Where Amazing Happens: 5 Bold Predictions For The 2011 NBA Playoffs
The 2011 NBA Playoffs are finally here! We say “finally,” because, in reality, the regular season played out about the way we thought it would. Sure, there were some Blake Griffin dunks along the way which kept things interesting, but we can’t say we’re all that surprised to see the way things played out. The Los Angeles Lakers are still the favorites to win it all, the Miami Heat overcame some early struggle to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and anyone with a fifth seed or lower in either conference has next to no chance of making a run to the NBA Finals.
That said, we’re fully expecting the playoffs to feature plenty of twists and turns. Because while the regular season was relatively predictable, there are a whole bunch of things that are going to happen in the playoffs that are going to surprise some people. Yesterday, we presented you with the first-round playoff upsets that we think are going to go down. But with the playoffs ready to tip off tomorrow afternoon, we’re super anxious to talk hoops right now. So we decided to have a little bit more fun by coming up with five bold predictions for the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Get ready to be surprised.
1. The New York Knicks will advance to the second round of the playoffs.
That’s right! And we’re not just saying that because DrJays.com is located in the Big Apple, either. The Boston Celtics—who the Knicks will play in the first round—are struggling right now and the Knicks have actually had some success against them this season. So we’re fully expecting Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire to put forth their best effort in the first round and come out on top. It’ll be an unceremonious exit for Boston, who some are predicting will make another run deep into the playoffs and maybe all the way to the NBA Finals.
2. Neither of the top seeds in the playoffs will make it past the second round.
The San Antonio Spurs are turning into one of the oldest-looking teams in the NBA and the Bulls, despite the experience they’ve gained over the course of the last few years, are still relatively inexperienced as a playoff team. This could be disastrous for both of them. But they do have at least one thing going for both of them: Almost no one is picking either to make a deep playoff run so the pressure won’t be on them to perform. This could work out in their favor.
3. The Dallas Mavericks will end up in the NBA Finals.
Wow! Are we nuts? Yeah, kinda. But, listen up: It’s not hard to pick the Lakers to go all the way again. So grow a pair and go out on a limb with us. We think this could finally be the year that Dirk Nowitzki & Co. live up to their potential and make a run all the way to the finals. Because if they don’t, Mark Cuban is going to have to think long and hard about the short-term and long-term goals of his team.
4. The Oklahoma City Thunder will have a disappointing end to their season.
Last year, the Thunder were everyone’s favorite sleeper team and they came thisclose to upsetting the Lakers and turning the entire league upside down. This year, they’re not going to be able to sneak up on people anymore. We think that will ultimately hurt them. In fact, there’s a good chance that the Denver Nuggets, who were left for dead just a couple of months ago when Carmelo Anthony left them, could pull off a minor upset against the Thunder in the first round. Look for that to be the best playoff series in the first round.
5. The Miami Heat will make the NBA Finals—but they won’t take home the ‘chip.
If it’s not the Bulls and it’s not the Celtics, then it has to be the Heat that make a run to the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference. But, wait: That means it’ll be the Heat playing the Mavericks…and we’ve got the Mavs taking the title? D’ah well. We told you this year’s NBA Playoffs were going to be interesting, didn’t we? Enjoy!