It’s the time of the year when the men are separated from the boys. Some call it the second season. Others refer to it as the real season. So for the next 2 months, we will all be witnessed again to hoops drama at its very best. Herewith is my fearless forecast for the first round match-ups.
MIAMI HEAT (#1) VS. MILWAUKEE BUC KS (#8)
The Heat has the homecourt advantage throughout their journey in this year’s post-season play. Pairing them off against No. 8 seed Bucks will be a walk in the park for the South Beach outfit. Coach Erik Spoelstra’s boys has too much firepower. Heat in 4 games…..
NEW YORK KNICKS (#2) VS. BOSTON CELTICS (#7)
Don’t be deceived by the Celtics lower seeding. As in their games during the regular season, this series will be a war. Focus will be on the Knicks senior brigade if they have the legs in the most important part of the season. The Beantown boys on the other hand are still reeling from the loss of their top point guard Rajon Rondo. Too close to call. The Knicks in 7 games (but I could be wrong)…..
INDIANA PACERS (#3) VS. ATLANTA HAWKS (#6)
Even without superstar Danny Granger, the Pacers have become one of the best teams in the East during the regular season. In Granger’s absence comes the emergence of Lance Stephenson. The Hawks did not have a good end in their regular season, going 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Hawks showed minimal progress this season and still is a very inconsistent team. The Pacers in 6 games…..
BROOKLYN NETS (#4) VS. CHICAGO BULLS (#5)
This is the series to watch in the East. The Nets diehards are still in cloud nine following their foray into their first post-season appearance and this could be a huge factor in the series. The Bulls remain a potent squad even without their franchise player Derrick Rose. Nets in 7 games……
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (#1) VS, HOUSTON ROCKETS (#8)
This could be the year OKC can win it all. Frustrated in their finals bid last season, the Thunder are well determined to go all the way this time. And nobody doubts it. Against the fading Rockets, it will be an easy one for Scott Brooks’ charges. Thunder in 4 games…..
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (#2) VS. LA LAKERS (#7)
This is the moment of Dwight Howard. Now without the “Black Mamba”, DH12 will be the main focal point in offense for the Tinseltown boys. Paul Gasol provides the usual solid support. But the Spurs are just too much for a team that will rely mostly on just two men (Metta World Piece is still far from being 100%). Spurs in 5 games…..
DENVER NUGGETS (#3) VS. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (#6)
Even the injuries to Gallo, Lawson and Faried will not stop the Nuggets surge in this post-season. Andre Iguodala and Wilson Chandler plus the emergence of Anthony Randolph will still give George Karl’s boys the edge over the young and explosive but inexperienced Warriors squad. Not this year Mark Jackson. Nuggets in 6 games…..
LA CLIPPERS (#4) VS. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (#5)
This is a rematch of the most exciting first round series last season. And with the way these teams ended the regular campaign, it surely looks like an encore performance. The Clips now have the depth but the Grizzlies has become complete following the acquisition of veteran defensive specialist Tayshaun Prince. This is truly a humdinger but we have to select a winner. Clippers in 7 games (or Grizzlies in 7 games)……