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2016 NBA Playoffs Picks!


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Posted

It's that time of the year again. Who else caught that 60 point curtain call last night by Kobe Bean Bryant? Or the Golden State Warriors' record-breaking 73rd win? What a time to be alive. :cheers: 

Onto the picks:

Western Conference

Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors

Not only did the Warriors sweep the Rockets 3-0, by an average margin of 12.3 points, they are also the Latest and Greatest Team of All Time. The only thing left for them to accomplish is a dominant playoff run, something they failed to do last year. The Rockets are much worse this year than last year, where they were promptly outclassed in the Western Conference Finals 4-1. James Harden is a good scorer, but he lacks leadership qualities necessary for a champion, and Dwight Howard is long past his physical prime, incapable of dominating longer than in brief spurts.
GSW in a sweep: 4-0

 

Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs

Not only are the Spurs well-rested, loaded, proven, and hungry, they also have controlled the Grizzlies since that shocking first round upset in 2011. Moreover, neither Conley nor Gasol the Younger are suiting up, and the Grizzlies have fallen ass-backwards into the playoffs, having coughed up 12 of their last 14 games.

SAS in another sweep: 4-0

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Should be an interesting contrast of styles between the athletic, iso-heavy Thunder and the veteran, systemic Mavericks. However, Westbrook and Durant will exploit the Mavericks' subpar man to man defense, force them to collapse repeatedly. Although Mavericks coach Carlisle is one of the 5 best in the NBA, and facing a rookie college coach in Donovan, he can only do so much with a vastly inferior hand.

OKC 4-1

Portland Trailblazers @ Los Angeles Clippers

PG Chris Paul has largely owned his opposite number, Damian Lillard, and will continue to neutralize him with the Clippers' superior pick and roll defense. Even if the rest of the Blazers flourish, they need Lillard to overcome the more talented Clippers. However, Blake Griffin has not rediscovered his old form after missing half of the season with his leg injury and the suspension.

LAC, 4-2

 

Eastern Conference

Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Surprisingly, the Pistons do match up well with the Cavaliers: they have enough forwards to control LBJ, and a terrific defender in Caldwell Pope to terrorize Kyrie Irving. Plus the only Cavalier capable of slowing down the emerging Pistons giant, Drummond, is Mozgov, a benched guy who's lost his confidence. But LBJ has returned to his dominant MVP form in recent weeks.

CAVS, 4-2

Indiana Pacers @ Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have prevented George from scoring 20 points, limiting him to 20 of 65 FG attempts in four regular season games. Despite being a veteran of the playoffs, George must step up to give the underdogs a chance. The Raptors are still trying to get that playoff monkey off their backs, having failed to win a series since the Vince Carter days back in 2001. They are capable of matching up any lineup - be it small or big, and throw enough bodies at George all series long. However, if the Raptors' guards, Lowry and DeRozan don't perform at peak levels, they could be sent home early again.

TOR, 4-1

Charlotte Hornets @ Miami Heat

Two dramatically different teams. The Hornets prefer playing faster, pushing the pace. But the veteran Heat play better defense, and have more isolation scorers in Johnson and Wade, which is absolutely necessary in the playoffs. If the Hornets can keep the Heat spread, and keep their passing snappy, they can steal the series.

MIA, 4-3

Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks

Both teams are elite on defense and play at a fast pace, but the Hawks have the two best players in Horford and Millsap, who will dominate the inferior Celtics frontcourt. Moreover, the Hawks are far more battle-tested in the playoffs, having won series, while none of the Celtics have even won a single game. Coach Stevens is brilliant but he'll be offset by an equally capable Coach Budenholzer.

ATL, 4-3

 

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Posted (edited)

Posted this at insidehoops.com last night:

 

My 2016 Finals pick.

If the Cavaliers utilize LBJ and Love in the post against the Warriors, exploit their advantages, they will control the tempo and rack up fouls, they can steal the series. If LBJ or Love get off to a good start in the first quarter, then the Cavaliers will be very competitive. However, if LBJ refuses to post up or pass out of single coverage to three point shooters, they’ll get cooked. The best strategy against great three point shooters is to force them to play defense and make them play physical against bigger and stronger guys, their shooting percentage will drop. If the Cavaliers try to match the Warriors’ Lineup of Death, they’ll get swept. Therefore, they must play to their strengths, use their size by slowing the game down and punish the smaller Warriors inside. LBJ must be a post up guy, score 40 or throw it back out for the three point shooters if the Warriors double him, because they have nobody who can defend him inside, and nobody to slow him down in the paint when they go small. If Love or LBJ are posting up, they must have Tristan Thompson crash the boards from the other side of the paint.

The Warriors’ main adjustment is to go small, and wait for the other team’s coach to panic and try to match them. That is what doomed the OKC Thunder. If the Cavaliers stick to their bigs, let LBJ play in the paint, that’ll be the biggest factor in the series.
lebron.jpg
It's just too bad that the Warriors are an all-time great team, and the Cavaliers are coached by a rookie, and LBJ is the 21st century version of Wilt Chamberlain. facepalm.gif
GSW in 7
lebroncry.jpg

Edited by The Heretic
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Posted

If Cleveland hits threes well and consistently (from game to game), then Cleveland in six. Otherwise, okay, Golden State in seven -- nah, six.

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