Saturday, April 20, 2013

The 2013 NBA Playoffs Predictions Column, Quick And Dirty


I’ll make this NBA Playoffs preview quick, only because the end result is something I and probably most others can’t see changing.

While the Clippers and Grizzlies (a rematch of last year’s first-round, going-the-distance street fight) and Nuggets and Warriors (a pair of run-and-gun teams) will be very intriguing, the series that will make the biggest statement is the one between the Spurs and the Lakers.  These are two proud franchises with two iconic Hall-of-Famers-to-be (Duncan, Kobe) that are very old and come into the playoffs leaking oil.

San Antonio’s top player is now Tony Parker, and even he can’t go the full 48.  Meanwhile, maybe the Lakers can play better offensively now that there is one less cook to spoil the broth, although that one cook has won the James Beard Award, like, a dozen times.  Upsets are uncommon in the NBA, but this series has to favor the Lakers, right?  Even though Gregg Popovich has done an admirable job keeping his veterans as healthy as they can for the postseason while clinching the second-best record in the West, they’re going to finish below seed once again, for even if they somehow get past the Lakers, no way are they going to be able to keep up with either Denver or Golden State.  San Antone is holding on, but the inevitable changing of the guard is coming a year closer.

Meanwhile, while New York, Indiana or even Brooklyn could pose an under-the-radar threat (and by the way, who the hell is Pablo Prigoni, and how did he become the Knicks’ starting point guard?), there’s nothing that’s stopping the Miami Heat from reaching the NBA Finals, not even Brandon Jennings’s guarantee that the Milwaukee Bucks – tee-hee – will beat the Heat in 6.  Yeah, good luck with that.

Especially with Derrick Rose not likely to return at all this year – and boy, his career arc has taken a serious hit with this season-long ACL tear – the Chicago Bulls can no longer be my pick to face Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.  I’ll go with the Pacers, the best defensive team in the NBA.  And I think they can give the Heat a game.  I say Miami in 5.  Meanwhile, The Bastard Seattle SuperSonics will face the Clippers, who probably are the second-best team in the West, in the second round.  Should be smooth sailing after they survive them; they’ll sweep Denver in 4.

And saying all that, I’ll stick with my early-season prediction that that Heat will beat the Thunder in four.

Posted by WilliamSou at 3:22 PM

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