Saturday, April 18, 2009
SUS does the NBA playoffs even though I might be the only actual NBA fan here
Ah, this has become a bittersweet time of year for me. My beloved Knickerbockers never even threaten to participate in the NBA's second season so I am left to watch the sport I love with only haterade as a motivating factor. To this end I say thank you to the Boston Celtics. This is also the time of year where I think I am going to get into the NBA playoffs only to realize I'd rather watch the Yankees-Royals game instead. (Die, Alex Gordon!) Still, lets ride this wave of playoff excitement as far as it can take us....
(2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Chicago Bulls- Again, thanks to the Celtics for giving this Knicks fan a rooting interest in the NBA playoffs. I hope you win your first round series against the young Bulls so that I can root against you for real when you take on the Magic in round 2. This hope of mine will become a reality rather quickly. I know the Big Ticket is out for the foreseeable future with apparent knee fatigue but the C's still have wayyy too many weapons for the upstart Bulls to handle. Derrick Rose is the hands down rookie of the year and Ben Gordon is a lethal shooter. But that is not enough to counter Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, not to mention future-superstar-and-presently-very-good Rajon Rondo. Boston will steam roll the talented but Baby Bulls 4-0. Next issue.
(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Miami Wades- There is no reason anyone should feel the need to utter the official team name of the NBA club that calls Miami its home. They have one player that is worth anything to anyone this season. This one player is the sole reason his team is in the playoffs. Bill Simmons was dead on when he said Miami would have 15 wins if Jamal Crawford played on the club instead of Dwayne Wade. He failed to realize that this +29 win factor clearly makes him the league's most valuable player. Likewise, the Cavs probably sneak into the 8 spot without Lebron and the Lakers probably get about 42-45 wins without Kobe. No way the Heat win even 15 games without Wade. Oh right, the Hawks. Atlanta actually has a better club than Miami with much more depth, balance and veteran savvy outside of the aforementioned Wade. However, Wade is good enough to win this series by himself and will do just that. Joe Johnson can't check Wade and no amount of support from the freakishly athletic Josh Smith, steady Mike Bibby, or powerful Al Hortofrd, will be enough to stop the best player in the league. Still, Atlanta is a good club and I expect them to win 2 games and lose to Miami 4-2.
3) San Antonio Spurs vs. (6) Dallas Mavericks- Dallas has played very well during the second half of the season. It has seen a rejuvenated Jason Kidd and the usual brilliance from Dirk Nowitzki. They seemed to be awfully excited to beat Houston on Wednesday and consequently procure the 6 seed. I'm not sure why though. The Spurs are not exactly an untested team. Yes, any realistic chance of challenging the mighty Lakers for Western supremacy left with Manu Ginobli's season ending injury but I would not be excited to play Tim Duncan in any meaningful game. He is the greatest forward of all time and the best defensive big man I have ever seen play. He is not the same offensive force he once was but Dirk will not have any easy drives to the basket. Part of me likes the momentum that Dallas is riding into the post season but the Spurs have not exited the playoffs this early since Timmy has entered the league and I don't think the soft Mavs are the team that is going to stop this trend. I can see this being a long, home court dominated series which goes to the Spurs in 7. However, Tim and Tony will be exhausted for its 2nd round series against Denver and will not be able to advance any further as such.