NBA playoffs Weekend 1 Thoughts
- By: The Professor
- On: 4/18/2011 12:11:00 PM
- View Comments : 9
Related: The Professor Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Chicago Bulls Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Indiana Pacers Los Angeles Lakers Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat New Orleans Hornets New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Portland Trailblazers San Antonio Spurs NBA
"The Bulls should have no trouble with the Pacers"
"I don't see this one lasting that long (about the Lakers crushing the Hornets)"
"There's no chance the Knicks win this series"
"The Hawks just aren't good, and the Magic should dispatch them in five games."
So, now that we've seen three game-one upsets (Grizzlies over Spurs, Hornets over Lakers, Hawks over Magic) and a slew of scares (Pacers, Sixers, Knicks, Nuggets and Blazers all had a good shot to win) do I want a do-over on any of those predictions?
But, I will say that the theme to the first weekend of the NBA playoffs has to be "parity". The games, by the way, were uniformly outstanding affairs in which either team could very legitimately have won. Both the Spurs/Grizz and Celtics/Knicks featured buzzer-beater shots to tie/win, and the Bulls had to overcome a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes to pull out their victory. Compared to years past, there doesn't seem to be as much separation between the elite and the other playoff teams...at least not yet. After all, it's only been one game and since I didn't predict any sweeps all of my predictions are still in play.
That said, I think that the Spurs and the Magic have to be the favorites with the most reason for concern. The Spurs because, without Manu Ginobili (sat out with an injured elbow), they really might not be as good as the Grizzlies. Ginobili's availability moving forward is of paramount importance, as without him I likely would have changed my predictions. And the Magic because it's very possible that the Hawks have figured out a plan that works...let Dwight Howard get as much as he wants (like his 46-point/19-rebound explosion in game 1) and just lock up everyone else.
On the flip side, I still am not yet worried about the Lakers. They lost game 1, but their team played poorly and Chris Paul was just about perfect. The Hornets have definitely earned the increased attention they'll get moving forward, but if I had to bet right now I'd still bet the Lakers get to 4 wins before the Hornets get another 3. We'll see.
Lots of fun, so far. I'm really looking forward to this next week, when the stories will really start to be told.