Tag Archives: Eastern Confrence

Doin Eastern Conference Predictions

Well, we’re a week into the season, and like I said during our Western Conference predictions, we probably wouldn’t get these ones up until a few games in. None of us follow the Eastern Conference like we follow the Pacific Division, but it’s still fun to shed some of our expertise on the OTHER conference.

Chappy

1) Miami Heat – Much has been made of Lebron’s newly found post game. Sure, that might help, but what is really going to help is having a better cast around the big 3 and a full season under their belt together. Battier might not be what he was a few years ago, but he’s going to be a great glue guy and help get everyone get on the same page. Udonis Haslem wasn’t an addition, but having him healthy will be a HUGE help. I actually think not having Dampier and Big Z slowing them down on the fast break is an advantage even if they are very thin up front with only Curry’s carcass and Joel Anthony.

2) Chicago Bulls – The Bulls pretty much stood pat during the offseason, and rightfully so. The reigning MVP should get even better than he was, because he seems to do that every year. I see Boozer playing better now that he knows the team philosophies and is more comfortable with his teammates.

3) New York Knicks – I’m not sure why I believe in the Knicks after going through a crap west coast run losing to the Lakers and Warriors, but they have a possibly great player in Baron if he’s in shape. When you can get him excited about basketball in front of a good crowd, he plays well. He sucked it up on the Clippers, and when he realized how good Blake Griffin was, he started getting in shape and playing hard (which pissed Sterling off to the point he exiled him to Cleveland when Baron was playing his best ball as a Clipper). Playing with Melo and Amare in MSG will motivate Baron to be good again, and he doesn’t even need to be great, just better than Tony Douglas, which shouldn’t be hard…

4) Boston Celtics – I’m not sure I believe they’ll be the 4th best team, so that’s two picks in a row I’m not sure I should’ve made, but at the same time this team is too talented to not be in the mix in one way or another with four all-stars on the team. I really liked the addition of Brandon Bass to the roster, dude’s going to be great at keeping KG’s minutes down this year. Their biggest question always seems to be Rondo. The emotional guy who is an amazing point guard, but has no offensive game. I hope all that negative energy towards him made him work on his jumper this off-season. I don’t think the 0-3 start is anything to worry too much about.

5) Atlanta Hawks – Feels about right for the Hawks. They didn’t improve the roster with the additions of McGrady and Pargo over re-signing Crawford, but they didn’t really regress that much either. Joe Johnson’s ridiculous contract is in year two. Josh Smith is a beast, but will they move him for some idiotic reason?!?

6) Orlando Magic – Remember last year how the whole Melo trade swirling around Denver hurt them? I see something like that happening this year, but they’re still a good enough team to make the playoffs with or without Dwight for half the season.

7) Indiana Pacers – There’s a lot of people on the Pacers bandwagon. I guess I can see why since they seem to fit well together. Collison left a lot to be desired at the point last year, but with West, Granger, and Paul George breaking onto the scene they should be a stout defensive team that can also score with the best of them.

8) Philadelphia 76ers – Not completely confident in why I’m picking them, but I feel like their pieces fit pretty well like Indiana’s. They have a solid mix of veterans and youngsters, that should mesh well as the season goes along. Everyone seems high on Jrue Holiday (rightfully so), but what I like most about this team is their team defense. They have scrappy guys all over the court, and on a given night it’s a good offensive game to score 90+ on them.

MCeezy

1) Miami Heat – They sure look pissed. I have no reason to believe they’ll go further in this year’s playoffs than they did last, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 61-5 in the regular season. They’re out the gates at 3-0.

2) Chicago Bulls – They pretty much return the same team that went 62-20 last year. Derrick Rose is one year deeper into his prime. The guy’s still 23. If he follows his career season trends, he ought to average 30 and 8 this year.

3) Boston Celtics – I guess I have to go Atlantic Division team if we’re predicting playoff seeds. If these are just power rankings, move them down. The Celtics clearly need Paul Pierce back, but I think they’ll be more consistent than the Knicks and beat them out by a few games.

4) Indiana Pacers – David West’s addition makes them a playoff team. I’m going out on a limb putting them at 4th, but I may as well go all the way out on that limb. They really need to improve their backcourt, but maybe this is the year Darren Collison breaks out.

5) New York Knicks – Carmelo and Amare will be playing some motivated ball this year, but their success will depend on if they can get anyone to play with them. They don’t leave a whole lot of shots for other guys. They’re pretty thin as you go down the roster. They just added Jeremy Lin, for what that’s worth.

6) Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks can’t seem to get over the hump. They’re not old, but it feels like the window is closing for some reason.

7) Milwaukee Bucks – I’m pretty much just rolling the dice on everyone staying healthy. It won’t happen, but Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, with a dialed-in Stephen Jackson would be a playoff team.

8) Orlando Magic – They’ll float around .500 for the first 2/3 of the year, then they’ll trade Dwight Howard and starting piling up the losses. They’ll back into the playoffs and get destroyed in the first round of the playoffs against Miami.


