NBA Playoffs, anyone?

I'm an Indiana Pacers fan. Like my Blackhawks, the Pacers fell short of the playoffs. The 'Hawks were three points out in the Western Conference. The Pacers missed the eighth seed in the East by a game. So I have no rooting interest, really.


(1) Boston (66-16) v. (8) Atlanta (37-45)

Not much you can do about this sort of mismatch. Boston in a clean sweep, 4-0

(2) Detroit (59-23) v. (7) Philadelphia (40-42)

Not much you can do about this sort of mismatch. Detroit in a clean sweep, 4-0

(3) Orlando (52-30) v. (6) Toronto (41-41)

As much as I like Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard is freaky good. Magic, 4-1

(4) Cleveland (45-37) v. (5) Washington (43-39)

Poor LeBron. There's not going to be a big miracle, one-man run this season. I don't even like their chances in the first round, but I do think it'll be a hell of a series, and the East's only first-round matchup worth paying any real attention to. This has become a nice little rivalry. Wizards, 4-3


(1) Boston v. (5) Washington

Celtics run roughshod over the tired Wiz and clean them out in short order. Celtics, 4-0

(2) Detroit v. (3) Orlando

Howard, Hedo and Rashard Lewis -- not a bad triple threat against Detroit's lovely team game. They split four regular season games but the Magic spanked them in the last one. Everyone's looking toward Boston-Detroit, which is something of a callback to the 80s rivalry between Balky Bird and the Bad Boys, but I think the Magic play spoiler. Orlando, 4-2


(1) Boston v. (3) Orlando

Celtics will be rested up with two relatively easy series wins for them. Orlando doesn't have a chance, but they'll make a go of it. Boston, 4-2



(1) LA Lakers (57-25) v. (8) Denver Nuggets (50-32)

I'm bummed that the Warriors didn't get in, and I think it's a goddamned crying shame that the 48-win Warriors have less of a chance to win the NBA championship than the fuckin' four through eight seeds in the East, but them's the breaks. Stephen A. Smith said the Nuggets had a sleeper's chance this preseason, which should pretty much close the case on whether or not he's a moron. But I think this is as good a matchup for them as possible. The Lakers are crap defensively (but not as mind-numbing as Denver can be) and the Nuggets have a lot of weapons. Big, big chance for the eight over one upset again. In fact, I'm uh...I'm taking it. Nuggets, 4-3

(2) New Orleans (56-26) v. (7) Dallas (51-31)

These aren't your slightly older brother's Mavericks. Recent struggles aside, I think they grit out some good wins and get past the Mavericks. But seven or two wouldn't surprise me. In fact, if it was 5-6-7-8 advancing in the West, who would be SHOCKED? Hornets, 4-2

(3) San Antonio (56-26) v. (6) Phoenix (55-27)

The temptation is to stick with the safe pick, which is San Antonio. They do what they do when the do what they do. You know how they do. Defense, fundamentals, boring the fuck out of everyone on earth. Phoenix gets Grant Hill back, plus they have Big Fat Shaq and his 28 minutes a night. Amare is a beast and Steve Nash continues to be Steve Nash. The Suns spare us any more Spurs series. Phoenix, 4-3

(4) Utah (54-28) v. Houston (55-27)

I picked the Rockets to win the whole. fuckin'. thing. in the preseason, which was admittedly a stretch, but they sure came on. But I don't like them without Yao to go very far in the playoffs. This series does not pique my interest. Jazz, 4-3


(8) Denver v. (4) Utah

Utah plays smart, team basketball. They "run their stuff." Denver craps out. Jazz, 4-2

(2) New Orleans v. (6) Phoenix

Everyone spends the seven years it takes to complete an NBA playoff series talking about Shaq and his playoff experience giving the Suns a new wrinkle. A NEW WRIN-KULL. AND THAT IS WHY. THE SUNS. WILL DOMINATE. THIS SERIES. AND WIN. THE WEST. Hornets kick the shit out of them instead. New Orleans, 4-1


(4) Utah v. (2) New Orleans

Jerry Sloan's team continues doing what they do. Hornets fall short of the Finals, but just short. Jazz, 4-3



(1) Boston v. (4) Utah


Celtics in six. I think there are plenty of Western Conference teams that can and would beat Boston, and I think Utah has an OK chance. But the Western Conference playoffs are going to beat the shit out of whichever team comes out of them.

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