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Old 04-21-2005, 02:31 PM   #1
tobynosker
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Default Western Conference: First Round Playoff Predictions

Phoenix vs. Memphis

Key Player: Shawn Marion, Phoenix; 19.0 ppg, and 12.25 rpg against Memphis this season - if he continues to put numbers like this against the Grizzlies, the Suns shouldn't have any trouble in this first round match-up. The interesting note when looking at Marion's stats, he's never led the Suns in scoring against Memphis this season, and only once has he lead the team in rebounding (16 boards in a loss).

Prediction: Phoenix in five games; These two teams split the four games they had in the regular season, but the Grizzlies had trouble stopping Phoenix's transition offense. The Grizzlies will need their depth to make its presence felt like it did when Memphis defeated the Suns in Phoenix. Bonzi Wells, Stromile Swift and Brian Cardinal came off the bench and led Memphis in scoring, combining for 43 of the Grizzlies 88 points. But Phoenix just has too much run-and-gun power for Memphis to handle.

San Antonio vs. Denver

Key Player: Marcus Camby, Denver; 11.5 ppg and 10.75 rpg this season - needs big rebounding effort for the Nuggets to maintain a shot against San Antonio. The Nuggets have only decisively won the rebounding edge in one game against the Spurs this season, which was a nine point loss in San Antonio. And remember Camby ranks second in the NBA in blocked shots.

Prediction: San Antonio in six games; Denver has won 17 of their last 20 games, including a 102-84 home win over the Spurs, who were playing without Tim Duncan. I fully expect San Antonio to win this first round match-up, but with Duncan not completely healthy, the Nuggets have all the capabilites to make it an interesting match-up. If Duncan is 100%, forget all about that interesting match-up scenario.

Seattle vs. Sacremento

Key Player: Reggie Evans, Seattle; 12.75 rpg against Sacremento this season - he's not going to provide you with a lot of scoring (5 ppg against the Kings this year), but if he is able to dominate the boards like he has against Sacremento this season, you can expect Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Luke Ridnour to provide the point production.

Prediction: Seattle in four games; I am predicting this as a sweep, because this seems like the only real lopsided game in the Western Conference playoffs. Both Ray and Rashard Lewis sat out the last game of the regular season for the Sonics with minor injuries that shouldn't effect them in the playoffs. The problem is Sacremento isn't the same playoff-tested team that fans have been accustomed too. The Kings will need a big performance out of Corliss Williamson off of the bench.

Dallas vs. Houston

Key Player: Tracy McGrady, Houston; 31.25 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 6.5 apg against Dallas this season - I don't normally like to pick a team's star as their key player, because you always expect them to produce. But this is a series in which McGrady will have to prove his worth to this team. He can have tremendous performances like the overtime shooutout-loss with Dirk Nowitzki in which he compiled 48 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Or he can have a 15 point, 3 rebound and 2 assist game like also had against the Mavericks this season.

Prediction: Dallas in six games; I believe the Rockets are going to give the Mavericks a run for their money, but I believe Dallas is too good to not advance. The outside shot is going to be key for the Mavericks, who shot a terrible 21% from beyond the arc the last time these two teams played. Jason Terry and Michael Finley are going to need to provide the outside production and Terry is also going to have to handle the ball better. Terry averages 1.8 turnovers a game this season, yet has turned it over an average of nearly three times a game this year against the Rockets.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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In a rush right now, so really quick:

Suns in 5
Spurs in 7
Sonics in 6
Mavs in 7
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Old 04-22-2005, 02:09 PM   #3
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Phoenix vs. Memphis...

Suns in five- Of all the teams Memphis could have got in the first round, I think they match up the best against Phoenix. That's not saying much for a team unable to find the spark under Fratello like they did under Brown. Not much else to say here other than look for Phoenix to have a few games of 110+ points and the media kiss their butts like they have all year. Makes it funnier and more impressive when the Spurs lay into them later this spring though, so I won't mind they hype over nothing.

San Antonio vs. Denver...

Spurs in five. George Karl in the playoffs. 'Nough said.

Seattle vs. Sacramento...

Kings in a sweep- Sonics have been slumping lately, Sacramento is eager to prove they are better without Webber.

Dallas vs. Houston...

