Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Picks

Miami HEAT and San Antonio Spurs will be facing off when the Conference Finals are all said and done.

Conference Semis Recap:
Picked winner of 3 series correctly, picked correct number of games in 1 series, picked 1 series incorrectly.

HEAT vs. Bulls: HEAT sweep (Bullshit happens)
Knicks vs. Pacers: Pacers in 6
Thunder vs. Grizzlies: Thunder in 7
Spurs vs. Warriors: Spurs in 5

The Thunder and Warriors committed the most egregious sin a team can commit against its fans in the NBA Playoffs - losing an elimination game at home. The Western Conference is clearly bitch made.

On to the Conference Finals...

HEAT vs. Pacers
Prediction: HEAT in 5

Explanation: The HEAT beat the Pacers in 6 games without Bosh and with Wade on 1 leg. If this team is better than last season's squad, then they should beat the Pacers in 5. This series will be determined by Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the point guards. The HEAT need Wade to perform at a high level against Lance Stephenson despite the pain from his knee bruise and they need Bosh to outplay Roy Hibbert to beat the Pacers in 5 games. The point guards could be the X-Factor. If George Hill's play suffers from his concussion or Norris Cole continues to play like a competent NBA point guard, then it could be a sweep. Of course, if Wade struggles with the knee, Bosh plays soft against Hibbert or Mario Chalmers and Cole get outplayed by Hill and D.J. Augustin then the series could turn the other way.

Spurs vs. Grizzlies
Prediction: Spurs in 7

Explanation: The Spurs' best players are old and injured. The Spurs role players are young and fairly healthy. Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan will have just enough against Mike Conley Jr, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol for Kawhi Leonard to push them over the top. In order to win, the Grizzlies need the best backcourt defense in the NBA to shut down Ginobili with Tony Allen while Gasol shuts down Parker's points in the paint. The Spurs should be able to squeeze enough mileage out of their old and injured backcourt in transition to prevent the Grizzlies defense from winning four games.

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