Last night marked the end of the 2010-11 NBA regular seasons, and with a few days off, it is now time to preview the NBA playoffs. There are a total of 16 teams combined in the two conferences, left with the possibility of winning the NBA Championship. For all intents and purposes, we will give our finals prediction and then break down each round as to who we believe will advance.
Come June, the two teams left standing, will be the two teams that led the NBA through the regular season, as the Chicago Bulls will battle the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA title. This game features the youthful Bulls taking on the Spurs dynasty, in a battle of youth v veteran experience. Ultimately, the wear and tear of grinding series in the West will make the Spurs tired, leaving them vulnerable for the hungry Bulls. We see the Bulls winning this series in six games.
Eastern Conference: In the East we have the Bulls beating the Pacers in five games, the Magic beating the Hawks in four, Miami beating Philadelphia in seven, and Boston beating New York in six. The main reasoning for each of our picks is that we think the teams with the better depth will ultimately win out in the series. For the Miami series, while some may criticize the depth of the Heat, they proved down the stretch that the bench can play just as well as the big three.
Western Conference: San Antonio will be able to beat the Memphis Grizzlies in five of the hardest games of the playoffs. Denver and Oklahoma City look to be on the same level, so we believe that the experience of the Nuggets bench will triumph over the Thunder in seven games. Dallas is too good of a team and Portland is still very young, so the Mavericks should win this series in six. Meanwhile, the Lakers should cruise to a four game sweep of the Hornets, as Kobe proves that LA is still a strong team.
The second round breaks down to feature four really exciting matchups. In the East you have Chicago taking on Orlando in one semi final and Miami taking on Boston in the other. Conversely in the West, you have San Antonio taking on Denver and Dallas taking on the Lakers.
Eastern Conference: Orlando looks to be a bigger test for the Bulls than the Pacers were, however given that Chicago is one of the top defensive teams in the NBA, they should have what it takes to beat the Magic. On the other hand, the Celtics age will finally catch up to them, as the Heat triumph in six games.
Western Conference: San Antonio ultimately is just too strong of a team to lose. Meaning to say, despite a brilliant effort, we feel the Spurs will decimate the Nuggets in five games. Kobe and the Lakers will continue to dominate in the playoffs as they defeat the Mavericks in six.
Eastern Conference: Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah will elevate their games to another level, when they battle Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. As we noted in round two, Chicago is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, and that should be the deciding factor when they win in six games.
Western Conference: its San Antonio verses Los Angeles in a game featuring two of the oldest yet most prolific franchises this decade. When you think of a sports dynasty, you think of either the Spurs or the Lakers, as both have dominated this decade combining for nearly eight championships in 11 years. This series should go seven games, with the Spurs ultimately advancing to the NBA finals.