The NBA Playoffs start on Saturday. This is something I am pretty excited about, and the primary reason why I plan to be both mentally and emotionally unavailable to friends and family members from now through the month of June. Each and every game will require my complete attention unfortunately, as well as my extreme focus, and I am hopeful that those around me are understanding of this and able to cope accordingly.
The First Round will be entertaining as always, but like any other year, the game-to-game results will by and large prove insignificant as the Second Round takes shape. Of the sixteen teams set to begin postseason play tomorrow, only five really have a chance to actually win their conference. I will go ahead and say those five teams with the best chances of doing so include Miami, Oklahoma City, Chicago, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers. In that order too actually, and I am not sure I am breaking news to anybody by saying as much.
Miami will tip things off against New York, Oklahoma City will play Dallas, Chicago will host the Sixers, San Antonio will play Utah, and the Lakers will square off against Denver. I really don't think any of those top-seeds will lose their first round series either to be honest.
If I had to pick one, as contradictory as it may sound seeing as how I also called this team the favorite to win the whole thing, I do think it is the Miami Heat that are also most vulnerable for an upset. Carmelo Anthony, as annoying as I think he is sometimes, is still an NBA superstar and the main reason why the Heat could maybe fall possibly. Out of that group of five challengers, maybe only Dirk is better at the moment too. Maybe. But Jeremy Lin or not, Dirk's supporting cast isn't close to as good as the one Anthony currently has in New York. Assuming Carmelo lets those guys play too that is.
But while I do see the Knicks winning one game in that series, I don't see them winning enough to advance. They probably won't even win two. If Spike Lee, the fans, and the New York Media send enough momentum Miami's way after the Heat lose their first hypothetical game in that series though, maybe the Knicks do get two and make it compelling. That's it though. Dallas might beat Oklahoma City a couple times as well but they won't advance, and the Sixers will definetely not win one game. Denver might win one game though, same with Utah, but that's about it for those guys too.
With all that said, I have Chicago moving on to play Boston, Indiana advancing on to play Miami, and then San Antonio, Memphis, the Lakers and Oklahoma City all moving on also. The two top seeds that will lose in that second round will be the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angles Lakers in my opinion however, leaving only Oklahoma City, Chicago, and Miami in their respective Conference Finals. From there, I will not predict what I think will happen until I get to watch the first round, but I do see the Spurs and Lakers as the teams most likely to go down first.
Unless things get weird in New York of course, and the unthinkable happens before then.
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