Cousin Alex’s 5th Annual NBA Playoff Preview

Apr 16, 2016 by

Before we get going, whether you love, hate or are indifferent about the guy, let’s pay tribute to the playing career of Kobe Bryant.  He is 37 years old and has played in the NBA for 20 seasons – he’s been in the NBA 3 years longer than he hasn’t been in the league.  Then you throw in 1st ballet Hall of Fame numbers and you get the storied career of Kobe Bryant.  Going out with 60 points and a win was an amazing way to end his career.  With that said, this season we had a little fun incorporating lines from famous movies to help depict the 2016 NBA Playoff Teams.

 

The Western Conference

Golden State Warriors

Talladega Nights – Ricky Bobby with the famous quote, “If you ain’t first you’re last,” or “Here’s the deal I’m the best there is.  Plain and simple.  I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence.”

The Warriors average 30 points in 1st quarters this season which takes the will out of its opponents early and often – often meaning a NBA record 73 times! They are not arrogant like Ricky Bobby which makes it easier to cheer for them.  What an incredible season to watch as fans.  Steph Curry will pick up his second consecutive MVP averaging a league leading 30 ppg, a league leading 2+ steals per game, along with 7 apg and 6 rpg.  Chef Curry shoots over 50% from the field, 45% from the 3 point line and over 90% from the free throw line.  He easily leads the league in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares, Plus/Minus Rankings, Value Over Replacement Player and a whole plethora of other analytical statistics.  Curry just completed one of the best seasons of any individual player in the history of the NBA – and he sat out how many fourth quarters?…..19!  On ESPN they said he only played 40 minutes or more in four games the entire season.

Curry clearly doesn’t do all this himself – Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, and a bench second to none.Having a guy like Harrison Barnes accept a more limited role than his talent possesses has helped this team deliver the best regular season of all-time.  Golden State is extremely unselfish and share the ball better than any team in the league (1st in assists) with incredible rotational passing.  The Curry and Draymond Green pick-in-roll is deadly – Kerr added the element of now using Curry as the screener as well.  Drake produced a song, “Back to Back” – wonder if the Warriors like that song?

 

San Antonio Spurs

Rocky IV – when Ivan Drago states, “He is not human, he’s is a piece of iron,” after he cannot put Rocky Balboa away.

The Spurs have officially stood the test of time and to beat them four times in a series takes a valiant effort just like defeating Rocky would.  The fighting Greg Popoviches are well balanced with a nice mix of veterans who know how to win and younger stars in Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.  Leonard ranks 7th in Offensive Win Shares and T-2nd in Defensive Win Shares – in my eyes he’s the best two way player in the league.  As a team, the Spurs rank 2nd in Offensive Field Goal Percentage at 49% and 4th in Defensive Field Goal Percentage at 43.7%.  The Spurs have solid defensive rotations but when the Warriors passed well vs. them during three out of the four regular season games the rotations were not quite fast enough – the problem the Warriors lay on everyone.  Does San Antonio have the Rocky Balboa guts, heart and determination to take down OKC and then Golden State?

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Happy Gilmore – When Bob Barker and Happy Gilmore wrestle down the hill and then Happy head butts Bob Barker and states, “The price is wrong bitch.”  Then Bob resurrects by grabbing Happy by the throat, delivers some blows, and says, “I think you’ve had enough, no?  Now you’ve had enough, ….bitch!”

The 2012 NBA Finals feel like yesterday and even after losing in five to the Heat, the question was not really when the Thunder would win a title, but how many they would win.  Then Bob Barker, the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs opened their eyes and the Thunder have not been back since.  OKC ranks 5th in defensive field goal percentage.  They have two of the top 5 players in the league but all too often the ball stops moving.  Durant ranks 2nd in the league for Win Shares and Russell Westbrook ranks 3rd – can the two talents win four out of seven vs. both the Spurs and Warriors to get another shot at the title?  Bob Barker thinks otherwise.

 

Los Angeles Clippers

Dumb & Dumber – When the Cop pulls Harry and Lloyd over after Lloyd drains the main vein into empty beer cans in the Sheepdog Van – cop takes some of “grandpa’s cough medicine (Lloyd’s pee),” twitches his mouth and says, “Get the h.e. double hockey sticks outta here!”

