The time has finally come for the playoffs. It was a spectacular regular season for Dallas and Phoenix fans, but very little drama elsewhere in the league. On this first day of the playoffs, I’d like to take a look back at my pre-season predictions to see how I did.
In the West, I was right about Dallas and Utah winning their divisions, but my seedings were way off. The Nuggets surprised me, which probably had a lot to do with picking up Iverson in the middle of the season. Houston did MUCH better than I expected, as did the Lakers. I got six out of the eight teams in the playoffs right, so at least I was close. In the East, I correctly picked seven of the playoff teams, with Toronto being the surprise team this year. All in all, it wasn’t very hard to pick who would make it.
As for the playoffs, here are my predictions by round:
West, Round 1
1. Dallas vs. 8. Golden State
Dallas wins in 5 games. The regular season will have no bearing on this series whatsoever. Devean George missed the first two games against them and JJ Barea started in the third game. Dallas will be fully prepared to stop whatever Nellie throws at them. They did it against a much better Suns team last year in the playoffs and Dallas has improved a lot since then.
2. Phoenix vs. 7. LA Lakers
Phoenix wins in 5 games. The Suns are better prepared for Kobe and the Lakers limped into the playoffs. No repeat of the drama from last year’s series.
3. San Antonio vs. 6. Denver
San Antonio in 5 games (Notice a trend?). While the Nuggets have two legitimate superstars, they have very little else. The Spurs are playing unbelievable basketball and will only struggle in one game.
4. Utah vs. 5. Houston
Houston in 7 games. This will finally be the year the Tracy McGrady actually gets to feel what it’s like to make it to the second round of the playoffs. Utah is a solid team with a great coach, but they will come up just short in the end.
East, Round 1
1. Detroit vs. 8. Orlando
Detroit wins in 4 games. Orlando doesn’t have enough to compete with the depth of the Pistons.
2. Cleveland vs. 7. Washington
Cleveland wins in 5 games. Washington will find a way to avoid a sweep, but nothing more.
3. Toronto vs. 6. New Jersey
New Jersey wins in 6 games. Toronto is a young team facing an experience New Jersey. The games will be close, but this will be the biggest upset of the first round according to seedings.
4. Miami vs. 5. Chicago
Chicago wins in 7 games. As great as the Heat were at closing out games last playoffs, they won’t do it again this year. With Dwyane Wade hurt and Shaq another year older, Chicago will end up taking the series on their home court in the 7th game.
West Champ: Dallas
East Champ: Detroit
NBA Champ: Dallas