Doin NBA Playoff Predictions

Yes, the playoffs are here, and whether your team made it or not probably changes your excitement level for the whole extravaganza. We are doing our second installment of predictions, we already put our baseball picks for the season up, and now it’s time predict how the NBA playoffs will play out. It’s about as competitive of a league as any I can remember,at least in the west, so this should be a great playoff run.

Western Conference Quarter Finals

By:  Dallas Mavericks in 6, Phoenix in 4, and Utah in 7, OKC Thunder in 6, what?  Yes, I said it.  Phil Jackson’s comments on Durantula was just the edge Durant needed to pull off the upset.  Kobe has not been himself from the second-half of the season going forward, and despite L.A. having a huge advantage in the paint, their Achilles heel has always been good point guards.  Russell Westbrook will give them fits.

Chappy: L.A. Lakers in 6, Dallas Mavericks in 7, Phoenix Suns in 5, Utah Jazz in 7 – It’s amazing how balanced the West is. Every team won 50 games, and it’s tough pick against anyone even the 8th seeded Thunder… The Suns got an easy draw playing the depleted Blazers. The best two series in the first round will be Dallas vs. SA, and Denver vs. Utah. I actually think that the Nuggets will win, but I want to try and jinx the Mormons…

MCeezy: L.A. Lakers in 5, San Antonio Spurs in 7, Phoenix Suns in 6, Denver Nuggets in 7 – I like what’s going on with Phil Jackson and Kevin Durant, because a driven KD could push the series to the limit. The Mavs are stacked, but full of mismatched pieces; SA on the other hand has that familiarity as a unit that plays such a huge role in playoff series. Everyone’s writing off the Blazers without Roy, and rightfully so, but Portland is still good enough to keep it interesting. Denver having home court against Utah will make the difference, plain and simple.

Western Conference Semi-Finals

By: Utah in 6, and Phoenix in 7 –  I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas defeats Phoenix though, as both teams are stacked.  I just like Steve Nash a lot, and so I chose Phoenix.

Chappy: LA Lakers in 6, Phoenix Suns in 7 – I’d be really happy if I was wrong and the Jazz upset the Lakers, and I fully believe it’s possible the way the Lakers played down the stretch, but still don’t see it happening. The Suns are my darkhorse this year. Since they decided to start playing a little defense, they’ve looked like champions. Is Amare playing for a new contract? Maybe, and if they get this far he may as well opt out of that last year on his contract, because he will get paid somewhere!

MCeezy: L.A. Lakers in 6, Phoenix Suns in 6 – As much as I don’t want to agree with Chappy here, I don’t see it playing out any other way. The Lakers will be ready for the Nuggets this time, and now that Ron Artest is thrown into the mix, there’ll be so much emotional volatility on the floor that hijinx will certainly ensue. Phoenix vs. San Antonio is going to be a last man standing match. In the second round, I’m willing to bet injuries are going to be the deciding factor – and I’m betting it’ll be on the Spurs’ side. Steve Nash has to be thinking this is his last shot.

Western Conference Champions

Have you heard?!? Grant Hill still drinks Sprite!

By: Phoenix in 6, what!?!  Yes, finally Steve Nash gets the trip he deserves to the 2010 NBA Finals.  Too bad it’s as far as he gets this season 😦

Chappy: Phoenix Suns in 7 – I’m going to be completely wrong on this, but I’m really hoping that the 8 seconds or less pace of play can actually bring home a championship. I guess it’s the inner Warriors fan in me, that just wants to see it happen. Besides, who else in the league deserves a championship more than the most ridiculous man in the world. Nash will have more than one 20 assist game if they do make it this far. I bet he’d trade all those MVP awards in for one championship!

MCeezy: L.A. Lakers in 6 – I’d love to be wrong on this, but Phoenix vs. L.A. is one of those matchups where the former team is never going to get over the hump. If they’re going to, it will be the result of Nash having the series of a lifetime. Despite his multiple MVP awards, we don’t often mention his name in the same breath as the Kobes and Lebrons. This postseason will go a long way in defining his legacy. ….Assuming they do, in fact, make it this far.

Eastern Conference Quarter Finals

By: Cleveland in 4, Orlando in 6, Atlanta in 4 – (No Bogut out in Milwaukee), Miami (Yes Miami) over Boston in 6.  Dwayne Wade is playing at that level again, and we all know how he gets, when he’s at “that” level.

Chappy: Cleveland Cavaliers in 5, Orlando Magic in 7, Atlanta Hawks in 5, Miami Heat in 7 – I really want to pick Charlotte. Especially since SJax lead the W’s to a playoff upset of their own, but I think the Magic will be too much for them. Pierce will need to have a huge series if Boston has any hope. I’m hoping D-Wade is just too much and he takes over the series because nobody can guard him. Who knows, Sheed might even tip a few in for them. I’d love to see Lebron vs. Wade in the second round. The Hawks will take advantage of their deer in the headlights opponent.

