Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Playoff Picks (Cantrell)

The NBA Playoffs are always one of the most anticipated events in the world every year. To some fans, it is when they say that professional basketball is at its best. Everyone gets into the hype and, and before every season, every sports analyst is asked their playoff picks for that year, so like my friend, I will give you mine.

First, The East.

First Round:

1 vs 8
Chicago vs Boston (Bulls win 4-1)

Boston will limp their way into the playoffs after a gruesome season. Let's face it, Gang Green is on their decline. They had their time, they produced a championship out of that time. But Father Time has caught up with them, and the Big 3 has turned into the Big 30's. All 3 superstars in their terrific trio are over 30 and are approaching the end of their careers. They're good, but not good enough to face off against the MVP (Rose), and the team with the best record in the NBA. Let me give you a a fact, the last time the Bulls were off to a start this good, they won it all, and history has a way of repeating itself.

2 vs. 7
Miami vs Atlanta (Heat win 4-0)

Atlanta will get into the playoffs, but they wont stay long because they are up against the new big 3. Bosh, Wade, and James will be the second seed in the playoffs, but will end the season right on the Bulls' trail. Anyway they will dominate the Hawks in this series because King James and Prince Wade are determined to not fall short this year.

3 vs 6
Orlando vs New York (Knicks win 4-3)

Orlando will continue to have a good year, and end the season on a high note with a deserving 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. But due to injuries the Knicks will descend to the 6th seed in the East. However, matchup problems and arguably the best scorer in the NBA in Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks will prevail in this matchup, and will edge the Magic.

4 vs 5
Indiana vs Philadelphia (Pacers win 4-3)

In the most surprising matchup of the year, two of the biggest surprises will faceoff in a close series. The Indiana Pacers will finish second in the Central Division, and 4th in the Conference. The Philadelphia Sixers will win the Atlantic Division, and will make the playoffs at the five spot. Indiana will find a way to win the series after going toe-to-toe with the Bulls last season, they will have an easier opponent and will finally get to smell the second round again.

Eastern Conference Semifinals:

Chicago vs Indiana (Bulls win 4-2)

Chicago will revisit Naptown to face a hungry Pacers team, who are not going to go down easy, much like they did last season. However, matchup problems with the Bulls will ultimately be the one thing that brings the Pacers down, and put an end to what will be a great season.

New York vs Miami (Heat win 4-2)

In a star-studded event every time the two will play, The Knicks and the Heat will be the most talked about playoff series this year. The interesting thing will be to watch how Miami will matchup against the Knicks frontcourt, and vice versa. With no solid 2 guard postion in New York, the Knicks have no answer for Dwayne Wade, and the Heat take this one in 6 games.

Eastern Conference Finals:

Chicago vs Miami (Bulls win 4-2)

In the rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals, Chicago and Miami have been brought together by fate. And in what should be the most exciting playoff matchup this year, revenge will be served cold for the Heat, as Chicago will exorcise their final demon and will not be haunted by their last year defeat to the Heat. LeBron's inability to close the fourth quarter and his drive to be the best will ultimately be Miami's downfall this year.

Now, before I give my Finals pick lets do the West:

Western Conference First Round:

1 vs 8
Oklahoma City vs. Memphis (Thunder win 4-1)

Memphis makes the playoffs this year, by having a season like last year. But they will not have a mirror season, playoff wise, because they will not upset the Thunder. The tandem of Westbrook and Durant will be too much for Memphis' defense to handle. Sorry Cinderella, no glass slipper this year.

2 vs 7
Los Angeles vs Denver (Lakers win 4-1)

Denver is having a decent season and will make the playoffs because of it. But will be a seventh seed and will have to face the best team in the last decade. The Los Angeles Lakers have played elite basketball for the past 10 years. The show is back on the road, and has a rejuvenated actor in Kobe Bryant, The Lake Show will be in the playoffs yet again and in the first round will handle the Nuggets in 5 games.

3 vs 6 
Los Angeles vs San Antonio (Clippers win 4-2)

The Spurs are playing really well right now, but with a long season ahead of them, the aging Spurs' record will deteriorate to the record of a solid 6th seed. But the Lob City Clippers will be facing them, and with their point guard play in Chris Paul, two guard play in Chauncey Billups, and their second year superstar forward in Blake Griffin, will be too much to combat as the Clippers will alley-oop their way to the second round.

4 vs. 5
Dallas vs. Portland (Mavs win 4-3)

Well Dallas seems to have found their settling point in the league right now and are finally off to a decent start. They will be a 4th seed and face off against Portland, who is off to a hot start. With the retirement of Brandon Roy, the T-Blazers have turned to their secondary option in LaMarcus Aldridge. And they are off to a good start. Come playoff time they will have their hands full against the defending champs. Which will handle the Blazers but in a close series.

Second Round: 
Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers (Lakers win 4-2)

In recent years, the west has brought a more faster style of play. Bigs run the floor, and guards get the outlet and go, thats the style the fans enjoy and come playoff time, the two most opposite teams in the NBA faceoff against eachother. But the Clips' facing a team who are more classic in their style of play, the Lakers like to run their offense until they get a good shot out of it. Experience will be everything in this one, as the Lakers have won, and continue to win, Im going with them.

Oklahoma City vs. Dallas (Thunder win 4-0)

Dallas, Dallas, Dallas, you had a great run last year, defying all odds and proving that last year was your year. But it was only for that one year, and the salty attitude of the Thunder will prove to be more than enough to handle anything that Dirk is going to bring. Sorry Dallas, this isnt your year.

Western Conference Finals:

Oklahoma City vs Los Angeles Lakers (Thunder win 4-3) 

It's the matchup everyone wants to see, two of the best scorers in the NBA today. Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. But its not all about them, whose team is better? Matchup wise, OKC has LA beat point guard wise, LA two guard wise, OKC small forward wise, LA power forward wise, and LA center wise. Now based on that, LA should win, but there is one X-factor that you're forgetting about: arenas. Oklahoma City is a city that loves their basketball team, and they have fans that aren't afraid to cheer. LA is They have a lot of celebrities that come to the games who are too cool to cheer. Both teams are good, but the surroundings they are in are going to affect the Lakers in a big way. OKC in 7.

And at last the Finals:

Oklahoma City vs Chicago (Bulls win 4-2)

It is a new day in the world of professional basketball. We are now seeing younger stars, faster play, and substance and style that all the fans love. These two teams display these endearing qualities the best and their records show it. What team do I choose? Whatever the team lacks, they make up for it in another place. What the Thunder lack in the point guard position, they make up for it in having the slight advantage in the small forward postion. So who do I choose? The Bulls, they play more as a team, other than two people doing most of the work in Oklahoma City. Two people dont win championships Oklahoma City, teams do, teams like Chicago.

NBA Champion: Chicago Bulls

So there you have it, My picks for this season. Feel free to leave comments or responses, agreeing or disagreeing, and we'll post the best ones in the Best Reader Comments page. Check back to see if your comment is posted!


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