Basically the NBA tells this to CP3 and the Clippers every year during the playoffs.  Chris Paul is really good but he has never even made a conference final and the man’s only getting older.  CP3 is 5th in Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) so maybe I’m too harsh on him.  What if Blake Griffin punches out Steph Curry and they surprise the Warriors in round two?  Simply put, I do not like this team and will cheer for another early exist.  Even with holding DeAndre Jordan hostage and bringinghim back to LA, the Clips rank 2nd to last in rebounding, getting outrebounded by almost five boards a game.  No reason these playoffs will bring any different results for Doc and company.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

Dumb and Dumber – “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?!” This is when Lloyd is pathetically displaying his love for Mary Samsonite, I mean Swanson (who already was married).

So we are kind of being rude here to the Trail Blazers who honestly did have a surprisingly impressive season after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to the Spurs and Wes Mathews to the Mavericks in free agency.  Damian Lillard had an incredible season averaging 25 ppg, 7 apg, and 4 rpg, and yet somehow he did not make the All-Star game.  C.J. McCollum had a breakout season averaging 21 ppg.  Not sure what will happen first, Lloyd Christmas getting Mary Swanson or the Trail Blazers winning a NBA title.

 

Dallas Mavericks

The actual Miracle on Ice – Al Michaels, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”  I was not alive for this actual event, but I wish I was…

Although he’s showing signs of slowing down, Dirk still possesses the beautiful, unblockable fade away.  If anyone believes Dirk and the Mavs could shock the world and take down OKC, San Antonio, and then most likely Golden State in the Western Conference Finals it is Mark Cuban.  Cuban’s a successful guy (Bernie Sanders must hate him!), so he knows something most of us don’t….but that’s in business, not the NBA Playoffs.  Moral of this blurb – Someday we’ll all miss the German’s fade away.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

The Replacements – time for QB Shane Falco to take over….

The Replacements was a movie based on bringing in replacement players because of a strike in the NFL…the Grizzlies have replacements not because of a strike, but because of injuries.  Their two best players, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, are done for the season – absolutely zero threat out West.  Folks, they have had something like 28 players suit up for them this season alone…would be shocked if they get the first round series past five games.

 

Houston Rockets

Apollo 13 – “Houston, we have a problem.”

Harden is so good on the offensive end (besides leading the league in turnovers), but the problem exists on the defensive end.  This team has above average talent for an 8 seed but that won’t be enough to take down a team who won 73 games.  Where will Dwight play next season?  Milwaukee Bucks please and thank you.

 

The Eastern Conference

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Friday Night Lights – “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!”

The city of Cleveland deserves a title and maybe this saying will become their battle cry.  LeBron is clearly bored with the regular season through his social media actions lately, but there is no doubt he’ll display laser focus and determination in the postseason.  The Cavs hold opponents toT-3rd fewest points per game and are 3rd in rebounding differential.  As long as LeBron stays healthy, they will win the East.  They will have the advantage of an easier road to the Finals than the eventual Western Conference champion.  To win it all, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving need to be healthy and efficient both offensively but more important DEFENSIVELY.  Also, I love the idea of starting Tristian Thompson at center for the playoffs – his defense, rebounding, and setting solid screens is a better fit with the starters.

 

Toronto Raptors

Billy Madison – While on the field trip Billy helps out his little buddy, Ernie,who peed his pants,by dabbing the water on his pants and proceeds to everyone, “Of course I peed my pants, everyone my age pees their pants.  It’s the coolest.”

Another solid regular season for our friends from up north but can they finally stop peeing their pants come playoff time and get past the first round?  Kyle Lowry runs the show and is top 10 in Win Shares for the entire league.  Lowry averages over 21 ppg, over 6 apg, 5 rpg, and 2 spg.  His fellow All-Star, backcourt running mate, Demar DeRozan, averages close to 24 ppg.  Something under the radar that truly helps Toronto out is they shoot 37% from downtown, which ranks 4th in the NBA.  Many analysts think they pose the biggest threat to the Cavs in the East, but they just might want to focus on the first round for now…

 

Miami Heat

Furious 7 – Dom (Vin Diesel) says towards the end of the movie, “One last ride.”

