Once again I am late as hell in my NBA playoff preview, this time it’s the conference finals. While I have been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately – grandmother’s death – I apologize for being late with this. Having said that, it’s time to get it going.
Note: despite what has already transpired, the results do NOT impact my predictions (you’ll see)…
Eastern Conference Finals
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
This is the match-up that everyone wants to see. Heat-Celtics. New school vs. Old school. Both teams are the walking wounded, with the Heat missing Chris Bosh and the Celtics being, well, OLD. Ray Allen is banged up and Paul Pierce is not 100%. While Kevin Garnett is balling, he is now a jump shooter.
Look, the Celtics are in the Heat’s heads. That alone gives Boston a shot to win this series. However, the Heat are just better – with Bosh or not. While this will be a competitive series – after all this is Heat-Celtics – this will not go seven. In fact, I’d be shocked if it takes Miami six games to eliminate Boston.
Prediction: Heat in five.
Western Conference Finals
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
I love this series because it shows everyone what happens when franchises go about their business the RIGHT WAY. Both teams are small market squads that many think on paper have no business competing with the likes of the LA Lakers, the Heat, the Celtics, the New York Knicks, and the Chicago Bulls.
This will be a highly contested series, but I am going to give an edge to the Thunder. I learned my lesson from the last round when I picked the Lakers over the Thunder (what in the hell was I thinking?). They are younger, and more importantly hungry after last season’s loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. While the Spurs are strong – in fact, they are SCARY STRONG – I think the Thunder will rise up and get to the next level.
Prediction: Thunder in six.