NBA’s Sweet 16… how I see it!

Posted: April 28, 2012 in General, NBA
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So here we go, the official entrance into summer, as the NBA Playoffs tip-off tomorrow with four games, and another quartet taking place on Sunday. Before getting there, let’s get you some helpful information before heading in.

(I will be updating my blog with my First-round series capsules and First-round series predictions, so be sure to check back overnight for both)

1. San Antonio (50-16) – Defying Father Time, the Spurs finished the regular season on a 10-game winning streak and tied for the best record in the NBA. Since an 8-1 road trip back in February, the Spurs have won 26 of 32.

2. Chicago (50-16)¬†– I love that everyone is questioning the Bulls and their wherewithal right now. They finished tied for the league’s best record, they posted the fourth-best winning percentage in franchise history at .758 and handled Derrick Rose’s injury just fine.

3. Oklahoma City (47-19)¬†– Make note, the Thunder – at most places – are favored to win it all. Though the two previously mentioned teams are sitting above OKC, and had both records, I don’t blame Vegas for giving the nod to these young boys. The Thunder will be a contender for many seasons to come.

4. Miami (46-20) РWhat would you like to me say about the team everyone already knows about? Strengths: having LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Weaknesses: having LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

5. Indiana (42-24)¬†– I think the Pacers could very well be the most dangerous team in the NBA Playoffs. Dare I say it, they could be this year’s version of the Dallas Mavericks. Do not sleep on this team, which went 12-3 in April, while covering nine of their last 15.

6. L.A. Lakers (41-25) РArguably the most confusing and frustrating team in the postseason right now. I mean seriously, was this not the most erratic team of the regular season? The Purple and Gold are always dangerous, as long as the Black Mamba is suiting up.

7. Boston (39-27) РI think the Celtics can be just as dangerous as the Pacers in the postseason, quite honestly. They may be old, but they can still ball. Question is, how well will they do as long as Ray Allen is watching, and not playing?

8. L.A. Clippers (40-26) – Not too shabby with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin this season, but this is where the big boys come to play, and we’ve seen far too often this season, how the Clippers faltered against playoff-caliber competition.

9. Memphis (41-25) – Last year this was my first-round sleeper, as I loved the Grizzlies in their series against the San Antonio Spurs. This year they’re no longer a secret, and though I think they’ll give the Clippers a run for their money, I don’t know if they can move on.

10. Denver (38-28) РIs this the upset special of the first round? You can never tell what is going down when the Nuggets meet the Lakers. Fact is, the Nuggets can, and have, defeat any team in this league. Look out if they make it past L.A.

11. Atlanta (40-26) РThe Hawks were written off by so many critics before the strike ended, when the season started and even before Al Horford was lost for the duration of the season just 11 games into the campaign. The overachieving Hawks deserve Kudos for their run into the postseason.

12. Dallas (36-30) – Who needs Lamar Odom anyway? The Mavericks apparently don’t. We’re going to learn a lot more about this team when the Playoffs begin, whether or not they still have the same determination and grit it had last season during its title run.

13. New York (36-30)¬†– Anyone else take notice the Knicks¬†finished second in the Atlantic Division, just three games back of the Celtics? Anyone else – low-key, as they say – hoping the Knicks¬†oust the Heat from the Playoffs. Start spreadin’ the news…

14. Philadelphia (35-31) – What makes this team great is coach Doug Collins. Too bad he cannot instill his thoughts and knowledge onto the court and immediately into his players as he sees things. Fact is, they’ve been a sub-.500 team (15-17) since the All-Star break.

15. Utah (36-30) – Well, everyone picked the Spurs to eliminate the Grizzlies in the first round, so that’s one thing the Jazz can take to heart this postseason. Personally, I see Utah giving the aging vets from The Alamo at least one good game in Salt Lake.

16. Orlando (37-29)¬†– Yes, the Magic have better records than the Mavs, Knicks, Jazz and Sixers, but I think they’ve become the worst of all 16 playoff teams. Forget the fact Dwight Howard is gone for the season – some say that makes this team better – things just seem all-around bad for the Magic.


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