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.
This year, basketball > hockey. Book it.
Grading the Second Round – Eastern Conference
(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (5) Washington Wizards
Prediction: Wizards in 6
Actual Result: Pacers in 6
I picked the correct amount of games, just not the correct winning team. The Wizards showed their youth, the Pacers righted the ship quite a bit, Roy Hibbert became unworthless, and after an initial shock the Pacers dominated the series even more than a win in six games would indicate. They’re still not as good as the Heat.
(2) Miami Heat vs. (6) Brooklyn Nets
Prediction: Heat in 6
Actual Result: Heat in 5
The Heat made shorter work of the Nets than I thought they would, and that is because Lebron James put on an even better performance than I expected. His only misstep in the whole series was a missed free throw in the final minutes of game five, but the Nets could not capitalize on that miss. The Heat took this one in what I’ve heard over and over again called “the gentleman’s sweep”: 4-1, with the one loss coming on the lower seed’s home court after the series already feels decided.
Eastern Conference Average Grade: B-
Grading the Second Round – Western Conference
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers
Prediction: Spurs in 6
Actual Result: Spurs in 5
Like the Heat, I imagined it’d take a little harder work than a gentleman’s sweep to take care of the hot Trail Blazers. That was not the case—those who Blaze Trails did anything but as they looked entirely outmatched, especially because their outside shooters couldn’t put a pea in the ocean. The Spurs methodically took them apart as the Spurs do.
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (3) Los Angeles Clippers
Prediction: Clippers in 7
Actual Result: Thunder in 6
This sure felt like a seven game series even though it didn’t make it that far, with not one but two miracle comebacks, one by each team, the flip side of those miracle comebacks being monumental collapses that the Thunder were able to come back from but the Clippers were not. Still, Blake Griffin has cemented himself as one of the leagues best players, not just one of the league’s best showmen. I hope they can keep this group together for another run.
Western Conference Average Grade: B-
Overall Average Grade: B-
Eastern Conference Finals Predictions
(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (2) Miami Heat
Though the Pacers are the number one seed, I truly doubt ANYONE is picking them to win this series. Have you seen Lebron James play in the playoffs so far this year? I have. And I have no more hard feelings, or dislike, because he truly is the best player in the world, as well as the most fun to watch, on both ends of the floor. Now, if you’re rooting against him, you’re the contrarian, and I don’t want to know you.
Prediction: Heat in 6
Western Conference Finals Predictions
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder
That’s right, I’m predicting a rematch of last year’s finals instead of the finals the year before. The Spurs are locked in now, the Thunder got pretty beaten up in that series against the Clippers, and Manu Ginobili is much better this year than last.
Prediction: Spurs in 7
Spurs. Heat. Book it.