2011 NBA PLAYOFFS MICRO-PREVIEW/COMMENTARY:

(This was first posted as a Note on my Facebook profile two days ago.)
East:
Bulls-Pacers: Indiana is capable of a Game 3 or 4 upset IF their H&H frontline (Hibbert & Hansbrough) can produce BIG numbers. If that doesn't happen, then the Bulls will be bringin' brooms. 5 games at most.

Heat-76ers: Iguodala, Brand and Holiday might be their own Big Three someday (or in some alternate reality), but Miami's version will still hog the limelight here. Still, I wouldn't put it past Doug Collins to orchestrate a miraculous 1-game upset. 5 games at most.

Celts-Knicks: Knicks can make history here, while the Celts can be victims of history. With their top defensive guys from last season both gone (K-Perk & T-Allen), along with their shortage of Shaq Diesel, it looks like a long & winding road for the 2008 champs. Their aging legs notwithstanding, they should still overcome the overhyped Carmelo Anthony and his big city bums. Celts in 7.

Magic-Hawks: Tough one here. Is ORL better without VC, Pietrus & Gortat? (Umm No) Is ATL better without Bibby? (Umm No) Two teams that have regressed will scramble for scraps. I shudder to think how the coaches are still motivating these guys knowing well enough they can't possibly get past the MVP and his horned honchos in the 2nd round. Magic in 7.

West:
Spurs-Grizz: I'm not going to ride on the bandwagon and pick Memphis. Despite what their post-Gay-injury record might represent, I think when it comes down to the playoffs, they're still better with Rudy. Randolph-Duncan should be a good tussle, same with Manu-Allen. But Tony Parker is the key, and he's with SAS. Spurs in 5 and no more. Promise.

Lakeshow-Hornets: If David West were healthy, the Hornets would still lose to LA. But not in 5 games. Who's going to open up the lane for CP3's teardrop? He'll will his team to one win, but that's that. Time to think about other cities Chris? Phil Jackson in 5, at most.

Mavs-Blazers: So everyone and his grandma is picking Portland over Dallas. They got Roy back, and he's off the bench to boot. Wallace, Batum and Aldridge have been awesome, and Miller has been his under-the-radar consistent self. But against Dallas? Nowitzki? Marion? Kidd? Terry? Cuban? Come on. It'll be pretty entertaining, and possibly the closest to call, but the Mavs will have one more shot at LA in the 2nd round. It'll take them the maximum 7 though.

Thunder-Nuggets: OKC has been my team all season, and they haven't disappointed, for the most part. As long as Durant and Westbrook play within their expected range, then Scott Brooks will advance. And they are 13-4 since getting Perk, who's as nasty as they come. Nastier than Nene and Martin -- combined. So OKC's got this in 6. (Unless of course JR Smith has 4 games where he hits a combined 30+ threes and then simply tears it up.)

Overall, I hope OKC shocks the world and wins it all. If the Bulls win, then that ain't too bad because they're my pick out of the East, and I like how they've been great but not full of themselves. LA's 3-peat? Okay, fine. A good swan song for Phil. Just not the Heat. Please. Sorry friends, I just hate LBJ now. (I just came back from a recollection that focused on seeing the good side of the villains in our lives, but I'm still having trouble doing that in LeBron's case.)

I'm sure some (or most!) of the things I wrote will prove to be inaccurate, but that's the fun part. And well we all want to read these things anyway. Makes for good talk.

On to the playoffs! Lezzz go Thunda!!! :)
(Image taken from sports.yahoo.com/nba)
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