I thought that I would make a thread updating the bracket contest. As usual, the actual contest is a bit of a macguffin with the real purpose of the thread to discuss the first round of the playoffs as well as what we predict from the second round.
Bulls / Nets / Heat: Wooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! I predicted 7 games and the Bulls delivered. The contributions came from every direction with Booz/Nate/Kirk all having excellent series. The standout player was, however, Joakim Noah, who essentially won us games 2 and 7. I do not see us beating the Heat barring the return of DRose (or some Heat related injury), but I do think that we will win 1 or 2 and make the Heat earn the next round. I cannot overstate how huge it is for this team to win a playoff series. This is a big deal in their development. Jimmy Butler has especially benefited from this experience given that he has really found his game in this series. Noah also distinguished himself as a star. How many players in this league can guarantee a playoff victory and then deliver?
Pacers / Knicks: There were no surprises in the first round for either of these teams. The Pacers won it but had incredible droughts in scoring. They looked incredibly vulnerable in those losses to the Hawks. As far as the Knicks go, they had their moments but, in general, looked deeply undisciplined. That game against the Bulls where even their coach got thrown out of the game was an eye-opener. The Knicks seem to totally lose their heads any time a team bloodies their lip and you can trust the Pacer's to do just that. As such, I could see this series going either way in spite of the fact that the Knicks seem to be the better team.
Alright, the east sucks. I see none of these teams being able to take down the Heat and the Knicks/Pacers series is guaranteed to be ugly. On to the West!
Let me begin with the Golden State/Denver series and the rise of Steph Freakin' Curry. Man alive, that kid can shoot. We saw a star making performance in this series. As soon as I saw the Warriors nearly take game 1 at Denver, I knew that this series was going to be interesting. Bogut really stepped up in the last game. I totally forgot how good that dude is. He is 7 feet of surly Australian that would you never, ever want to mess with. He was incredibly mobile in that last game. That said, they could barely inbound the ball at the end of the last game. If they execute that poorly, they really have no hope. The Spurs are all about execution and I predict a 5-6 game series with San Antonio advancing.
The Lakers were awful and Dwight Howard behaved poorly.
Memphis / OKC / Houston / Clippers:
OKC did not look good without Westbrook. Not a very interesting series.
As far as the Memphis / Clippers series goes, hell yeah Memphis! The Clippers really came apart in this series. CP3 is decent but the Clippers front-court failed to deliver. Blake Griffin did not show up and they just did not look like a team by the time this series was over. They have a lot of compelling decisions to make this offseason with respect to their coach and whether CP3 thinks he can win with these kids.
Memphis really came alive this series. ZBO is a freakin' animal. The Memphis front-court was as punishing as predicted. They have the wind at their back and they can beat anybody right now.
New Predictions: The Griz will win it all.
In the East, I will switch to Knicks in 7. I have Pacers in 7 in my bracket and I think that it could go either way, but the Pacers did not look good. Either way, neither team will win more than 1 game against the Heat.
I do not think that the Bulls will beat the Heat barring the return. Heat in 6. It kills me to say this.
In the West, Spurs and Memphis will advance in 5 and 6 games respectively.
As far as the Finals go, I think that the West has cracked perfectly for the Griz. They will take down the Spurs and then take down the Heat in 7. The Griz are essentially designed to beat the Heat with their punishing front-court and stellar defense. They have Tayshaun Prince guarding LeBron, which is not good, but on the other hand, who the hell on the Heat will guard ZBo and Gasol?
All right gang. As I said, this is all about discussion, so let's hear what you have to say.
xkellenx and Juicy Dengler are out front with 90 points each while MrDope and cowraiser are in last with 55 (better luck next time guys!). The only real upset was that Golden State series but it was hard to predict Curry becoming a star and Bogut becoming Bogut again. Just a really fun team to watch. Check out the brackets at this URL:
|xkellenx's bracket, xkellenx||90||Heat||View|
|Patty Mills, Juicy Dengler||90||Spurs||View|
|THEKILLERWHALE's Bracket, THEKILLERWHALE||85||Heat||View|
|Spyder007's Bracket, Spyder007||85||Bulls||View|
|The Butler did It's Bracket, The Butler Did It||85||Heat||View|
|It's gonna happen!!!!, masputo||85||Bulls||View|
|This Bracket Stinks, windycitywarrior||75||Spurs||View|
|I-hope-not bracket, odwallajuicish||75||Heat||View|
|tuff-gong's baracket, tuff-gong||70||Bulls||View|
|Dmes' Bracket, Dmes||70||Heat||View|
|Shortkid99's Bracket, Eric Feigin||70||Heat||View|
|JGB bracket, JimmehGBuckets||65||Heat||View|
|Doshi 1, Doshi||65||Heat||View|
|The worst bracket, metalkiwis||65||Thunder||View|
|Otherface NBA Bracket, otherface||65||Heat||View|
|Mitch Stevens Bracket, Mitch Stevens||65||Clippers||View|
|B Smurf, Basketball Smurf||65||Heat||View|
|Fake Bracket for Test Purposes., JDW||60||Heat||View|