Well there have been a few early surprises in this years NBA Playoffs but nothing too crazy to make anyone think that we may have a different finals series than last year. Fomr the beginning we saw the first seed Boston Celtics losing their first two games at home against the Chicago Bulls but then due to a hand injury to Rajon Rondo turned the series around and the Celtics won the next four and since then have outscored the Washington Wizards to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Semis.
The heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers can not do enough to make the public think they are back after essentially taking the entire second half of the regular season off. The Cavs “only” were able to sweep the Pacers in the first round, have a full weeks rest for their next series, but nobody was convinced since the four games were only won by a total of 16 points. Moving on to the next round the Toronto Raptors are feeling the wrath of the Cavs by losing the first two games of the series by a combined 33 points.
Over in the West as predicted in an earlier article right here the Utah Jazz outplayed the Los Angeles Clippers in the seventh and decisive game to move on and face the Golden State Warriors who had no trouble at all with the Portland Trailblazers in round one. The Jazz are the complete opposite of the Warriors as far as tempo of play and game possesions. I see the Warriors maybe giving one game away in Utah but should dominate the series in what will most likely be a low scoring playoff as far as Golden State is concerned.
In the other Playoffs Houston and James Harden gave up one game but pretty much had an easy time with Russel Westbrook and the OKC Thunder while Memphis was able to tie their series with San Antonio at 2 but it was the Spurs that have the ability to react from game to game and took the next two games to move on and face what is looking to be quite possibly the best Conference Semi matchup available.
The Rockets walked into San Antonio for Game 1 and dominated the Spurs from start to finish. The potent offense of Houston was way too much for the home team which faced deficits of up to 30 plus points and a final of 126-99 for Harden and company. We knew there would be a reaction by Gregg Popovich and his squad as they returned the favor 121-96 to even things up at one apiece. This will be the series to keep your eye on and the Rockets could make things difficult for San Antonio.
Looking forward to the Conference finals, here are my prections for each Playoff series;
Home court should be king in the Celtics and Wizards series. Since Boston held court in the first two I look for Washington to do the same and even things up at 2. From that point I see a seventh game in Boston that might just be the moment that the Wizards pull off the upset. WASHINGTON 4 BOSTON 3!
The Cavs will continue to roll against a very outmatched Raptors team and should earn themselves another week of rest while Boston and Washington fight things out. CLEVELAND 4 TORONTO 0!
Golden State will be making another appearence in the Conference finals this season as they will eliminate the Utah Jazz in five games but the question remains is, who will they be facing? GOLDEN STATE 4 UTAH 1!
Spurs have the experience but with experience they are also aging and the longer their series goes on the worst for guys like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. I see the Rockets making this interesting but San Antonio will be capable of winning that game back in Houston and possibly both of them. SAN ANTONIO 4 HOUSTON 2!
Enjoy these Conference Semis!!!