Friday, April 20, 2007

Time for the NBA Playoffs!!

While hockey is dead, basketball is very much alive! I hope that you have enjoyed the Mavericks regular season run (67-15) as much as I did. Now it is time to take care of unfinished business. We remember all to well how the Mavericks had the NBA Finals under control for about 2.75 games, and then experienced a meltdown of the highest order. That is the sort of thing that can just as likely induce a 67-15 effort or a continuation of the demise. The beginning of the season certainly looked like the Mavericks were dead with the 0-4 start (making 67-15 that much more impressive).

I like this team for a number of reasons. First, they play great basketball. While they are not at the level of the 72-10 Bulls of the mid 90s, they're still an elite team. It all starts with the tall German who creates match up headaches for every team they face. The list of salty characters goes on for a bit before you get to someone that the opposing team doesn't give careful consideration to. The bigger factor that makes me like this team, though, is that they are just well coached. As I've mentioned before, I think that Avery Johnson is a great leader. He has the kind of approach that gets results, and this year he has all of his players on board to carry out his plans.

What of the Mavericks first round opponent? There has been a great deal of talk on the radio and in the newspaper about Golden State because of the problems they have given the Mavericks in the regular season. Does Don Nelson know the Mavericks too well? Please. As much as I like Nelly as a person, he is a regular season coach who produces regular season teams. He has never produced a winner in the post season, but he has not changed one thing about his approach to the game. The lack of defense will result in a one and done trip for the Golden State Warriors.

Prediction: Mavericks 4-1

Other Western Conference series: Spurs 4-2 over Denver, Suns 4-3 over the Lakers, and Houston 4-2 over Utah.

In the second round: Mavericks 4-2 over Houston and Spurs 4-3 over the Suns

Western Finals: Mavericks 4-2 over Spurs

NBA Finals: Mavericks 4-2 over the Pistons

We'll see if I'm any good at prognostication.

Until next time...

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