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Old 03-30-2002, 03:35 AM   #1
Spike
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Default Discuss the Playoff Picture

So the playoffs are just around the corner. Let's talk about them. Here's the N.B.A. Standings tonight. Here are the matchups (keeping in mind they could change day by day):

Eastern Conference:

(1) New Jersey vs. (8) Indiana
(4) Orlando vs. (5) Philadephia
(2) Detroit vs. (7) Charlotte
(3) Boston vs. (6) Milwaukee


Western Conference:

(1) Sacramento vs. (8) Utah
(4) San Antonio vs. (5) Minnesota
(2) Dallas vs. (7) Seattle
(3) L.A. Lakers vs. (6) Portland

So anybody have any thoughts on those series? I think anybody in the East (1 through 8) could make it to the N.B.A. Finals.

Who's your guys' sleeper pick? I'll tell you mine. This is a team that nobody talks about out West but I think could be dangerous. The Seattle Supersonics. I think this team could take out the Sacramento Kings in the first round and I think this team could take out the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Seattle's won at Dallas and they've won at Sacramento this year so they know they can win in those places. Plus they play the Lakers well. The Sonics have won 4 out of their last 7 against the Lakers. Interestingly enough, the Lakers 2 wins this year over Seattle have been without Shaq. When Shaq was in there that one game, Seattle won. It's almost like they want Shaq to be in there because it gives them a better chance to win.

I also think whoever gets to meet Utah/The Clippers in the first round will pretty much get a "bye". It's the only sure thing as far as whoever gets them is going to Round 2 with ease.

All the other series, except for the Lakers, could go either way. But it was also said to me once, by a Laker fan that the best chance to take the Lakers out is in a short 5-game series rather than a 7-game one.

I'd like to see the Clippers take the #8 spot just to see new blood in the playoffs but I don't think that's going to happen now with Utah up 3 1/2 games over them for the 8th spot.

In the East, Miami is 3 games back of the final spot. They're barely alive. You know though if I'm New Jersey, that's the one team I don't want to face in the first round because they're playoff, battle tested and if overlooked they could win a first round series this year because this year they're not the favorite in the 1st round. All the pressure is of off them.
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Old 03-30-2002, 08:02 AM   #2
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I don't know about the playoffs yet: the Raptors could make it, changing the picture. My sleeper pick is the same as yours, Spike. I like the Sonics as a powerful team, especially Gary Payton. This year's playoffs could get interesting.
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Old 03-30-2002, 08:50 AM   #3
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My sleeper is, surprise, Charlotte! Big Jamaal Magloire is filling in nicely for the injured Campbell (he'll be back in time, don't worry) in scoring 20 points the other night. He's a break shotblocker with long arms and also a good rebounder. He's a future starter.

Baron Davis is struggling at the line, going 1-for-5 against the Kings in the loss, but having Wesley and Mash back really makes us contenders, IMO. Unlike last year, we have playoff experience and I see us getting as far as the conference finals, perhaps the Finals knowing how weak the East is.
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Old 03-30-2002, 05:50 PM   #4
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I like Jamaal Magloire (he's Canadian!) but I also like the whole Hornets team, I think they're a very athletic team with a lot of talent.
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Old 03-30-2002, 08:42 PM   #5
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I would agree with others about the Sonics being a sleeper as well. The emergence of Rashard lewis as been huge. But I still don't see them advancing at all in the playoffs. People talk about the east all the time as being wide open, well IMO the west is also, only with better teams. I'm a Laker fan and as I've said before there not as good as last year, they've come back to the pack just slightly. With the Kings, Mavs, Spurs and Blazers all taking a step forward, the gap has closed. But that said, I will predict(at least today..lol) the Lakers over the Kings in 6 games in the western finals.
In the east, I'm going with the Nets over the Celtics in 7 games.

The finals I like Lakers over Nets in 5.

Might be a little early to make these predictions.....lol.......but so what.
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Old 03-30-2002, 08:59 PM   #6
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#47, which improvements do you think would optimize the Lakers lineup in the next offseason??
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Old 03-31-2002, 01:21 AM   #7
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Thumbs down Clippers' playoff chances are done

Welp, the Jazz won at the Clip Joint tonight. That pretty much ends the Clippers' chances of making the playoffs this year.

I have a feeling whoever's going to get Utah in the first round is going to get "lunch".
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Old 03-31-2002, 04:44 AM   #8
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Default Sonics with impressive back-to-back wins

Speaking of my sleeper pick, the Sonics.

Good 2 games for them, beat San Antonio last night and then beat Portland tonight. Like I said before, they were 2 of the hottest teams in the N.B.A.
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Old 03-31-2002, 08:48 AM   #9
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The Sonics are a good team, but sometimes they don't show it. Beating both SA and Portland show that they can beat good teams all around the NBA.
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Old 04-01-2002, 08:21 AM   #10
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Air_canada, personally I would like to see the lakers add some size. I think they need some help on the boards and another post up scorer. Right now there second best post up player is Kobe. But more importantly is the rebounding. I know I'm nitpicking, there a great team and no team is perfect, but I do think they could be a better rebounding team. I would love for them to add a player similar to Malik Rose. Someone who is physical, relentless on the boards, can score a little and do all of this knowing they wont have plays run for them.
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Old 04-01-2002, 09:12 AM   #11
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A handyman, eh? That's a good idea. A guy who doesn't need to play 30 minutes a game, can score up to 15 points, can rebound, dish off, and play consistent defense. That kind of player would greatly help the Lakers who already have a big man-Shaq, an excellent guard-Kobe, a three-point crew-Fisher, George and Richmond, and a versatile three-Rick Fox.
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Old 04-01-2002, 11:22 AM   #12
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What about Robert Horry?
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:46 PM   #13
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EAST

1) New Jersey vs. (8) Indiana
(4) Orlando vs. (5) Philadephia
(2) Detroit vs. (7) Charlotte
(3) Boston vs. (6) Milwaukee

WEST

(1) L.A Lakers vs. (8) Utah
(4) San Antonio vs. (5) Minnesota
(2) Dallas vs. (7) Seattle
(3) Sacremento vs. (6) Portland

My Sleeper: PORTLAND. Not too many people talk about this team in the west but you better watch out. tons and tons of talent and playing well with Wallace out for a couple games. Bonzi Wells has become great. Look out for this team right here.
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Old 04-01-2002, 05:16 PM   #14
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Marc, you're right. I like Horry as a handyman. He can do it all: rebound, hit threes, go inside, dish off.... I like the guy and we could use him in T.O.
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Old 04-01-2002, 07:42 PM   #15
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Hey Marc I too love Horry and as I said in another post, he is so clutch. But I want someone who is a little more of a physical type player. But believe me, the last thing I want to see, is the Lakers ever to get rid of Horry. I really like his game. What I want is for them to ADD a player like Rose, but I certainly don't want to lose Horry.
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