Organized Sports NBA Playoff Predictions: First Round Recap, Second Round Predictions

Could this be the Heat's Willennium?

Could this be the Heat’s Willennium?

Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will. 

Not much time for a nonprofessional blogger to turn this around, so let’s get right to the recaps and the precaps, after the jump.

Grading the First Round – Western Conference

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Dallas Mavericks
Prediction: Spurs in 6
Actual Result: Spurs in 7
Crafty old Dirk and also-crafty also-old Vince Carter made it tough for the Spurs, up until the final game, which was a blowout that made it seem the series wasn’t as tightly matched as it actually was. I was really rooting for the Mavs there at the end—that’s probably why the Spurs ended up winning.
Grade: A-

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (7) Memphis Grizzlies
Prediction: Thunder in 6
Actual Result: Thunder in 7
I’d really like to have seen how the final game of this series would have played out with Zach Randolph, one of the two frontline anchors of the Memphis offense, there working his effective old-man-game in the post. Sadly, though, that was not to be. The Grizzlies made it very tough on one who Thunds that which is characterized by an abundance of Oklahoma Cit. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and a bunch of players who might as well be named et cetera make it through to another round.
Grade: A-

(3) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (6) Golden State Warriors
Prediction: Clippers in 5
Actual Result: Clippers in 7
Donald Sterling is not there anymore. I hope that’s a weight off the Clippers’ backs. Also, the Golden State Warriors weren’t really going to boycott. It’s very easy to say when they didn’t actually have to do it. I really wasn’t going to have sex with that girl. What do you mean she didn’t give me the chance? I am cynical. If no one was boycotting before, they had no right to do it now. It also turned out that the Clippers are the better team, that Blake Griffin really is their star, and the Warriors can’t do much when Stephen Curry isn’t lights out.
Grade: B+

(4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers
Prediction: Rockets in 7
Actual Result: Blazers in 6
I had this going to seven games, a close series between two close teams, and giving it to the group with the home court advantage. It appears home court didn’t matter, because the Blazers took this one in six, and it honestly didn’t seem that close—Portland was in control of this one all the way, with James Harden’s laughable defense getting exposed on a national level. Time to make a joke about how he won’t even be able to defend himself in the post-playoff press conferences. Also, it is enjoyable to see Dwight Howard lose, and LaMarcus Aldridge win. Bulls fans, you could have this guy right now.
Grade: C-

Western Conference Average Grade: B

Grading the First Round – Eastern Conference

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (8) Atlanta Hawks
Prediction: Pacers in 5
Actual Result: Pacers in 7
Man, what an uninspiring end to a series that could have gone either way, and had the table tilted in the Hawks’ favor most of the way. I can’t imagine the Heat are too skeered of those who Pace Dr. Jones.
Grade: B+

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) Charlotte Bobcats
Prediction: Heat in 4
Actual Result: Heat in 4
Rommazommadam omma heat is on, hahgoggaflip till the break of dawn. Welcome to Miami. Bienvenido a Miami.
Grade: A

(4) Chicago Bulls vs. (5) Washington Wizards
Prediction: Bulls in 6
Actual Result: Wizards in 5
The Bulls could not keep up with what they did throughout the regular season, which is outworking every team enough to win more than they did not. This time, they came up against a team that is much better than I thought they were, with enough frontline power with Nene and Marcin Gortat to keep Joakim Noah busy, letting the star backcourt, which should only get better and scarier as they go, of John Wall and Bradley Beal (St. Louis in the house!).
Grade: D+

(3) Toronto Raptors vs. (6) Brooklyn Nets
Prediction: Nets in 6
Actual Result: Nets in 7
When it came down to it, the Nets played like a team with a bunch of players who’d been in the playoffs before, and the Raptors, though more talented and skillful at this point, were just too young for the moment. Deron Williams played like a franchise point guard, but the real star was Joe Johnson, who showed that when he’s hot, he’s a top five shooting guard, and the Nets play a system to make it easier for that to happen.
Grade: A-

Eastern Conference Average Grade: B

Overall Average Grade: B

Round Two Predictions – Western Conference

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers
Despite the fact that the Trail Blazers made it farther this year than the Mavs did, I think the Mavs were actually a tougher matchup for the Spurs. I don’t think San Antonio will have as much trouble with the Blazers as they did in the first round. I do think the Blazers will take their first two home games, though, because that crowd is ready to go wild.
Prediction: Spurs in 6

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (3) Los Angeles Clippers
Both teams had exhausting first round series. But while I don’t think that the Clippers have anyone who can really guard Kevin Durant—who can, besides Tony Allen and Lebron James?—the Thunder don’t have an answer for Blake Griffin either. This one will be another long series, and I think again LA will be victorious over the Thunder. Weird how it’s going to be the Clippers this time, isn’t it?
Prediction: Clippers in 7

Round Two Predictions – Eastern Conference

(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (5) Washington Wizards
If the Pacers had as much trouble as they did with the Hawks, how will they fare against a team that took apart the defense-heavy Bulls? I don’t think very well; Paul George is an elite defender, but he’ll have to deal with either John Wall or Bradley Beal, leaving the other free to wreak havoc. And the Pacers still don’t have an offense.
Prediction: Wizards in 6

(2) Miami Heat vs. (6) Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets had the Heat’s number in the regular season, but the Heat also had yet to turn it on. The Heat also got through their first round series in four games, with plenty of time to rest their aging stars. The Nets, on the other hand, are even older and took longer to get through the Raptors. I think this’ll be a tough series, because Joe Johnson is scared of no one when he looks to shoot, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are old enough to remember being the big brothers to Lebron’s little one who could get none. But now Lebron is the best player in the league in every facet, and when the Heat is on, they can burn right through the Nets.
Prediction: Heat in 6

My first round predictions were, overall, not terrible. Will that happen again? I highly doubt it. Check back in a couple of weeks to see.

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