I know that technically round 2 has already started, but I am still going to make my picks for the Eastern and Western Conference Semi-Finals series.
Before I jump into those picks, I think I should look back at to what I thought might happen in round 1. I had the Boston Celtics winning in five games over the Chicago Bulls. Boston needed six and was fortunate that Rajon Rondo got hurt, otherwise they may be home watching round 2.
I had Washington winning in seven over Atlanta. The Wizards prevailed a game sooner than I anticipated, but it was a rugged and physical series. I said the Cleveland Cavaliers would win in four games which is what they did, although all the games were very close.
Lastly, I picked the Toronto Raptors in five games. Toronto looked to be in trouble when they were down 2-1 but won the last three games to advance.
In the West, I tabbed the Golden State Warriors in four games and they took their brooms to the Portland Blazers. I picked the Los Angeles Clippers in seven. This was the only opening round series that went the distance, but Utah won in LA to advance in the next round.
I picked the Spurs in five games and under-estimated the toughness of Memphis who made that a good six games series. Lastly, I selected Houston in six and the Rockets fast tracked that series with a 4-1 advantage over the Thunder.
That gets us to this round.
Sunday, the Wizards and Celtics got us started with a good first game. Even with that win by Boston, I like the Wizards in this series. They have already spotted the Celtics a game but I love their back court and I am still looking for the thing that Boston does “very well.” Give me the Wizards in six.
Toronto wants to be ready for prime time. They get another crack at their nemesis in Cleveland. The Cavs have been off for a long time and still will have three of the best players on the court at all times. Even if you don’t think they do have that in Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, they do have the guy that makes the biggest impact in every game in LeBron James. He will be too much and the Raptors, try as they might, just won’t be able to stop them. Cavaliers in five.
In the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz made it to the postseason for the first time in five years. They had to battle and scratch and claw their way past the Clippers but they did it. They won three games on the road which is impressive in the series including the decider on Sunday.
To beat the Warriors, they are going to have to win at least one at Oracle and be perfect at home. The matchup may be a bit of a tough one for the Warriors, but the high level talent that Golden State marches out there every night will prove to be too tough. Jazz will play with heart and toughness but fall short, way short. Close games and series but Warriors in five.
The final series should be a lot of fun. Houston and San Antonio square off in what promises to be a very entertaining series. Styles are different and the coaches are completely different, too. The teams best players do it differently, as well. So, contrast, contrast, contrast.
The San Antonio Spurs overall depth and experience will be the ultimate factor, but I would not be the slightest bit shocked if the Rockets find a way. They have so much offense and really didn’t have an amazing shooting night in the series against OKC and yet still advanced. With all that said, I will take the Spurs in six.
Enjoy the games and let’s see how I do on the selections.