2011 NBA Playoff Preview
While this may shape out as being the best post-seasons in recent memory, this might be the last time we will see the NBA for a while with a lockout looming. I’ll go a step further and say that the impending lockout will wipe out half of next season at the VERY LEAST.
Well, enough with the pessimism. Here is how I think the first round will turn out…
(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Indiana Pacers. Bulls in 4.
(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers. Heat in 4.
Those two series will be wastes of everyone’s time. Hit the fast-forward button to the second round please…
(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) New York Knicks. Celtics in 7.
This will be one of the two best opening round series (Mavs-Blazers being the other). I think the Celtics will rue the day that GM Danny Ainge traded away Kendrick Perkins. It’s the only reason my Knicks will have a chance in this series. While the Celtics will have some trouble stopping 2 30-point scorers in Carmelo and Amar’e, they should pull it out on grit alone – unfortunately…
(4) Orlando Magic vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks. Magic in 5.
Does anyone outside of the five Hawks fans think Atlanta has a chance after ending the season on a six-game losing streak? Another dog of a series. This reminds us why the NBA should have left the first round as a best-of-five instead of seven.
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies. Spurs in 6.
Watch out for the Grizzlies. I think they will push the Spurs and pick up their first post-season wins in franchise history. Too bad the sparse crowds in Memphis could give a damn.
(2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) New Orleans Hornets. Lakers in 4.
This is the “Chris Paul can’t wait to get out of New Orleans” series. It’ll remind him why he will never win in New Orleans, and the league why it should contract the Hornets and move them back to Charlotte (more on that in a future rant). At any rate, look for Kobe Bryant to cuss out another referee and call him a f—-t…
(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Portland Trailblazers. Mavs in 7.
This, along with the Celtics-Knicks series, is the best series in the first round. The Mavs should be scared though. Portland is playing some good basketball and is a match-up nightmare for them. The Mavs should tough this out, but they will definitely earn it.
(4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Denver Nuggets. Thunder in 5.
No secret as to why Nuggets coach George Karl preferred playing the Mavs over the Thunder in the first round. The Thunder should end Denver’s impressive post-Carmelo run thanks to studs Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. I wouldn’t be shocked if this ended in a sweep.