Saturday, April 28, 2012
We brought in a ringer for our Playoff previews. He's a new writer that you'll be seeing more of around here. He calls himself The Crow and has been obsessed with predicting sports outcomes since middle school. If you're betting, take his advice. If he asks you to join his fantasy league, don't—you won't have a chance.
76ers vs. Bulls!
The Philadelphia 76ers quit weeks ago and still managed to claim the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. I personally believe the Chicago Bulls are primed to be picked off, but not by this motley crew from Philadelphia. Sure, the Bulls are incredibly well coached, organized defensively, and sport one of the NBA’s deepest benches, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that they struggle to score and often times find themselves standing and watching their injured superstar go one-on-five. Chicago will make it look easy, but it will get much tougher for them in the second round.
Chicago in 5
Knicks vs. Heat!
The New York Knicks had an incredibly disappointing regular season thanks largely to an 8-15 record to get things started. What’s interesting is from that point (Superbowl Sunday), the Miami Heat have only been one game better in the win column than NY. Does this mean the Knicks are going to win? Sure doesn’t. Does it mean this will be the most watched series in the first round? You bet.
I think it’s about time Knicks fans start to realize they already have a big three (with Amar’e—not Chandler—playing the Bosh role) and stop looking towards the future. The future is now because it won’t get any easier as Stoudemire does his best Benjamin Button impression. I agree the Heat are incredibly vulnerable from the perimeter and I do think the Knicks can steal one behind a Novak/Smith barrage of threes, but that’s all they will get. Long shots lead to long rebounds, and long rebounds lead to easy baskets for a team that feasts on transition buckets. I expect the series to be must-watch TV, but I’m sticking to my instincts that the better team advances.
Miami in 5
Magic vs. Pacers!
It seems like a lifetime ago that the Orlando Magic were representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals. Now, instead of being led by the broad shoulders of Dwight Howard they will attempt a Cinderella run, riding the ailing back of Turkish Turkoglu. I’m genuinely excited to see Roy Hibbert take the next step as he abuses the under-manned Magic. I have a hard time believing the Magic will win a game and I’ll pick accordingly.
Pacers in 4
Celtics vs. Hawks!
Doc Rivers deserves every dollar he got with his new contract. I mean it—he did a masterful job keeping his aging stars healthy while letting Rajon Rondo provide the show. Atlanta is certainly not a team to dismiss, but I just think Rondo will be way too much for Jeff Teague. In fact, I’m going to call it right now: Rondo averages a triple double for the series. Keep an eye on Avery Bradley as well. Also, there are some rumblings about Ray Allen missing time.
Boston in 6
Posted by Andrew Abides at 1:39 PM