Cousin Alex’s NBA Playoff Preview

Apr 26, 2012 by

 

Alex Allister is the newest contributor for Old 67, his obsession with sports started at young age.  When most kids were struggling with kindergarten, Alex was stealing money from his mom’s purse to buy baseball cards.  He later went on to play sports in both high school and college.  Two little known facts about Alex – he won a beat up Dodge Neon betting his Dad the Sox would overcome the Yanks down 0 -3 in 2004, and his Cousin Matt Ankerson took him to a frat party when he was only seven, “letting” him carry cases of beer from room to room, saving many a drunk college kid from having to get up to get another beer.

Unlike Football, fans of college basketball often aren’t fans of the NBA.  Their reasons are many:  they get paid too much, they don’t play any defense, have bad attitudes, and they take a few extra steps on drives to the hoop; the list goes on and on.  But, if you truly love to watch basketball, the NBA PLAYOFFS (not the regular season) are worth your time. NBA athletes are unquestionably the best basketball players on the planet, and energized stadiums make the playoffs that much more exciting. 

Below are brief summaries for each team possible chances in the playoffs.  I’ve ranked the teams from least likely to most likely to make the NBA Finals.  I believe anything is possible (not a Kevin Garnett reference either), so while I might believe the Heat are sure bets compared to the Sixers, everyone on this list has chance, though for some very slight, of making a run in this year’s playoffs. 

Eastbound and down for 7 teams

8 – Philadelphia 76ers – “Happy, the Gold Jackets yours, the 76ers are going to choke!”  The team has been in a funk since shortly before the All-Star break and backed their way in.  They play hard and are well coached, but I see them turning into the Atlanta Hawks for the next 3 to 5 years.  Philly lacks the true superstar needed to excel in the NBA.  I have to congratulate them on holding off my Milwaukee Bucks though.

7 – Orlando Magic – I have not enjoyed this season of “Days of our Lives” at all this year.  When is Marlena going to realize it’s not really Roman, but in fact Dwight Howard?  The soap opera that Dwight Howard and the media created has turned many sports fans the wrong way, and rightfully so.  Which brings me to the easiest statement in the article, “no Howard, no chance.”  Stan the man Van Gundy will be “gone fishin” quite early this Spring.  The only chance they have is to average twenty 3 pointers a game.

6 – New York Knicks – Who knows what will happen with this group?  Maybe Tebow will suit up?  They display the stars and the talent, but lack overall chemistry and consistency.  Melo today is the Allen Iverson of 10 years ago.  He excels when he gets shots and plays with role players.  Unless Mike Woodson can piece together something magical in time for a Heat Knicks series, Spike Lee will have another early start to shoot a new production.

5 – Atlanta Hawks – Same old story.  A bunch of B-list stars that are good but not great.  They’ll get you to the playoffs and maybe win one series at best.  Not having Horford only solidifies their lack of being any serious threat to represent the East.  Even if he plays, he will not be the Horford we all know.  To make it to the Finals, the Hawks would have to beat the Celtics and then most likely the Bulls and Heat…kinda sounds like death row if you ask me. 

4- Indiana Pacers – This team has size that is hard to match up against and plays extremely tough.  For the Pacers to turn some heads and make a run to the Finals, Danny Granger will need to elevate his game and play like a consistent superstar.  I am not sure they are battle tested to get past both the Heat and Celtics/Bulls although no one should be completely surprised if they pull it off.

3 – Boston Celtics – Rumor has it Ray Allen will be wearing Curt Schilling’s bloody sock this postseason.  Don’t buy the “too old” garbage here.  They will get the extra rest they need during the, plus the Celtics have a sensational coach who will put them in spots to win big games.  Pierce will need to play great in 4th quarters this postseason.  The lack of a true inside presence hurts their chances to head to a third NBA Finals, but they do have a realistic chance to make it back.

2 – Chicago Bulls – Chicago is balanced, tough, and has a great bench.  They play stifling defense and have an exceptional coach.  What scares me is the lack of scoring down the stretch in close games and for this reason, I can’t see them getting past the Heat.  Last year they struggled in the conference finals to score in 4th quarters vs. the Heat.  This year could give Rose and company another chance to prove me wrong, but I simply cannot see da Bulls beating the Heat 4 out of 7 games.