If the Heat do not make the NBA Finals this year, this current nucleus will never do it again.  D-Wade seems like a lifetime Heat player but maybe he’ll team up for one last championship ride elsewhere before his time expires.  Whether you like Chris Bosh or not, the blood clots are scary and I wish he was healthy to play.  Miami easily leads the league in blocks, thanks to Hassan Whiteside’s league leading 3.7 bpg.  They are also top five in opponent’s points per game and top 10 in opponent’s field goal percentage.  In the unlikely chance Chris Bosh is able to not only play this postseason, but play at a high level, I’d give the Heat the second best chance to represent the East behind the Cavs.

 

Atlanta Hawks

 

Miracle – Coach Herb Brooks – “You think you can win on talent alone?  Gentlemen, you don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”

The Hawks do understand their lack of talent but they make up for it in chemistry by averaging the 2nd most assists per game. Atlanta also holds its opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the league.  The Hawks communicate on both ends of the floor very well.  Analytically, they have four players rank in the top 20 for Defensive Rating.  Although, talent ultimately wins out in the NBA which does not bode well for the Hawks.

 

Boston Celtics

Remember the Titans – Coach Yoast says, “You make sure they remember, FOREVER, the night they played the Titans!”

Brad Stevens is proving he can flat out coach on any level.  He quietly gets the most out of each and every player and gets them to play with a chip on their shoulder so their opponents remember when they play the Celtics!  Just imagine when Coach Stevens lands a superstar to take his team to the next level.  Isaiah Thomas, although only 5’9”,had an All-Star season leading the Celtics while averaging over 22 ppg and over 6 apg.  The Celtics do rank 2nd in the league in generating steals and simply find ways to win ball games.  A possible kryptonite for Beantown – they rank T-27th in 3 point field goal percentage.  For now, Boston remains a star player and better perimeter shooting away from threatening the Cavs.

 

Charlotte Hornets

Space Jam (retro movie) – after a dismal first half, the team drink’s Michael’s Secret Stuff to come back and win.

Unless MJ suits up himself or the Hornets get some of Michael’s vintage Secret Stuff, this team’s chances for a surprise Final’s run are quite bleak.  They do have some talent and cherish the basketball as they average the fewest turnovers in the entire league. The Hornets rank in the bottom five of the league in shooting percentage and are below average in rebounding and generating steals.  This should scare anyone from jumping on Charlotte’s short bandwagon bus this postseason.  At least MJ has his Nike royalties flowing in like milk and honey…

 

Indiana Pacers

Hoosiers – no specific quote, just wanted to mention the great movie of Hoosiers (had to you know, Indiana in all)

The Pacers rank top 10 in both opponent’s points per game and defensive field goal percentage.  They are an average rebounding team and turn it over a little more than desirable.  Indiana is led by Paul George’s 23 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg and 2 spg.  After PG’s leg snapped in half less than two years ago, he and the organization should be extremely happy with his quick, impressive comeback.  Remember now, he’s still only 25 years old.  They do not have anyone who jumps out from an efficiency standpoint which helps speak to their record, seed and upcoming early exit – hmm they do play the Raptors in round 1 though so stay tuned…

 

Detroit Pistons

Old School – Vince Vaughn says, “Earmuffs,” while holding a baby.

Out of respect for a decent season we ask Pistons’ fans to put on their earmuffs before mentioning – they are not going anywhere this postseason!On a positive note they do have the second best rebounding team in the league.  Andre Drummond leads the league in rebounding and analytically has the 6th best Defensive Rating in the NBA.  Stan Van Gundy has done an excellent job turning around the team in a relatively quick manner, but this is not quite their time to shine.

 

Recap –

  • If the Dumb and Dumber quotes are foreign to you, forgive yourself and be sure to watch the hilarious classic within the week.
  • Last year we struck gold by predicting the Warriors over the Cavs in 6 games. This year it will take one more game – The Warriors over the Cavs in 7…well maybe it will only take 5 games but LBJ is still a man-child who will be possessed to bring Cleveland a title so we’ll go with 7.

 

Enjoy the playoffs and go Milwaukee Bucks…in the 2017 playoffs!

 

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34 Comments

  1. The fifth annual preview right after mamba retires with 5 rings? Well planned and well done!

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