Watching the NBA playoffs this season is going to be interesting for me. I don’t have a rooting interest but given an honesty pill, i’d would admit that watching the Spurs or the Heat win games doesn’t make me particularly joyful. As an outsider looking in, all i’m hoping for is great basketball and big moments. There are plenty of story lines heading into the playoffs but I must admit that the western conference is going to be much more entertaining than the eastern side of the bracket. Yes, the western conference as a whole is much better but it’s also because of the way things fell into place with the teams. I just don’t know how much of the Pacers-Hawks series i’ll be watching. Whereas every game of the Spurs-Lakers series and Thunder-Rockets series is much watch television. Here’s what i’m wondering before things get going tomorrow:
What is the most interesting series of the first round? With respects to the Knicks-Celtics series and the Thunder-Rockets series, the must watch series of the first round is between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. Even without Kobe, the mere fact that the Lakers jumped to the 7th seed on the final game of the season was interesting enough. But to face the Spurs? That’s just the basketball gods throwing us a bone. If Black Mamba were playing I could see some real upset potential here but without the Lakers leader, I can’t pick them. The games will still be great. Tim Duncan doesn’t play as many minutes anymore but when he’s turn it on lately, there are shades of mid-2000s Duncan so that’ll be great to watch against the Gasol-Howard combo. The biggest factor will be Tony Parker’s health and whether or not the Lakers can stop him.
Can anyone beat the Heat in the eastern conference? It’s a bit early to be giving Miami a seat in the Finals but that’s the norm for the crew in South Beach. Remember, LeBron said “not 2, not 3 etc” so we’re all just going by his words. Realistically, I think the Knicks are the only team that can give Miami any trouble. The Knicks have the firepower, the leadership and key defensive players to stop Miami. It’s just a matter of how tough their own road will be on the way to the east finals. The Knicks have a tough task in the first round, playing a Celtics team that normally makes it very though for New York. I still see the Knicks winning the series but I think it goes to 6 or maybe even 7 games. Boston will be an inspired team no doubt and their fans will be behind them even more due to recent events. I also think the Nets have potential, they have a great PG and a center. That’s the formula for beating Miami when it comes to match ups but it’ll be interesting how the Nets do against the Bulls in their first playoffs series as a team from Brooklyn.
Things get going tomorrow in New York at 3:00 ET on ABC and the games continue on through the night on ESPN. Here’s the compete schedule by series and here is a chronological one for the next week. Adjust accordingly. I can’t wait to argue with my girlfriend about watching basketball all weekend, especially because she knows the Mavs aren’t participating in any of the games.