The Spurs will blink before the HEAT and the Thunder will be pushed to the brink in the 2nd round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
1st Round Recap:
Picked winner of 5 series correctly, picked number of games correctly in 3 series, picked 3 series incorrectly
HEAT vs. Bucks: HEAT sweep
Knicks vs. Celtics: Knicks
Pacers vs. Hawks:
Nets vs. Bulls:
Spurs vs. Lakers: Spurs sweep
Nuggets vs. Warriors: Warriors in 6
Clippers vs. Grizzlies:
The Celtics, Hawks, Nets, Rockets and Lakers committed the most egregious sin a team can commit against its fans in the NBA Playoffs - losing elimination games at home.
Let's move on to the second round...
HEAT vs. Bulls
Prediction: HEAT sweep
Explanation: In order for the HEAT to remain undefeated in the playoffs, they will need Chris Bosh to play like an all-star center with Cradle Robber (Chris Andersen) and Norris Cole living up to the hype they generated in the 1st round - if Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng play. Worst case scenario for the HEAT is Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer or Nate Robinson have a big game and the Bulls steal one. The series goes no longer than 5 games against a half-dead Bulls squad that gets more infected by Derrick Rose's bitchassness everyday.
Knicks vs. Pacers
Prediction: Pacers in 6
Explanation: The Pacers could sweep the Knicks if Roy Hibbert and David West play like Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass did in the Celtics' last 3 games of their 1st round series, but those two struggled at times against the Hawks. The only way the Knicks win the series is if their backcourt outplays the Pacers' guards and the defense with Iman Shumpert forces Paul George into several bad shooting nights without putting him on the free throw line for double-digit attempts. The 1st team to 90 points will probably win every game in this series. The Knicks will only be able to do that twice.
Thunder vs. Grizzlies
Prediction: Thunder in 7
Explanation: The Thunder had the 2nd-most productive bench in the NBA this season on a per-48 minute basis. They will need that depth playing the Grizzlies without Russell Westbrook. Durant will dominate the battle of the NBA's skinniest small forwards while Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins will make life tough for Zach Randolph. OKC will still need 7 games and big shots from Kevin Martin and Derek Fisher to beat the Grizzlies - again.
Spurs vs. Warriors
Prediction: Spurs in 5
Explanation: Injuries are the key factor for this series. If Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut's ankles don't hold up with cortisone injections, then the Warriors will get swept. If they outplay Tony Parker and Tim Duncan while Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter struggle with their injuries, then the Warriors can make this series interesting. The problem for GSW is that the Spurs will still be the better team if it comes down to small ball as long as Popobitch's crew is healthy.