Mavs in six- Should be interesting to see how much Avery Johnson has improved this team's defense. Key will be Mavs stopping the Houston role players. T-Mac and Yao should have great numbers all series long, but without advancing. Also of interest will be who Johnson puts on Yao, how much time he gives to Van Horn, and how Van Gundy guards Dirk.
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Old 04-22-2005, 06:10 PM   #4
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Spurs vs. Nuggets will probably be the best series of out of the entire first and second rounds. I don't see anyway that one doesn't go seven. Denver matches up incredibly well with the Spurs. They have the bodies to bang on a less-than-100% Duncan down low as well as intimidate Parker when he drives the lane. Having Andre Miller running the point doesn't hurt either. I think the key to this series, which is full of interesting matchups, will be Bruce Bowen shutting down Carmelo Anthony. If Melo can't find his shot, the rest of his game will suffer and down go the Nuggets.
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Old 04-22-2005, 06:58 PM   #5
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Sun in 4
SPurs in 6
Soncis in 5
Mavs in 7
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:43 PM   #6
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Phoenix over Memphis in 5
San Antonio over Denver in 6
Sacremento over Seattle in 7
Dallas over Houston in 6
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:46 PM   #7
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Phoenix over Memphis in 5
San Antonio over Denver in 6
Seattle over Sacramento 5
Dallas over Houston in 7
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Old 04-23-2005, 03:20 AM   #8
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Suns in 5...

Spurs in 6...

Kings in 7...

Dallas in 6...
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Old 04-23-2005, 04:23 PM   #9
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Speaking more from the heart when I think Memphis can get a couple of games from Phoenix because my eyes say different, but I will go with my heart an say Phoenix in 6.

I don't think the Sonics can win in the playoffs, but I don't think Sacramento is healthy enough to exploit that so I will go with the Sonics in 7.

I don't think Dallas has enough of the goods (point guard play, low post scoring) to win playoff basketball. Rockets in six.

Dnever is another fashionable pick to give a title contender first round trouble. I don't see it. If Duncan is 80% or better the Spurs sweep, anything less and the Spurs win in 5.
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Old 04-27-2005, 04:08 AM   #10
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There are some REALLY good matchups out West (Sonics and Kings, Mavs and Rockets, Nuggets and Spurs), that are tough to call... the only one I would call without a doubt is the Suns taking out the Grizzlies... (Grizz will be lucky to win one).
Winner: Suns in a sweep
Who I'm rooting for: Suns; I like Amare, Marion, and Nash

Sonics up 2-0 now on the Kings, with a very decisive victory on Tuesday. Can the Kings rebound at home? (in more ways than one!) That will be the question, and I hate to bet against my home team here, but in the end it looks like the Sonics may have a little more gas in the tank:
Winner: Sonics in 7
Who I'm rooting for: Kings; I like Bibby, Jackson, and Miller


Denver off to a great start against the Spurs, but that was largely thanks to a really lucky game by Denver's Andre Miller, and very uncharacteristically poor shooting from the Spurs (*doublee). I think Denver may have one or two more of those in them, but in the end will drop to the superior Spurs.
Winner: Spurs in 6
Who I'm rooting for: Nuggets; underdogs & I don't like the Spurs

Finally, my favorite matchup is the Rockets vs Mavericks... Dallas has been VERY hot coming into the playoffs, but when you have a T-Mac and a Yao Ming both playing their best basketball, with the role players filling in nicely, the Rockets are almost reminding me of the Shaq/Kobe Lakers... I'm starting to see Yao act like he wants some respect! Dirk, you have a very funny NBA trophy commercial, but your Mavs are going down in 6.
Winner: Houston in 6
Who I'm rooting for: Rockets! I love T-Mac & Yao

Last edited by Shawndo; 04-30-2005 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:46 PM   #11
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Don't forget to mention that San Antonio just flat out choked in that game on Sunday. That loss had as much to do with the Spurs going 1 for 17 from the field and, I think, 0-4 from the line over the last ten minutes plus of the game than how well Denver was playing. Don't get me wrong Denver played a good game, but if San Antonio hits just two of those free throws and four more of those field goal attempts they win the game.
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Old 04-30-2005, 01:28 AM   #12
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It's now official.............the Memphis Grizzlies are the softest team in the NBA.

At some point when you have guys dunking and hanging on the rim and staring you down afterwards you have to do something. Amare Stoudamire should have been knocked into the third row behind the bench (where I was sitting) but these guys are to soft to give a good hard foul.

This is the playoffs for pete's sake!!!!!
Whatever happened to the no-layup rule.
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Old 04-30-2005, 02:10 AM   #13
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That's why I said the Grizz would be lucky to even get one.

From my POV I gotta hand it to Amare, Shawn, and Nash for just being damn near unstoppable in the paint... and then Amare for the stare down... I love that $#!&
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:53 PM   #14
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Kings with a decisive victory on Friday, now can they even the series on Sunday? I think so... Arco Arena gives them quite a boost. But Ray Allen is most deserving of his nickname, the Silent Assassin. He doesn't talk, he's like a ninja, just knocking down those 3s or swooping into the lane with deadly precision. and the difference in this series may very well be the extra-ordinary performance of Jerome James, who has really stepped it up and played up to his ability. I still think Seattle will take this in 7 but I hope I'm wrong
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Old 05-01-2005, 03:48 PM   #15
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The Rockets blew it...AGAIN. AAH!

Home team has yet to win.

Now Yao is the key player. Stay out of foul trouble, pound the ball inside (or kick it back out).

AND STOP THE DALLAS THREE.
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