NBA 2009 1st Round Predictions

 | April 17, 2009 9:14 PM

John Hollinger already did a great statistical job of predicting what will happen in the playoffs.  I agree with most of them but here is just what my gut tells me.

Miami in 6 over Atlanta

Dwyane Wade was my fantasy MVP, I owned him on both of my teams.  I drafted Wade 9th and 6th and he ended up being the 2nd best player next to Chris Paul though one could argue Lebron had a better season than either of these two.  Also Dwyane seems like a good guy though a little strange so obviously my heart wants to pick Miami.

On the other hand I owed three different Atlanta Hawks, Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Joe Johnson.  All three of them disappointed me at different times so I am not feeling a lot of love for the Hawks.

But the Hawks look like a better team.  I guess there are several factors.

  1. Can the Hawks continue to contain Wade like they did during the regular season.  I’m inclined to say no but Horford and Smith do a good job of clogging the lane.
  2. Who will do the better coaching job?  I don’t know but Spoelstra is supposed to be the better coach.
  3. Will Michael Beasley continue his late season progress.  I think he will which make things tougher for the Hawks and free up Wade a little more.
  4. Will O’Neal do anything?  I think the answer is not much but the Heat never had much of a center all season.

I am going to predict Heat in 6 but I admit it’s more wishful thinking.

One final note.  I think Dwyane Wade is the only divorced athlete I like.  I’m not sure why I’m being so forgiving with him, maybe cause of that cheesy commercial where he gives the coach an SUV or those funny T-Mobile commercials.

Boston in 5 over Chicago

Chicago is athletic but any faith I had in them I lost after seeing them get blown out by the Raptors in the last game of the season that the Bulls should have wanted to win.  Derrick Rose is awesome and Joakim Noah is pure energy but Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon and John Salmons seem a little too streaky.  I’d rather put my faith in Pierce, Allen and Rondo.

Orlando in 4 over Philadelphia

Maybe because I’m such a Dwight Howard fan but I think Orlando is going to romp.  I want to see a nice guy finish first so I’m rooting for Orlando.  Philadelphia has played horribly and they don’t have any three point shooting.  If Orlando shoots poorly Philadelphia might be able to get a lot of fast break points.  But besides that I don’t see Philadelphia doing much.

And here are two of my favorite players in one of my favorite commercials.

Cleveland in 4 over Detroit

Who will want to sign Iverson after seeing him give up on his team right before the playoffs?

Los Angeles in 4 over Utah

Something is not right in Utah.  They win 11 in a row and then fall apart.  Boozer, Okur and Millsap don’t seem healthy, Deron Williams can only do so much.  Kobe is going to kill them and Pau Gasol is going to shoot like 75%.

New Orleans in 6 over Denver

Denver has a more talented team with more depth and a great bench.  Billups is good but not a superstar, Nene will dominate the paint, Chris Andersen will also when he’s on the floor, Kenyon Martin is hurting and annoying, J.R. Smith is streaky but incredible when he’s on.  Maybe George Karl will implode and bench Carmelo.

But I love Chris Paul.  I think I might love him as much as Dwight Howard.  I watch him interact with people and I just think “He’s a really good guy.”  New Orleans depends too much on iffy players like Tyson Chandler, Peja, Posey and Butler.  Anyway it’s wishful thinking but I am hoping New Orleans can pull it off.  I’m going to enjoy watching these games, unless New Orleans is being blown out.

Dallas in 6 over San Antonio

I owned Jason Kidd on both my fantasy teams and I really started to appreciate what he can do which is everything except shoot.  I really think he’s superb at making his teammates better and that they enjoy playing with him.  San Antonio is hurting and Dallas is starting to feel confident so I think they can pull off this upset.  I feel bad for Tim Duncan and his achy knees but the guy has more rings than 99.9% of all NBA players, past and present.

Houston in 6 over Portland

This is a tough one to predict.  Brandon Roy was on one of my fantasy teams and he was amazing.  Tracy McGrady was on another and he sucked.  So you could imagine where my heart might be leaning.  The Blazers are athletic, long, young, and fast.  On the other hand I really like Yao and I just want him to get the monkey off his back.  I can’t believe they lost that final game to Dallas and I do question how much they want to win.  Why in the world would you not give the ball to Yao in the last quarter?

I think though Houston finally wins a first round series.  They have more experience, though so far the losing kind, and they’ve played very well against Portland this season.  Just give the ball to Yao!

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