Thursday, April 13, 2017

NBA Recap | Why Not

A long time ago in a basketball galaxy far, far away...

Well before the season began I made playoff predictions, I reviewed those picks and other NBA buzz at the midway point. It's time to revisit that subject matter and face the gamma rays. Quick couple of tangents: 1. This has been an other worldly year for basketball, filled with crazy stats and outlandish talent. 2. There are four legitimate candidates for MVP, most view this pursuit as a two-man race between James Harden and Russel Westbrook. Vote Russell! Now let's see how my choices panned out.

East Predictions:
1. Cleveland 2. Toronto 3. Boston 4. Charlotte¿ 5. Detroit¿ 6. Indiana 7. New York¿ 8. Milwaukee
Final Standings:
1. Boston 2. Cleveland 3. Toronto 4. Washington^ 5. Atlanta^ 6. Milwaukee 7. Indiana 8. Chicago^

West Predictions;
1. Golden State* 2. San Antonio* 3. LA Clippers 4. Portland 5. Utah* 6. Memphis 7. OKC 8. Minnesota¿
Final Standings:
1. Golden State 2. San Antonio 3. Houston^ 4. LA Clippers 5. Utah 6. OKC 7. Memphis 8. Portland

failed to make playoffs ¿    failed to predict ^    nailed it *

So, after a long NBA season, I mistakenly picked four teams that under performed. The East hurt me more than the West—you still would have won money had you bet with me. I owe the Rockets an apology, sorry I didn't see this coming, well done. As for the Timberwolves, maybe next year, I hope.

Some other intriguing plot lines heading into the playoffs revolve around the Cavaliers and their mundane play to finish the season. LeBron and the Cavs will undoubtedly face a path fraught with peril, as the East is far tougher this year than last. Will Cleveland make it to a third straight Finals to defend their title? Can the reloaded Warriors make it out of the West? Will we get the trilogy? We'll have to wait and see. What we do know, is that there are some intriguing first round match ups. 

The two best series in my opinion are, Rockets vs. Thunder and Clippers vs. Jazz. I'm high on the Jazz; they play tough defense, they're extremely deep, and they can tweak their roster to a myriad of styles. I'll go ahead and call that the Jazz win, RIP lob city. In regards to Houston and OKC; I'm most interested to see if Russell goes T minus and literally flies into the second round, revealing his true identity (because he can actually fly and he's a Marvel super hero who's been masquerading as a human—lucky us).

The first round isn't as alluring in the East. I do think the Celtics will have their hands full with the Bulls, mostly because Rondo will want to scorch his former team and Butler will show Boston what they missed out on in not trading for him. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Bucks give the Raptors all they can handle. Ibaka and Tucker were phenomenal acquisitions, transforming Toronto's defense. However, the Bucks have Giannis. My All NBA teams are below. Enjoy the playoffs.

First Team: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, James Harden Russell Westbrook
Second Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gobert, Stephen Curry, John Wall
Third Team: Gordon Hayward, Draymond Green, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMar DeRozan, Isaiah Thomas

All NBA is dictated by the Association's guidelines: 2 Forwards - 1 Center - 2 Guards  


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