My Expert NBA Playoff Predictions

Sat Apr 23, 2005

I will not be predicting the second round, nor am I going to predict how long the series will last.

Eastern Conference

Nets v. Heat: On TNT one night, Charles Barkley said, with a completely straight face, that you could look at Vince Carter and tell that he didn’t lift weights. WINNER: Heat, but just barely.

Sixers v. Pistons: Ever since April of 1993, I’ve been a big fan of Chris Webber. The Sixers win over the Lakers in the first game of the 2001 championship series was a world-historical moment, so far as I recall. WINNER: Pistons by overwhelming margin.

Pacers v. Celtics: I was probably the only person watching NBA basketball in mid-nineties Jordanless interim, and I caught the Miller fourth quarter performance against the Knicks as it happened. I was also talking to the phone to Clancy when the brawl broke out earlier this season. With Artest, the Pacers would have won the East. Without him, they’re still beating the Celtics. WINNER: Indiana.

Wizards v. Bulls: Unless there’s too much Kwame, even the Jamesonian unorthodoxy of Jamison’s moves won’t prevail against the adamantine gates of the Bulls’ defense. WINNER: Bulls, big.

Western Conference

Suns v. Grizzlies: If they had to face Denver in the first round, they’d probably lose. But they don’t, and they won’t. Beware of a Smokey v. Nashy battle of “disco sucks on the front of her t-shirt”-level wizardry. WINNER: Suns.

Spurs v. Nuggets: This will be ugly. Why don’t more people compare Carmelo to Glenn Robinson? WINNER: Spurs, barely.

Kings v. Sonics: I saw the Maloof brothers on one of those cable shows, and I was distincly reminded of Ween’s “It’s Gonna Be a Long Night.” GM whoever deserves major credit for the Webber trade, but people consistently underestimate Danny Fortson (check out his free throw percentage). WINNER: Sonics, by a sliver.

Rockets v. Mavs: Nowitzki is the most entertaining player in the NBA at this stage, but I’m not sure that Avery Johnson’s got enough of the Don Nelsonian craziness to defeat a defensively minded team in a seven-game series. WINNER: Rockets.