Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 NBA Playoffs Predictions: Cavs over Lakers

It's the day of the Playoffs / Wow-wow-wow.

Let's start by saying that - with seven wins separating 1 from 8 and key injuries up and down the field - there is absolutely nothing that would surprise me in the West, not even if Russell Westbrook ran wild against the Lakers' PGs to spark an upset.

Indeed, I'm hardly brimming with confidence about my pick of L.A. winning the West, after they limped home with a 15-12 record in the final third of the season, but I just can't figure out who's strong enough to beat them. I liked Utah, but the Kirilenko injury is a killer. I think the Spurs could beat L.A., but they'll be hard-pressed to get out of the first round, and to stay healthy for more than a month. I like the Suns, but don't know if they can play enough defense, or get past their old nemesis San Antonio.

In the East, it'll be all about the Cleveland-Orlando series, which should determine the 2009-10 champion. I see it as a toss-up which has multiple games coming down to the final minutes, as in last year's series. I've gone back and forth on this one, but in the end, I'm going to change my preseason pick of Magic over Lakers, because I just think Cleveland is much better equipped to deal with this matchup this season.

So I'm predicting that
  • LeBron will get his first ring
  • Shaq will be the "first to 5" titles, beating Kobe and Timmy, and
  • Cleveland will get its first championship since 1964.
Do I feel uncertain about picking two no. 1 seeds in what seems to be a playoff season of unpredictability? I do. One thing I am certain of hasn't changed since I wrote about it at the beginning of the season: no single player's legacy is on the line as much as Vince Carter, who becomes a Hall of Famer if he wins a title.

For the record, here are our full playoff predictions:

First Round: Cavs in 4, Magic in 6, Hawks in 5, Heat in 6
Conf Semis: Cavs over Heat in 5, Magic over Hawks in 5
Conf Finals: Cavs over Magic in 7

First Round: Lakers in 7, Spurs in 6, Suns in 7, Nuggets in 7
Conf Semis: Lakers over Nuggets in 7, Spurs over Suns in 6
Conf Finals: Lakers over Spurs in 7

NBA Finals: Cavs over Lakers in 5

Time for the best sporting event on Earth to start. Let's do it.


At 11:29 AM, Blogger MuslimFirst said...

Ummm, I guess thanks for saying that my Blazers will go 7 games in the first round at least :-) Yes, let the games begin!!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger John said...

My personal interest will lean more towards the Dallas/Spurs series as it’s got to be the best of them all. I think the Spurs will win this one in 7 games.

Manu is back, much healthier and perhaps playing his best basketball in like 2 years or so. If there is a time for the Spurs to rise to the occasion, that time is now. They always come alive in the playoffs, to write them is simply at your own peril.

I know Dallas with the Dirk/Kidd combo can do a lot of damage and a lot will be expected for them. But time and time again, come the post season they will seems to choke when it really matters.

That’s just my opinion. It will be a close call between these two but certainly a classic encounter.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Jose said...

Spurs will reach west conf finals? WOW that will surprise a lot of people if it happens.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger verde said...

I wonder what your motives were to pick Heat in 6.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger soccer_luver222 said...

yet another person picking heat over celtics. very disappointing. you cant tell me that boston brought orlando, who made it to the finalswith 3+ weapons on their team, to 7 games without their leader and say that their losin to a one man killin machine. they proved they can lock down kobe, and wade certainly wasnt a problem for them. then i guess everyone greatly doubts that cavs have no chance on boston. yet again the talent on that team surpasses every team in the league x2 at least. allen, the rain man, rondo, triple double man, garnett, leader and clutch, pierce, clutch and hits daggerss, then perkins and wallce there to help w/ def and off, i wouldnt be surprised at all if boston beats cavs, then orlando, then lakers to take the finals once again.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger soccer_luver222 said...

*i mean boston has no chance against cavs ( line 8 )

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