April 22, 2007

The Intern’s NBA Playoff column

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

I am sitting here still shaking with glee because today kicks off the NBA playoffs. Next to Halloween this is my favorite time of the year. What makes it even more exciting is that my Raptors are in the playoffs for the first time in what seems like an eternity. The two major storylines – I think – are Nellie’s return to Dallas in the Warriors vs. Mavs match up of and, my personal favorite, Vince Carter’s unwelcome return to Toronto. Is there any player in the NBA hated by a city more then VC? Now that that’s out of the way, on to my first round predictions.

Eastern Conference

Detroit Pistons (1) vs. Orlando Magic (8)

Right now I am actually watching this game and I can safely say that barring the starting five of the Pistons contracting the bubonic plague there is no way the Magic can win this series. They look so inexperienced next to the hard-nosed, grizzled Pistons. I say the Pistons in four.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2) vs. Washington Wizards (7)

I foresee that the only purpose of this series is for the Cavs to pad their stats. Cleveland should seriously hand out brooms at the first game. No brainier, Cavs with the sweep.

Toronto Raptors (3) vs. New Jersey Nets (6)

What a great match up. As much as I want the Raptors to win, this is going to be a real test. With New Jersey’s three-headed monster fully healthy, they might be too much for the Raps to handle. But then again, Jersey doesn’t really have much of a bench. This series is really a crap shoot and can totally go either way. I know my opinion is completely biased but i am picking the Raptors to win in seven.

Miami Heat (4) vs. Chicago Bulls (5)

This has the makings of a great series. You have the returning champions versus the very talented Bulls. The major weakness of the Bulls is their non-existent inside game and, of course, the Heat will exploit this with both of their big men. The Bulls will try to counter this with their speed and over abundance of talent. I take the Bulls in seven.

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks (1) vs. Golden State Warriors (8)

Even though the Mavs have the best record in the league and are arguably the best team in the league, that doesn’t change the fact that the Warriors have had the Mav’s number all year. This might be attributed to the Nellie factor. As much as I would love to take the Warriors, I know in my heart it’s a lost cause. I’ll go with the Mavs in six.

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7)

Even though Kobe Bryant is probably the most complete scorer of my generation it doesn’t hide that fact that they have a pretty rotten team. What I find quite amusing is that Kobe can score 50 and his team can still lose. How does that make any sense? With that being said I am definitely going to have to give the nod to the Suns. They have too many scoring options for the Lakers to handle. I’ll go with the Suns in 5.

San Antonio Spurs (3) vs. Denver Nuggets (6)

The Spurs obviously have the advantage in this series based solely on their playoff experience. But to credit the Nuggets they have two of the leading scorers in the game in Melo and AI, also they just seem much rested. I am going to go with the Spurs in six.

Houston Rockets (4) vs. Utah Jazz (5)

This series is so well matched I am seriously going to flip a coin. The coin came up heads so I will take the Jazz in seven.

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