Every year, I like to throw out a playoff bracket for you guys to laugh at. Last year, I had the Bulls and Blazers in the finals. YEP, that was a good bracket. Anyway, here's a short post of me throwing out my predictions like some sports pundit who actually knows what he's talking about.
The Western Conference:
Spurs in 5
Reason: The Jazz have a BEASTY interior, one that actually beats the Spurs combo of Blair and Duncan. Unfortunately, that's about the only matchup advantage they have. The Spurs are just too deadly from the outside, and will quickly overwhelm them in a flurry of points.
Grizzlies in 6
Reason: The Clippers are the fishiest team in the world. Sometimes they'll bomb threes and get acrobatic dunks like they're nothing. But their bench is trash, and sometimes they'll fall in love with the three. Memphis has a much stronger rotation, and they have four or five guys who can go off on you during any given night.
Lakers in 7
Reason: It's playoff time, and the Lakers have come to play. I know that they're a flawed team, but their stars can carry them through most situations. The Nuggets are the epitome of teamwork, but they just don't have a go-to guy at the end of games.
Thunder in 7
Reason: The Mavericks don't have the matchup advantages they once had with Tyson Chandler and Jose Juan Barea. They can compete with the Thunder for a good while, but in the end, OKC has homecourt advantage and some great talent.
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 4. Memphis Grizzlies
Spurs in 4
Reason: The Spurs have handily defeated the Grizzlies during every matchup this season, and there's no reason to think they can't do it again.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 3. Los Angeles Lakers
Thunder in 5
Reason: The Thunder's supporting cast is miles ahead of what the Lakers have surrounding them.
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Spurs in 5
Reason: The Spurs have Matt Bonner, who destroys the Thunder because he's a big man who can shoot. Also, Tony Parker is too quick for Russell Westbrook. And their offense is much more consistent.
Below: The East, the NBA Finals! (Believe me, the East is a lot crazier.)
The Eastern Conference:
Bulls in 4
Reason: The 76ers are stronger than your typical 8 seed, but they endured a late-season collapse and don't have excellent defense down low. The Bulls will destroy them with Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose's size.
Celtics in 6
Reason: The Hawks are a tough defensive and three point shooting team, but the Celts have found a decent enough supporting cast of characters for one final run at the title. Their scorers aren't as athletic, but they're smarter, they have a better distributor, and they play much better defense.
Pacers in 4
Reason: Without Dwight, this team is a pushover down low. They have no center. The Pacer have Roy Hibbert.
Knicks in 7
Reason: The Knicks haven't beaten the Heat this season, but they also haven't faced the Heat at full strength. The Heat's big three are formidable, but Anthony, Stoudemire, and Smith are all equally good scorers. I'm not saying it's likely, but hay, I'm predicting it.
1. Chicago Bulls vs. 4. Boston Celtics
Celtics in 7
Reason: Again, I'm probably off of my rocker here, but these two teams have played some competitive games, and both of them are really defensively sound. Ugly series, but the Celtics win on a hunch.
3. Indiana Pacers vs. 7. New York Knicks
Knicks in 6
Reason: With these two teams, it basically becomes a scoring battle, and the Knicks are much better at scoring.
4. Boston Celtics vs. 7. New York Knicks
Celtics in 7
Reason: Both of these teams are pretty dead even, but I'm giving it to the Celtics based on past playoff experience.
The NBA Finals
1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 4. Boston Celtics
Old vs. Old. In a last hurrah of the days of yore, the Celtics and Spurs battle it out for a title. In the end, defense usually beats offense, so I'm throwing out the Boston Celtics as your 2012 NBA Champions.
Celtics in 7
Feel free to throw out your predictions in the comments below!