The NBA Playoffs are finally here. Hallelujah.
For all the trash talk that has ensued since the beginning of the 66-game NBA season, none of that matters now. The playoffs are just one day away, and the only thing that matters is winning. These are the most wide-open NBA playoffs I can ever remember. There are literally about 8-9 teams I could envision winning the entire thing. Of course, with that many teams capable of winning, someone’s got to lose. There are two series in particular that I’m not too optimistic about.
Eastern Conference First Round, #2. Miami vs. #7 New York: I honestly can’t remember the last time when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were all on the court at the same time. That’s what injuries and a reduced schedule will do to you. The Knicks are an astounding 18-6 with Mike Woodson coaching them up, Carmelo’s in rare form and Amare’s rocking those straight-back braids and dunking on people with reckless abandon again. The Knicks are scary, and no one knows what to expect from Miami right now.
Western Conference First Round, #2 Oklahoma City vs. #7 Dallas: It’s the one thing that I can’t debate Kenny on; can’t take it away from him at all.
“The Dallas Mavericks are still the defending world champions.” — K. Masenda
True words indeed, and while the Thunder will be favorites and expected to be triumphant over the Mavs, to be a champion, you got to beat the champions. Dirk is still over there hooping, Jason Terry and Delonte West are out there hooping, and there are still players to fear on that squad. OKC has to be on their A-game, or else they’ll put themselves in a precocious situation.
Here’s your reading material for the weekend. Any thoughts on these upsets and any others? Let us know in the comments.
Basketball Prospectus: Playoff Rotations: Projecting Performance
Fox Deportes: Last-minute changes add intrigue to UFC 146
Hardwood Paroxysm: The Inevitable End Of The Nash-Suns Equilibrium
The Classical: All You Need is Hate
Pasta Padre: 24 Nations in UEFA EURO 2012 are Unlicensed
How To Make It: EastWest x Mitchell & Ness “Earth Day” Snapback Collection
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”