We have the 2013 playoffs here, we have the reigning champions in the Miami Heat, and we have a couple teams in the west who could challenge them. The Knicks could make a run at Miami, but can we be honest and understand that this is Miami's championship to lose? I really don't see how anyone competes with them in the east. The west is definitely another story, but we'll start in the east to let you know what I think will happen.
Eastern Conference Playoffs
#1 Miami Heat vs #8 Milwaukee Bucks
Do you really want my input on this series? I got the Miami heat in a sweep in this one, I like what the Bucks have developing with Ellis and Jennings, but they just aren't there when it comes to Miami's strength and defensive prowess. I see this as a really good warm up for the Miami Heat to get to the 2nd round.
#2 New York Knicks vs #7 Boston Celtics
I see this being an intriguing series and I could see Boston making it a series early, but the Knicks will prevail eventually. Once Carmelo starts getting to his spots and the Knicks start establishing down low, the Celtics will have no chance. Garnett is just too old, and this Knicks team will crush them in the post.
#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Atlanta Hawks
Really? Do you think I'm going to give the Hawks a legit shot in this one? They are about as useless as any other squad who would go up against the likes of Indiana in the first round. Indiana is a team on a mission and if it weren't for some guy named LeBron and another in Carmelo, maybe they would be the #1 seed in the East.
#4 Brooklyn Nets vs #5 Chicago Bulls
This is actually one of the best match-ups in the entire eastern conference playoffs that could possibly occur. The only problem is the Bulls have been struggling recently and the Nets have just been chugging along hanging under the radar. I think the Nets will pull this one out because they are coming in healthy and their defense has been rather poor. I see the Bulls pushing this series turning it into a potential seven game series, but the Nets will adjust and dominate down the stretch.
#2 NYK vs #3 IND
This is going to be a seven game series and maybe one of the most intriguing series of the entire NBA Playoffs. If superstar power can lift a team, then Carmelo Anthony is the man to do it in this series. The Pacers are a team that can play with anybody they want to in this league, but can they do it in a seven game series with a Knicks team that has the fire power they do? I honestly could see this series going seven and I have no clue who to pick. Considering the Pacers will be so under the radar, I think they will pull it out because the entire world will know the entire Knicks roster by the time this series starts and they will have all the fuel to want to dominate this team and put a scare early in the series. As much as I say this series can go seven, Carmelo will get special treatment and the Pacers will shock the sports media world. IND 4-2
#1 MIA vs #4 BKN
Jay-Z, LeBron, D. Wade, and Brooklyn. This has the making of a rap song just oozing from it's roots. The only thing Jay-Z will be rapping about is how much Joe Johnson will get destroyed by D. Wade and LeBron. The Heat will not lose a game in this series, they will steamroll to the Eastern Conference Finals. MIA 4-0
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#1 MIA vs #3 IND
Nobody matches up with what the Heat have for the Pacers. I could see the Pacers putting a scare into Miami the first couple of games, but that will only be a wake up call and Miami will get back on track. Nobody is stopping LeBron from getting back to the Finals. MIA 4-1
Let's look at the Western Conference Playoffs shall we?
Western Conference Playoffs
#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #8 Houston Rockets
Analysis? Why do you need that? This series is too easy to call. I see Houston waking up the Thunder for one game, other then that nothing. OKC 4-1
#2 San Antonio Spurs vs #7 Los Angeles Lakers
O.K. this series scares me a bit as a Spurs fan but I think the Spurs can get it done. The main reason is because we really don't have anybody physical enough to stop Dwight Howard in the post and if he gets in position, we are toast. Other than that, we have them beat at the guard position, and our bench will shred them. If the Lakers get hot and play a brand of basketball where Steve Nash can operate by slinking into the lane and bring back some youthful days of his great Suns days, we could be in for some trouble. I see a good series but not a seven game series. SAS 4-2
#3 Denver Nuggets vs #6 Golden State Warriors
Denver is a really good team and the only reason I see them winning this series is because they have the Manimal in Kenneth Faried. I could see Golden State making this a series, but I just don't think it's their year to make a statement. They will be more well known after this series as they will push the Nuggets for a couple games. DEN 4-2
#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies
Is it just me, or is this the series that reminds everyone how average the Grizzlies played the second half of the season, while the Clippers and "lob city" haven't really done anything else to prove they could make a run in the postseason? Yes, the Clippers are an entertaining team, but can they really handle the team mentality of the Grizzlies? This will be the best first round match-up in the playoffs and it will prove whether team play or athleticism will win. I think the Grizzlies have put themselves into a large dark horse role, especially with the way they have played this second half of the season, but the Clippers are the spice of the year. I see this going seven, and I'm picking because somebody has to win. LAC 4-3
#1 OKC vs #4 LAC
Lob city vs Thunder Buddies for life? Wow the match-ups in this are actually pretty intense. I think the Clippers have a legitimate shot at doing something pretty miraculous in this... Hold on, Thunder Buddies for Life? Durant will go off in this series and get your popcorn ready for the best point guard match-up we may ever see in NBA history. CP3 and RW0, how could you ask for anything more? The only difference I could see the Clippers having is their 6th man with Jamaal Crawford who is the best 6th man in the game. If he lights it up, the Thunder could actually have a problem on their hands. Other then that, this one is in the bag for Oklahoma City. OKC 4-2
#2 SAS vs #3 DEN
This will be a high scoring series, but I think the Spurs are just too good and the Nuggets are 1 year away. If this series were next season, I would reconsider my choice but I think the Spurs will lock it up in what will be a great entertaining series. I could see either team advancing in this one but I think the chemistry of the Spurs is just too much this year and the Nuggets will be a legitimate team heading into next season. I'm just weary on picking them this year over the Spurs. 2014, it will be a different story. SAS 4-3
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
#1 OKC vs #2 SAS
So... We meet again. A year has past and all that has happened is teams have flip-flopped from a year ago, Tim Duncan is looking like Timmy of 10 years ago, and the Spurs have only gotten better on their bench. This is the year I could see the Spurs taking a serious stab at the Thunder. Last year the Spurs did it on the starting five and would burnout in the second half and they did that in the last 4 games of the series which they lost every single one. The Spurs this year have incorporated their second team so much into the way they run their organization that it is almost as if drones come off the bench to put up the same production. I think this season will be a reversal of last season. I see the Thunder coming out strong, and I could see the Spurs bench creeping in on the Thunder over the remainder of the series. This series will be all about the Spurs bench for we know what may happen to their starting five if they repeat what happened last season. If their bench steps up, which I have full confidence in them doing, this series will be done in San Antonio.
And now... We move onto the NBA Finals where it shouldn't shock you as to who I have winning it all. I think this is a year similar as to what the Kentucky Wildcats had a year ago as we all knew going into the tournament that they were the best team in college basketball.
2013 NBA FINALS
EAST - Miami Heat vs WEST - San Antonio Spurs
The Heat are just too good. If the Spurs had home court I would think other wise, but the only way this is going past five games is if the Spurs steal one on the road. If the Heat win the first two games, this series is over and the Miami Heat will hoist the trophy in San Antonio. Duncan will be burned out by this point, Parker can only do so much, and LeBron will destroy whom ever the Spurs put on him. Team play can only go so far and I will be very excited if the Spurs make it to the Finals, but if LeBron is waiting, you won't hear anything from me saying we could win it all.
MIA 4-1 (LeBron MVP, duh)
Those are my predictions for the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Enjoy the Playoffs everybody!