MCeezy: Cleveland Cavaliers in 5, Orlando Magic in 5, Atlanta Hawks in 6, Boston Celtics in 5 – Chicago always plays the Cavs close, but Cleveland is going to be too driven to let up against the Bulls. I’d love to have seen the Bobcats draw someone like the Cavs or Celtics, because then they could really embrace the underdog role and play inspired ball a la the 2007 Warriors. Instead, they’ll relax and subsequently get eliminated by Dwight Howard and Co. The Bucks are far from playoff tested, but they’ll find a way to steal a game or two from Atlanta. Everyone expects a long series from Boston and Miami, but Dwyane Wade is going to be held to 35ppg while the rest of the Heat are held in check.

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

By: Cleveland in 7, Orlando in 6 –  I love Josh Smith so much, but he can’t match up against LeBron alone.  No one can, and as good as the Hawks are, LeBron is that much better.  Dwight Howard will ultimately be too much in the battle of Florida.

Chappy: Cleveland Cavaliers in 6, Atlanta in 7 – I REALLY like the Hawks this year, and hope they can put together a solid run in the playoffs. They along with the Magic are probably the most complete teams in the eastern conference. I’ll find it funny if my prediction works out, because the only real reason the Cavs got Shaq was to have someone to guard Dwight, and I don’t even have them in the conference championship!

MCeezy: Cleveland Cavaliers in 6, Atlanta in 6 – These two series are nearly impossible to predict. You never know what you’re going to get with Boston, and you could say the same about Orlando, although they did dominate the season series against the Hawks. Some how, some way, though, you don’t see a whole lot of repeat series from year to year in the NBA. It’s amazing how we get new matchups each postseason. Instead of Cavs-Magic, it’ll be the Hawks’ turn to to stand on the brink of the NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference Champions

By: LeBron in 6 – The Cavs will exact revenge against everyone’s favorite pick in Orlando.  I know there are a lot of similarities in how Cleveland entered this season’s playoffs to last season’s, but the differences will be the turning point.  Shaq & Antawn.

Chappy: Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 – Atlanta might be a more complete team, but there’s just no way to knock Lebron out this year. He’s somehow better than last year, and will average a triple double in the series if that’s what it takes. If the Lakers get knocked out like I predicted, the NBA will force the refs to get the Cavs in the finals. Look for a poorly officiated series, and Lebron to finally get the cockiness that Jordan had. He’s already molding that arrogance if you haven’t noticed!

MCeezy: Cleveland Cavaliers in 5 – Just can’t see the Hawks hanging in a series this big. They will have flown under the radar to this point – first taking on the Bucks in front of 30,000 or so viewers. Then, their matchup with the Magic will play second fiddle to a Cavs-Celtics series. They’ll be thrust into the spotlight and forced to try to stop Lebron from getting to Kobe.

NBA Champions

Is this just an extension of Larry Johnson's Grandmama?

By: LeBron James. It’s simply his time.

Chappy: Phoenix Suns in 6 – I don’t really think they will win it all, but I’d love to see a winner come out that wasn’t Lebron or Kobe. I’d also like to see Lebron latch onto another team for next year, which would in turn make the current Cavs team into a 7th or 8th seed next season. Reiterating a previous point, I really would like to see the Suns win to prove that the Warriors playing the style can get it done in the playoffs. Plus, how can you root against Grant Hill and Nash getting a title!?!

MCeezy: Utah Jazz in 4 – How did we get here? you’re asking yourself. When was the last time I hit a 14 team parlay? Never. So why should I expect to predict correctly the first 14 series? Therefore, although the Jazz don’t get out of the first round in my scenario, I’m predicting that Jerry Sloan coaches his heart out to win that elusive NBA title and perhaps the respect of my grandfather, Roy, UT resident Jack Christensen; who adamantly maintains that Jerry Sloan has been the one thing holding the Jazz back all these years.


Doin NBA Power Rankings

Thank you Fanhouse! You’ve given me the inspiration to do some power rankings. I couldn’t believe what their power rankings looked like, I mean really!?! I’m as big of a Laker hater there is out there, but putting the Mavs at numero uno over the Cavs and the Lake show is a little bold!! I’m not sure what Brett over at Fanhouse is smoking, but I need to get some! Anyways, here’s how I see the top 16 teams in the league at this point in the season.

#1 Los Angeles Lakers – They don’t have the best record in the league, but having Kobe sit out for a little will help them. Not missing a beat in the win column keeps them atop these rankings. They will most likely cruise to the Western Conference finals before they are truly tested. John Canzano at the Oregonian might have convinced me that they could be tested by the Blazers in the first round, but I won’t get my hopes up at this point of an early Lake Show exit.

#2 Cleveland Cavaliers – Best record in the league, and a very close 2nd to the champs. Is it a big deal that Shaq is out? No, but in case anyone forgot, they have Lebron. You could put him on the Bucks right now, and get through the first couple playoff rounds, so I’m not buying that the loss of the Diesel is that big of a deal at this point. If he ends up missing more time than expected, that might be another story. Lebron is playing in a different league than everyone else, he doesn’t need Shaq.

#3 Orlando Magic – Vince looks like he finally is fitting in, and the Magic are playing their best basketball of the year. If they keep playing like they have, they could be just as scary as Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. Stan Van Gundy reminds me of Rex Ryan in the NFL. He’s a little unpredictable and unstable, but if you were caught in a fight you would gladly take them on your side.

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