The NBA's second season has finally arrived, otherwise known as the time of the year that Coach Young drags into work because I'm till midnight watching games from the left coast!
My excitement is a little subdued because of the Celtics plunge from being an elite team at Christmas to a .500 club once the calander switched to 2K10. So I'm not looking for much out of the C's, I just don't believe you can flip a switch a get the job done. But time will tell.
The West should be very competitive even though the Lakers secured the top seed, they've been dealing with injuries lately and have struggled down the stretch. I think they will miss Trvor Ariza once the playoffs begin. He was a huge difference maker last year.
Time for predictions and as always, no wagering unless you want a visit from John Tyson.
East Round 1:
Cavs over Bulls in 6. Cleveland could have put Chicago out of the playoffs last week but instead rested LBJ and now have to deal with Derrick Rose. Of course, this is a match up of incompetent coaches between Brown & Del Negro. Expect this to be more competitive because the Bulls have some decent players & playoff experience.
Magic over Bobcats in 4. Too many weapons for O-Town.
Hawks over Bucks in 5. Atlanta is for real, Jamal Crawford great addition off the bench.
Heat over Celtics in 7. The Celts don't have it and Dwayne Wade is the best player on the floor. Could be enough to end this second era of the Big 3. Rondo could change this series though to a W for the C's.
Cavs over Heat in 5. No contest for the Cavs. They take care of business
Magic over Hawks in 7. Tough series but I wonder if the Hawks are mentally tough enough to win these types of series. They have the talent but still give too many games away against lesser competition for me to pick them over Orlando.
Cavs over Magic in 7. I was shocked that Orlando handled Cleveland with such ease last year, especially with how fortunate they were to beat an undermanned Boston in 7games. Shaq's presence on the inside could be the difference because they have extra fouls and bodies to bang with Dwight Howard. That should be the difference.
West Round 1
Lakers over OKC in 4. No contest for Kobe and company.
Mavs over Spurs in 7. I wish the Spurs were the 8 seed and playing the Lakers. Its a better match up for SA then Dallas is. Dirk & company get the job done.
Phoenix over Portland in 5. Easy win for the Suns. PHX is playing well and the Blazers are too young.
Denver over Utah in 7. Great series. Feel that Utah shot themselves in the foot by losing the 2/3 seed late in the season. Now they go on the road to face the emotional Nuggets who are dealing with George Karl's cancer issues.
Nuggets over Lakers in 6. The Lakers have issues and Denver knows they had LA beat and let them off the mat last season. If they get them in the same position, this time the Nuggets will finish them off.
Dallas over Phoenix in 6. Should be a high scoring affair with Dallas squeaking it out in 6.
Denver over Dallas in 6. Nuggets make it all the way and the Birdman Spiked hair becomes a national fad. Probably more of a hope George Karl gets to win it all pick, but I liked what Denver was doing last year and maybe they can get it done this time around.
NBA Finals. Easy to pick Kobe vs Lebron, just like Nike, but Denver vs Cleveland would be interesting. Mello vs Lebron and LBJ gets done. Cavs in 6. Lebron stays instead of heading to NYC over the summer.