Thursday, April 15, 2004

IT'S THAT MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR: The NBA playoffs! Let's break it down a little bit.

Indiana (1) vs. Boston (8): The Celts are your 8th seed in the craptacular Eastern Conference. There'll be the inevitable Pierce-fueled home win by the Celtics, and then reality will resume. Pacers in 5.

New Jersey (2) vs. New York (7): The goofy incestuous media matchup we all wanted to see. Will the New York Post remember their Nets love? Of course not. This'll be the talk of the town and the pathetic Knicks fans will be all a-talking again and Stephomania will run wild. The Knicks may even win, or drag it out to 7. I'm thinking Nets in 6.

Detroit (3) vs. Milwaukee (6): I am ashamed to admit that I have not watched nearly enough post-Rasheed Pistons basketball this year. Pistons in 5.

Miami (4) vs. New Orleans (5): Welcome your, as Lang Whitaker said, team full of people who want to play in the NBA back to the playoffs--the Miami Heat! The Hornets are below the radar as usual--maybe because they're unwatchable. Miami in 7.

Minnesota (1) vs. Denver (8): This HAS to be the year Minny gets out of the first round, right? Wolves in 6.

And how come out of the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Wild, and Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Timberwolves are the only ones you can refer to as "Minny"? Is that, like, street or something?

Lakers (2) vs. Houston (7): My probable favorite first round matchup, just to see how well Yao responds to the playoffs. He's always brought his A-game vs. Shaq--and now we have at least four more bouts (rounds IX through XII) of Yao-Shaq. But the Rockets are incredibly inconsistent, and Steve Francis appears to be as uncoachable as ever. And Yao's talking about being tired all the time. Lakers in 7, I'm guessing.

San Antonio (3) vs. Memphis (6): Poor li'l Grizzlies. To have made the playoffs after so many years of futility--and now to get squashed like bugs. The last two Grizz games have not filled me with confidence, unless gettng blown out by two playoff teams is some arcane part of Hubieball. Spurs in 5.

Sacramento (4) vs. Dallas (5): Sacto blew the number two seed last night and now has to face the Mavs. Mark Kreidler in that link is saying the Kings are done and his reasons are valid: Webber isn't that good, Bobby Jackson isn't there, and that they did not win when the choice was as simple as winning the Pacific and not winning it, facing the Rockets or facing the Mavs. Are the Kings thinking to themselves, "Well, we lost to the Mavs last year, but that was without C-Webb. We're sure to win this year." As if it was going to be easy to win against the team that scores more than they do while playing marginally less defense than they do. I think Kreidler's nay-saying has convinced me. Mavs in 7.

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