs over Nuggets

Heat over Bulls

Pacers over Celtics

Thunder over Spurs

Heat over Pacers

Heat over Thunder

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I'm pulling for a Clippers/Lakers and Nets/Knicks Final Four.

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East:

Miami > Milwaukee (4)

Brooklyn > Chicago (6)

Atlanta > Indiana (7)

New York > Boston (6)

Miami > Brooklyn (5)

New York > Atlanta (7)

Miami > New York (6)

West:

Oklahoma City > Houston (5)

Los Angeles > Memphis (7)

Golden State > Denver (6)

San Antonio > Los Angeles (6)

Oklahoma City > Los Angeles (6)

Golden State > San Antonio (7)

Oklahoma City > Golden State (6)

Finals:

Miami > Oklahoma City (6)

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Miami over Milwaukee in 4

Brooklyn over Chicago in 5

Indiana over Atlanta in 6

New York over Boston in 6

Oklahoma City over Houston in 5

Clippers over Memphis in 6

Denver over Golden State in 6

San Antonio over Lakers in 5

Miami over Brooklyn in 6

New York over Indiana in 5

Oklahoma City over Clippers in 6

Denver over San Antonio in 7

Miami over New York in 5

Oklahoma City over Denver in 6

Miami over Oklahoma City in 6

That was oh so hard.

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EAST:

1) Miami over 8) Milwaukee (4-0)

2) New York over 7) Boston (4-1)

3) Indiana over 6) Atlanta (4-2)

5) Chicago over 4) Brooklyn (4-2)

1) Miami over 5) Chicago (4-1)

2) New York over 3) Indiana (4-3)

1) Miami over 2) New York (4-3)

WEST:

1) Oklahoma City over 8) Houston (4-2)

2) San Antonio over 7) LA Lakers (4-3)

3) Denver over 6) Golden State (4-1)

5) Memphis over 4) LA Clippers (4-3)

1) Oklahoma City over 5) Memphis (4-3)

3) Denver over 2) San Antonio (4-2)

3) Denver over 1) Oklahoma City (4-2)

FINAL:

1) Miami over 3) Denver (4-2)

I've been pushing Denver for months now, might as well ride them to their limit.

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Lets see

1st Round:

-Heat in 4

-Celtics in 7

-Pacers in 6

-Nets in 6

-Thunder in 6

-Spurs in 6

-Nuggets in 5

-Clippers in 6

Conference Semifinals:

-Heat in 5

-Pacers in 6

-Thunder in 6

-Nuggets in 5

Conference Finals:

-Heat in 4

-Nuggets in 7

NBA Finals:

-Heat in 5

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My thoughts on each series.

Thunder/Rockets

I don't think OKC is as good of a team as they were last year minus James Harden, but this is still a team more then capable of making a deep playoff run. The Rockets on the other hand I view as a young team still learning how to play together and still trying to find an identity. They may be able to steal a game or two from OKC, but that's it. If this series were to go more then five games I would be surprised.

Clippers/Grizzlies

Still seeing a lot of the same problems from the Clippers team as I did last year. They have a third scoring option in Jamal Crawford that they didn't have last year, but they still don't have a solid perimeter defender outside of CP3. Memphis on the other hand is a better team then they were last year. This a deep team that can cause problems defensively for anybody and play ugly offensively. I think the Clippers are capable of taking a game or two from Memphis, maybe even push it to seven, but I don't think this series will be as close as most people think.

Nuggets/Warriors

The I think will present the closest matchup of the first round in the West. What Mark Jackson has done to turn this team from a full court to a half court team in just one year and get them to the playoffs in the process with basically the same roster is nothing short of impressive. In my opinion he should be coach of the year. Denver on the other hand is probably the most well rounded team in the West. There really isn't a weak point on that team. They can win a full court or half court game, but they like to push the ball. I don't think they will be able to do that against Golden State. Mark Jackson will make you beat them in a half court game. Denver is capable of doing that but it will not be easy even more so now given that they will be minus Gallinari. I don't think a single game in that series will be decided by much more then 10 points. Slight favorite to Denver but Golden State is very capable of pulling the upset in this series.

