Roughly a year ago I was sitting in the USO at San Antonio airport watching the coverage before The Black Mamba, Mr. 81, Kobe Bryants last game (where he would go banana sandwich for 60 points). Knowing I would miss the game entirely because my Military Training Instructor would come in and bring me to boot camp. During my two month stint at boot camp the only way we heard about Kobe’s last game or any playoff news for that matter would be a letter from our families sent us or a news letter that only had 1 sports update that would be hung up every morning. from April 13th – June 12th I would miss not only Kobe’s last game but also 95% of the NBA playoffs (was able to see the Cavs wax the Warriors in the finals). Now that the NBA playoffs are fucking back baby, we got a lot to talk about and I am more than excited to be able to actually watch this year.
Celtics (1) vs. Bulls (8):
The Celtics squeaking in claiming the number 1 seed from the Cavaliers honestly was not what I expected and they start off the playoffs by taking on an up and down Chicago bulls team. On paper the bulls look better than what their record says but they have not been able to just put it together this year. IT has a good match up in Rondo, Thomas has proven that he can pretty much take on any defender and score with ease. But my man Isaiah is a horrendous defender, for a while he was butt naked last in defensively in the entire NBA. He can’t hold nobodies jock when it comes to making a big stop. Thank god Rondo isn’t a big offensive threat, but that will be an issue if they progress into the later rounds. Rondo will need to be the classic facilitator drive the lane and dish, make a few tough lay-ups if the Bulls are going to be any bit competitive. I can see the bulls skating by with a game or two if the Celtics and more importantly Al Horford just don’t perform on the offensive side but over a full series they simply can’t and wont get the job over the Celtics.
My prediction: Celtics 4-2
Cavs (2) vs. Pacers (7)
I hate LeBron plain and simple. Do I respect his game? Yes. Is he one of the greatest to ever step on the court? Yes. Is LBJ the lamest superstar to ever play in the NBA? A thousand percent, no doubt. LeBron is a huge goober, he is a big flopper, and is the biggest corn ball on social media. I do think the basketball gods will punish the Cavs for handing over the 1 seed to the Celtics cause they are too scared to play the Bulls. With that being said the coveted basketball gods will let the Cavs make quick work of the Pacers (mostly because the Pacers are buns). They couldn’t beat LeBron in 2013 nor 2014 with a lot of better teams and I do not see it happening now. LBJ will need to have a huge (every playoff) game for the Cavs to have smooth decisive wins.
My prediction: Cavs 4-1
Raptors (3) vs. Bucks (6)
Not an easy matchup for the Raptors to say the least none the less for Kyle Lowry’s return to the lineup. The Bucks have serious length having 5 players with over 7 foot wingspans and 4 players (not including Jabari Parker) who have at least a 6’10” wingspan. I don’t care how good you are, length like that will alter shots and deter players from coming into the paint. Coincidentally the Bucks have only allowed 0.77 points per possession on ball handler pick and roll plays which is the second lowest this year. But do not underestimate the Raptors who have a top 10 best defensive against points in the paint. This series is going to be a tough and gritty, and will most likely come down to a big stop by either team in the final game. The Greek Freak needs to play his ass off on both ends of the floor in order for the Bucks to come out on top. I’m giving the slight edge to the Bucks in a grinding defensive 7 game series. Also what better material for Drakes rap career than to lose game 7 at home in such a defeating loss that it brings him to tears. Maybe his face will be the new Jordan meme?
My prediction: Bucks 4-3
Wizards (4) vs. Hawks (5)
I honestly do not know how the Hawks ended up getting the 5 seed but I guess that’s the shit that happens when the Eastern Conference is so top-heavy. The Wizards are the real deal, they have arguably thee best back court in John Wall and Bradley Beal and have been healthy all year. Not only that, they also have a really well-balanced team and have been red-hot since the start of 2017. On the other side you never know what the hell you are going to get out of the Hawks. Whether you are going to get Schroeder to stop Wall or if Dwight is going to show up at all to the series with his jabroni candy ass. Also do not see Hardaway Jr. being able to be all that effective on the offensive side which is huge for the Hawks, because when he’s on the floor they score at a more efficient rate. Besides the expected three who have the best shot to win the title (Warriors, Cavs, Spurs) the Wizards have the next best chance in my opinion, if they don’t get out of this series decisively don’t expect to make a deep run.