1 – Miami Heat – Alright, let’s face it; If the big 3 are motivated and hungry, they are the favorite to represent the East for a second straight season.  Consider this a warning – the Pacers will be a tough matchup in the second round.  If Mike Miller or Shane Battier can step it up and hit some clutch 3’s the Heat have too much for the back-to-back “regular season conference champions.”

 

How the West will be won

8 – Utah Jazz – Stockton to Malone! Oh it is 2012, my bad.  It will take a borderline miracle for this team to represent the West.  Their roster is filled with some quality young talent and a strong front line in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap.  They don’t get much attention, but they find ways to win basketball games flying under the radar.  It was a solid season but their playoff run will be about as long as Stockton’s shorts in the 90’s.

7 – Denver Nuggets – Ty Lawson is turning into a special point guard.  The Nuggets are exciting to watch and have plenty of offensive options.  At the end of the day they simply do not have true star power and thus no staying power.

6 – Dallas Mavericks – I don’t think we’ll see Khloe Kardashian courtside for any games this postseason…The defending champs just don’t look like a serious threat to repeat.  The defensive presence of Tyson Chandler is obviously missing, and they’d have to go through OKC, the Lakers and Spurs.  Have fun with that route to the Finals.  They do have the German and the Jet so you can’t completely write them off but I wouldn’t advise betting your favorite dog on it.  The Mavericks have a puncher’s chance to get back to the Finals and Buster Douglas did beat Mike Tyson, so …

5 – Memphis Grizzlies – This group is the glorified Atlanta Hawks of the West.  They display a well balanced attack and do have a slim chance to win the West because of their possible draw.  The first round matchup with the Clippers should be one of the best series these playoffs will bring.  They believe they can beat the Spurs if they are firing on all cylinders.  The Grizzlies are a big underdog out West but do not count them out.

4 – Los Angeles Clippers – Dynamic team.  CP3 and Mr. Kia Motors himself are amazing NBA talents.  The Clips had a solid year and only expect them to continue to get better in the coming years.  Unproven comes to mind when I think of this team.  If they had Billups to drain cold blooded playoff jumpers I would have more confidence in them.  The unloved Los Angeles Clippers are almost on the same level as their big brother the Lakers now.  Not this year though.

3 – Los Angeles Lakers – ESPN forgot to cover the Lakers’ signing of Gregg Williams as the team’s new defensive coordinator…too soon?!  World Peace can swing an elbow with the best of them and everyone and their grandma want to see a second round matchup with the Thunder, except for maybe James Harden.  If they can play consistent defense and figure out offensive chemistry, this long and talented team could make it.  We all know Kobe wants to tie MJ with 6 rings.  If this is to occur, the big boys up front in Bynum and Gasol will have to own the paint.

2 – San Antonio Spurs – This team reminds me of the token old guys at the YMCA who no one can beat.  They boast the best coach in the league, have this year’s MVP in Parker, and they know how to shoot the 3 ball.  Do not expect an early exit like last year.  They are a well-oiled machine ready to march into the Finals.  My X-factor is the ageless Tim Duncan.  Does he have enough left in the tank?

1 – Oklahoma City Thunder – These young guns are my slight favorite.  I like their interior defensive presence along with that dude named Durant.  He’s kind of good…  OKC will need Westbrook to play great and hopefully Harden will not show any ill effects from the cheap shot.  They have a phenomenal home court advantage and are the team of the future.  Will 2012 be the year?

Let me know if you agree or disagree, but definitely enjoy the (in Jim Mora style fashion) PLAYOFFS!

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2 Comments

  1. Jenks

    Good first article! I have almost the exact same order with Flop City and Memphis flipped. Memphis reminds me of a poor mans Detroit team that beat the Lakers. The West has 6 teams that at least appear to have a shot going into the playoffs which should make this year even more exciting. The East I can’t see anyone outside of those top three making it. The Pacers will probably give us a very entertaining series in the second round, but it’s hard to see them winning that even with how good they’ve played. Are you gonna give us a second round breakdown/reseeding when we are probably made to look like fools by the likes of Dallas (who will suddenly turn it on) and Boston (who will get pushed to the limit against a surging Melo who has everything to prove)?

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