Spurs/Lakers

I think the loss of Kobe will eventually come back to haunt the Lakers, but I don't think it will hurt them quite as much as people think. Mike D'Antoni's answer for losing Kobe seems to be getting Pau Gasol more involved in the offense, which in turn is drawing attention away from Dwight Howard. So could be a possible "Ewing effect" here and San Antonio is not a great interior team. They still have Tim Duncan, but not much beyond that. I don't much of a feel for this series because I really don't know how the Lakers will play minus Kobe, but like OKC I don't think this is a Spurs that is quite as good as they were last year, so an upset here would not surprise me.

Heat/Bucks

I don't think this will be quite as lopsided as a series as most people think. I think Milwaukee matches up decently against Miami and they beat them once earlier in the year and took them to OT in another. So not crazy to think this series has the potential of going to six. Still Miami just seems to go into fifth gear come playoff team and this is a team with at least three future HOFers on the roster. I don't think Milwaukee has one. Enough said.

Nets/Bulls

Will Derrick Rose come back? That's the question that will dominate this series. Without Rose I think Chicago has a decent chance of taking this series. With him I think they have a great chance. Brooklyn plays a lot of iso ball which is right up the Bulls alley in terms of defending. Problem is the Bulls don't have that one key superstar that Rose gave them. If they can find a way of matching the Nets on offense they will take this series, but I think its more likely to be a very lengthy series that could go either way.

Packers/Hawks

I think people will be surprised by the Hawks who think the Pacers are just going to steamroll this series. The Hawks move the ball very well and will force Indiana to spread out on defense which they hate doing. In the end though Indiana will probably still find a way of taking Al Horford out of the series and they have excellent perimeter defense, so it will probably come down to Josh Smith. It will be a good test for him if a Josh Smith led team can really do something in a playoff series, but ultimately I see Indiana taking this in six.

Knicks/Celtics

If C's had Rondo for this series I would favor them, but minus him I think they are missing that x-factor that has given them an edge in previous years. The one thing that might give Boston a chance in the series is New York themselves. I think its a very streaky team that can go either hot or cold at any time and say what you want about Carmelo's talents but I know he's not 100% coming into this series and that could wind up being a major factor, because I don't think New York is a very deep team offensively. If the Knicks show up though they should take this series pretty easily. This is a Boston team that's limping into the playoffs and I don't think will have much of an answer for anything New York wants to do so long as Carmelo can keep it together health wise. If that's the case then I think this will be the most lobisded first round series in the East.

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Clippers-Grizzlies should be a delightful series. The rest of the first round will be perfunctory.

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I wish I watched more Grizzlies, Pacers and Nuggets games. Each team won 50 games (except the Pacers, who only played 81 games?) and have broken from the mold of star-dominated teams. I don't think any of the three makes the Finals, but each seems like it could make a surprise run to the conference finals.

It's good for the NBA to have secondary markets do well; I just wish it wasn't always so quiet when they did. The Grizzlies won 56 games -- that's a lot! They're winning a ton, butTNT only ever shows Lakers/Blazers games.

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The Grizzlies got some love a year or two ago when they were made to have been healing Memphis from floods or general blight or something. I generally resent that whole Sports Can Heal Us baloney, but what made it particularly odd was the framing of the Grizzlies as "a real blue-collar, lunch-bucket team, reflecting the spirit of their community." Not only is this another cliche I hate enough in hockey without it spreading to the NBA, but what's blue-collar about trying to score a lot of points? And what's lunch-bucket about a city known for nightlife?

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They're "blue-collar and lunch-bucket" because they're one of those teams that gets to be as physical as they want for the most part on defense while their opponents always get a ton of ticky-tack calls on the other end. That's part of the reason their defense is so good, which feeds into the "blue-collar" narrative.

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