My prediction: Wizards 4-2
Warriors(1) vs. Trailblazers(8)
This year the Warriors have absolutely owned the Trailblazers, like beating them up and taking their lunch money bad. The Warriors experienced a scary hiccup when KD got hurt but he’s back now and the Blazers are exactly what he needs to get any of the rust off, this match up is like when Alabama’s football team schedules their first game against Appalachian State just to kick the ever-living shit out of them so the team can feel good about themselves. Although Lillard and McCollum can shoot themselves into any game and keep it close, when it comes to the Warriors they just have way too many deep threat options to be stopped. On the good note I’m expecting a lot of overs to hit, throughout the regular season going into halftime both teams would have at least upwards of 65 points (on a slow night). Also don’t expect a lot of defense out of the Trailblazers especially with Nurkic possibly being not ready to start the series. Predicting a boring and quick sweep of the Trailblazers.
My prediction: Warriors 4-0
Spurs(2) vs. Grizzlies(7)
A familiar matchup we have seen way too often, these two teams having played each other 4 times out of the last 7 playoffs, and who could forget when the Grizzlies upset the Spurs who were the 1 seed a few years back. This year things should be different, A spurs team who has a high rated defense and a Grizzlies team that seems to barely made it through their last 20 or so games in the regular season. Also the Grizzlies will be without Chandler Parsons still even though he has played god awful in the past 2 years he is still a guy you have to respect regardless if he’s slumping or not. A key factor for the Spurs success besides Kawhi is going to be Danny Green. Danny Green is a three-point marks men and when he’s got it going the man can and will fire from anywhere on the court for a very high percentage. The team performs better when Danny Green is hitting from beyond the arc and when he’s not it takes away a vital scorer to the team but also doesn’t stretch out the defense as much. Should be a good and fundamentally sound series from a basketball purist point of view, can’t wait.
My prediction: Spurs 4-1
Rockets(3) vs. Thunder(6)
The two top contenders for MVP go toe to toe in the first round, what a great way to kick it off. Two high-powered offense’s, the Rockets ability to shoot the 3 ball vs Russel Westbrook. On paper the Rockets are the heavy favorite being a run and gun type of team (typical for playing under Mike D’Antoni), while the thunder run their whole offense through Westbrook. A key player to the Rockets having success in this matchup is Patrick Beverly. Beverly is a type of gritty point guard who can potentially lock up anyone in the league, even Russel Westbrook. But even if Westbrook has an insane series doing everything like Bugs Bunny playing baseball I just can’t see the rest of his team being able to put up enough points or stop the Rockets. I expect the Thunder to go down swinging but the Rockets are going to be too much.
My prediction: Rockets 4-2
Clippers(4) vs. Jazz(5)
At this point I’m starting to feel bad for the Clippers, they are one of those teams who have always been good enough but just cannot seem to get out of their own way. Going up against a slow-paced style Utah Jazz, it is imperative that the Clippers force turnovers (Jazz finishing with the 10th highest turnover rate for the season) and not feed into the Jazz methodical and slow paced style. I’m expecting Hayward to have a big playoffs this year, becoming an All-Star for the first time this season and most likely getting paid in the offseason. It would be way more enticing to for the Jazz to pay him some more money if he goes out and has a killer post-season. Paul and Griffin are healthy now but you can honestly never trust their health (especially with the Clippers luck), and with free agency right around the corner for Paul and Griffin this very well could be their last shot at a title. I’m rooting for the Clippers (how can you not) in this series barring any injuries, but with their track record I do not see them going far.
My prediction: Clippers 4-3
Pic taken from: http://www.nba.com/news/2016-nba-playoffs-first-round-schedule/