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The most exciting time of year! Here are my predictions/picks.
Eastern Conference Playoffs – “Expect the Unexpected”
EASTERN CONFERENCE ROUND 1
4th Seed- Washington Wizards Win in 7 Games (4-3) over the 5th Seed Atlanta Hawks
3rd Seed – Toronto Raptors Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 6th Seed – Milwaukee Bucks
2nd Seed – Cleveland Cavaliers Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 7th Seed – Indiana Pacers
UPSET PICK OF ROUND 1!
8th Seed – Chicago Bulls Win in 7 Games (4-3) over the 1st Seed – Boston Celtics
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINALS/ROUND 2:
4th Seed Washington Wizards Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 8th Seed – Chicago Bulls
UPSET PICK OF ROUND 2!
3rd Seed – Toronto Raptors Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 2nd Seed – Cleveland Cavaliers
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS3rd Seed – Toronto Raptors Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 4th Seed – Washington Wizards
Western Conference Playoffs – Predictable but Exciting Series!WESTERN CONFERENCE ROUND 1
1st Seed – Golden State Warriors Win in 4 Games (4-0) over the 8th Seed – Portland Trailblazers
2nd Seed -San Antonio Spurs Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 7th Seed – Memphis Grizzlies
3rd Seed – Houston Rockets Win in 7 Games (4-3) over the 6th Seed – OKC Thunder
4th Seed – LA Clippers Win in 7 Games (4-3) over the 5th Seed – Utah Jazz
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMI-FINALS/ROUND 21st Seed – Golden State Warriors Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 4th Seed – LA Clippers
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
1st seed and Western Conference Champion -Golden State Warriors Win in 6 Games (4-2) over the 3rd Seed and Eastern Conference Champion – Toronto Raptors
2016-17 NBA Champions, Golden State Warriors
FINALS MVP: Steph Curry
For the record, I’m more confident in my Bulls pick over the Celtics than I am in my Raptors pick over the Cavs. That is for sure. The Cavs are still the Defending Champions, and until they get knocked off their perch, they still are the favorites to go to the Finals. But, the thing is they look too much to me like the 2010-11 Lakers. The Lakers team that already made it to 3 straight finals and had two titles, and got swept out of Round 2 of the playoffs by the eventual Champion, Dallas Mavericks.
The other thing is, I just don’t see anyone beating the Warriors. I think they are too good and too battle tested. And as much as I want to see a Cavs v. Warriors Finals Rubber-match; part of me would rather avoid the agony of it, because I’d be too much emotionally invested in that series wanting to see the Cavs win it all. If it’s Warriors vs. the Raptors or anyone else but the Cavs, I will still watch the Finals, just more casually. Part of me would almost prefer that. Yet, a Cavs v. Warriors Rubber Match is incredibly enticing.
The bottom line is, my heart wants the Cavs to win the Title very badly. This will give LeBron his 4th ring, and to put him 4-4 in Finals appearances and will unquestionably put him in the conversation of whether he can surpass Michael Jordan as the GOAT. Ever since Title #3, the conversation has gotten more serious, but I as do many other still question the merits of it.
But that talk is all fantasy talk, because my head says The Warriors are going to run away with this thing in a cake walk. Like it won’t even be close. That 73 win team from last year, I believed was way more vulnerable than this one that won 67 Games this year. The Warriors remind me of what the Lakers did in 2001 with their fearsome Shaq/Kobe combo at its apex, finishing the regular season very strong and going into the playoffs riding super high. And the Cavs are going into the playoffs like the poo-poo platter. After starting the season 28-8 with 778% winning percentage. The Cavs have been so bad since then they went 23-23 the rest of the way to finish 51-31 with a 622% winning percentage.
That’s quite a drop-off! Of course based on how I filled my bracket and the way I speak of the Warriors glowingly now, this all means I actually am picking all of their series (but one) to be much longer than they will really be. And I get that’s wishful thinking, but I am not so foolish as to pick against them, even if I will be happy if they lose!
PS -If you enjoyed this NBA Post of mine, you might like this one, as well https://joshoffthepress.com/2017/04/14/my-pick-for-nba-mvp-as-well-as-other-nba-honors-and-awards-im-giving-out/
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