Pups Playoffs Predictions

Who do you have in your NBA playoff bracket?

Who do you have in your NBA playoff bracket?

Well, the NBA regular season has come to a close and the Timberwolves will not be participating in the six month process known as the NBA playoffs.  No fear, here are our Pups playoffs predictions anyway.  For each series I’ll provide a little bit of rationale for the pick and display all sorts of biases.  It is better to be upfront about this, no?  Without further ado…

Western Conference – First Round
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #8 Houston Rockets
The Thunder will roll over Kevin McHale and James Harden’s Rockets.  The Rockets lack of defense, and frankly, coaching, will be on display throughout the five games.  I suspect Harden will have a monster series but it will do very little in terms of victories.
Prediction: Thunder in 5

#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #5 Memphis Grizzlies
Small upset alert?  I really can’t stand the Clippers and the sooner they are out of the playoffs, the better.  This Memphis team is tough and seems to be a good matchup to go against Donald Sterling’s club.  The Clippers will remain loveable losers.
Prediction: Grizzlies in 6

#3 Denver Nuggets vs. #6 Golden State Warriors
The most exciting series of the first round and I’m not sure it is really close (unless you can stand the Clippers).  I’m pushing this series to seven games because I want it to go seven games.
Prediction: Nuggets in 7

#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #7 Los Angeles Lakers
If Kobe were healthy, this would be an easy pick for me in taking the Lakers.  I think this series will actually be pretty close and highly competitive.  However, you can’t take the Lakers without Kobe, right?
Prediction: Spurs in 6

Eastern Conference – First Round
#1 Miami Heat vs. #8 Milwaukee Bucks
The Heat will destroy the Bucks in four games.  None of them will be close.  They will make a mockery of the first round and the studios will be talking about “can the Heat win out in the playoffs” by halftime of the second game of this series.
Prediction: Heat in 4

#4 Brooklyn Nets vs. #5 Chicago Bulls
While I called the 4-5 matchup in the West a small upset, I don’t think it would be one if when the Bulls take out the Nets.  This should be an enjoyable series to watch, albeit low scoring.  Prokhorov will have to wait another year and find the means of spending millions more to get the Nets over in the playoffs.
Prediction: Bulls in 6

#3 Indianapolis Pacers vs. #6 Atlanta Hawks
The series destined for NBA TV for as long as needed.  The Pacers are very good.  The Hawks still haven’t won me over whatsoever.  This equates to the Pacers rolling here.
Prediction: Pacers in 5

#2 New York Knicks vs. #7 Boston Celtics
Upset alert!  I want this to happen for so many reasons and on so many levels.  Can KG and Pierce make one last run (it won’t go much further) and knock out Carmelo and the Knicks.  Please, let this happen!
Prediction: Celtics in 6

Western Conference – Second Round
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #5 Memphis Grizzlies
This will be a hard fought series for the Thunder, but I can’t see them losing 4 games to the Grizzlies with home court advantage.
Prediction: Thunder in 6

#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #3 Denver Nuggets
I’m still not as sold on this Nuggets team as many and despite what they accomplished this season, particularly at home.  However, I just watched the Spurs lose to the Wolves and even though some might want to put an asterisk on that loss, I can’t nor won’t.  The Spurs will be a little more tired / banged up from their respective prior series and Denver will capitalize.
Prediction: Nuggets in 7

Eastern Conference – Second Round
#1 Miami Heat vs. #5 Chicago Bulls
The Heat will continue to roll through the Eastern Conference by taking care of the Bulls rather easily.  Again, the Heat are very good, but I do think they will lose game 4 in Chicago.
Prediction: Heat in 5

#3 Indiana Pacers vs. #7 Boston Celtics
Similarly, I think the Pacers use this series to show the country that they are worth a little bit of buzz and attention and will roll through the Celtics.  If the Knicks take care of the Celtics in the first round, I still see the Pacers moving through to the Conference Finals rather easily.
Prediction: Pacers in 5

NBA Conference Finals
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #3 Denver Nuggets
The prior two rounds catch up to the Nuggets rather quickly here and I see the Thunder moving along pretty quickly to the Finals.
Prediction: Thunder in 5

#1 Miami Heat vs. #3 Indiana Pacers
I love this matchup, but I still can’t make a case for the Pacers to take this to a seven game series.  In fact, I don’t think it goes six.
Prediction: Heat in 5

NBA Finals
#1 Miami Heat vs. #1 Oklahoma City Thunder
Miami will have home court due to their 66 regular season wins vs. OKC’s 60 win season.  If OKC kept James Harden I would consider this a great series and would probably put the Thunder on top for my own preference.  I mentioned this at the beginning of the season, I hate when NBA championship contenders trade a key cog for the future and that’s what OKC did.  I know the future for OKC is now better/clearer, it doesn’t get them a ring this year.
Prediction: The Miami Heat become repeating NBA Champions in five games!

Who do you like in this year’s playoffs?  Can anyone knock off the Heat?  Let us know in the comments below.