Saturday, April 30, 2011

NBA Playoffs: We're Off To Round 2

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The first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs is officially in the books.

The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies were the biggest story of the opening round as they shocked the No. 1 San Antonio Spurs, 4-2. This was the 4th time in NBA history that a No. 8 seed upsets a No. 1 seed-- Denver Nuggets over Seattle Super Sonics (1994); New York Knicks over Miami Heat (1999) and Golden State Warriors over Dallas Mavericks (2007) were the other 3 times.

As for the other series: The No. 5 Atlanta Hawks over the No. 4 Orlando Magic surprised a lot of people, including myself, and the No. 3 Dallas Mavericks over the No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers, although the seeding held serve, was also surprising to some of us who thought the Blazers had it in them to upset the Mavericks. Guess not.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat also held serve and are off to Round 2.

Anyway, here's how I see the second round unfolding.

Eastern Conference:

1. Bulls vs. Hawks: Derrick Rose and the Bulls will end the Hawks semi-Cinderella run. Why? Because they are Derrick Rose and the Bulls. It's that simple. Bulls in 5.

2. Heat vs. Celtics: This is the match-up of all match-ups. The extravaganza the entire world has been waiting for-- The New Big Three vs. The Old Big Three. The Rumble in South Beach. Miami Thrice vs. The Boston Three Party. OK, 'nuff hyping. The Old Big Three will go down to the Valley of the Kings and prevail. Boston in 6. "So let it be written, So let it be done!" -from The Ten Commandments

Western Conference:

1. Lakers vs. Mavericks: Kobe wants ring No. 6 in the worst way. Who am I to question him on that? Lakers in 6.

2. Thunder vs. Grizzlies: After the Lakers eliminated the Thunder in a hard-fought 6 games in the first round of last year's playoffs, Kobe said something to the effect, "This is a great young team. I get the feeling we'll be dealing with them for years to come". Kobe's crystal ball was dead on. Thunder in 5.

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Finally, for the record, CONGRATULATIONS to the Memphis Grizzlies on winning their first-ever playoff series. It was a long time coming but if you play this game long enough, sooner or later, good things will happen. No doubt.

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