Friday, May 14, 2010
You know, for a guy with a nickname like King James, you'd think LeBron would have actually won something in the NBA. In most cases, like when you are the "Home Run King", a title as lofty as the "King" has to be earned. Alas, LeBron failed to bring a title to Cleveland and now may be bolting town looking for greener pastures and a better supporting cast. As a Sixers fan, I hope he ends up in Chicago because having him with the Knicks in the same division would be brutal.
And so, despite the exit of LeBron, the NBA Playoffs march on with two very intriguing Conference Finals matchups. After going 2 for 4 in my Round Two predictions, here are my picks for the next round and my quick take on each series. It's looking like the 2010 Finals are going to be very similar to the 2009 Finals:
Lakers (1) vs. Suns (3)
Lakers in 6
This is going to be a fun one. After a pair of sweeps, each team should be more than rested and have plenty of time to put a solid gameplan in place. While I like the idea of Steve Nash continuing to succeed in his mission to win at any cost, I just don't see anyone on the Suns who can even attempt to guard Kobe or bang with Pau Gasol in the post. While there are also some unfavorable matchups the other way (Gasol can't handle Amare, either), the Lakers have the better top-end talent and they won't get worn down by the Suns fastbreak mentality.
Magic (2) vs. Celtics (4)
Magic in 6
Are the Magic really this good or is the East really this bad? I'd lean a little more towards the latter but no one should be sleeping on this Magic team at this point. As for the Celtics, I'll be the first to admit I was very wrong about them. I had them pegged as being dead upon arrival into the playoffs and they have shown there is still some fight left in the old dogs. Getting past LeBron was remarkable but Dwight Howard and the Magic look destined to get back to the NBA Finals for a second chance at knocking off the Lakers.
Those are my picks for the Conference Finals. Let me know if you agree or disagree!