2010-2011 WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PREVIEW

2010-2011 WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PREVIEW

 

ROUND 1

 

(1)SAN ANTONIO SPURS vs (8)MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Spurs are entering the playoffs on a bad note, some say they’ve peaked too early and their injuries will catch up and hurt them come playoff time.  Ginobili hyper-extended his elbow on the last game of the regular season and is questionable for game 1 in the playoffs; already not a good sign.  A healthy Ginobili has been the heart and soul of this team and although Grizzlies don’t have Rudy Gay, they still have other pieces to compete with the Spurs.  This will be a battle but Spurs experience and maybe Duncan wakes up and plays close to his old-self to help carry the Spurs to a series win with or without Manu.  SPURS 4 GRIZZLIES 3

(4)OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER vs (5)DENVER NUGGETS

This series, in my opinion, will be the most exciting series in the playoffs.  High Powered offenses rejuvenated by mid-season trades with both teams going in the right direction.  It’s just a shame they both have to face each other, Thunder is a team on the rise and their series with the Lakers last year can only help as Durant and Westbrook prove to be too much for the Nuggets to handle and Perkins proves his worth as he protects the paint and provides the physical playoff play he’s done in Boston, Nene’ is going to have nightmares about Perkins and Ibaka after this series is over.  Durant enjoys his first playoff series win and advances to the 2nd round.  THUNDER 4 – NUGGETS 3

 

(3)DALLAS MAVERICKS vs (6)PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

All Dallas fans are cringing right now, this is the match-up they did not want at all. Portland is a dark horse team whose entering the playoffs fully healthy minus Greg Oden.  Put this into perspective too, the Blazers have Brandon Roy AND Gerald Wallace coming off the bench for them, no other team has that kind of luxury so their 1st and 2nd team has enough depth to compete with Dallas, who also has a lot of depth at all positions.  Dirk will have his games, Aldridge will continue his career year while Roy and Wallace will prove too much as they help the Blazers “upset” the Mavs in 6 games.  McMillan has never seen his Blazers team fully healthy whether in the regular season or post season so we never knew their potential, now he does and it’ll pay off.  Blazers move on to the next while Dallas suffers yet another 1st round exit.  BLAZERS 4 – MAVS 2

 

(2)LOS ANGELES LAKERS vs (7)NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

Lakers fans rejoice as they avoid, at least for the first round, a match-up with Portland or Denver and get the Hornets instead.  This should be a breeze for the Lakers as they start their title defense.  Hornets don’t have the depth or scoring power to keep up with the Lakers, Gasol, Odom and Bynum will cause problems for Hornets front court who’s missing David West; their lone low post scorer.  Kobe calms his nerves and Artest is well, being Artest. Lakers win this series in 5 games. LAKERS 4 – HORNETS 1

 

SEMI-FINAL

(1)SAN ANTONIO SPURS vs (4)OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Youth meets Experience in this match-up and depending how healthy Ginobili and Duncan really are; they may not stand a chance against a young high scoring offense in the Thunder.  Duncan will have problems against Perkins, Ibaka and even Nazr and you need to ask yourself who can guard Kevin Durant if you’re rooting for the Spurs? He will have his way against Jefferson, and Harden comes thru with his play making ability in this one.  Spurs have turned into a live and die by the 3 team and that can come back to haunt them.  Yes, Thunder lack a consistent 3pt shot but they find so many other ways to score.  Hard fought series by both teams but the youth prevail in this match-up bringing Thunder to the conference finals.  THUNDER 4 – SPURS 2

 

(2)LOS ANGELES LAKERS vs (6)PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

This is a nightmare matchup for every Lakers fan out there, they avoided them in the 1st round but get a date with them in the 2nd. This is the type of series the Lakers need to though get their championship swag back ala Rockets a couple years ago that went to 7 games.  Lakers may also need to be pushed to the brink of elimination to start playing with a sense of urgency, Blazers lack height up front though as the Lakers frontcourt continue to dominate. This will go to 7 games as Lakers have a tough time playing at the Rose Garden and Kobe could be throwing tempers and getting technicals that’ll lead to a one game suspension in this series as he’ll get hassled by Batum, Roy and Wallace all series long.  But, Laker fans you can breathe, because you’ve gained another trip to the western conference finals.  LAKERS 4 – BLAZERS 3

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

(4)OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER vs (2)LOS ANGELES LAKERS

What a difference in a year makes, just last year these 2 teams were meeting in the 1st round and the young Thunder gave everything they had against the Lakers and now they meet again; this time in the Western Conference Finals with winner advancing to the NBA Finals.  I can see this one going both ways and honestly wouldn’t matter which team prevailed in this series but that’s not how it works here.  With that being said, Kobe will not let Durant and company stop him from getting a shot at another 3peat.  The young Thunder have a bright future and is already a future contender but their time might not be now, championship level basketball being played by the Lakers help them beat out the Thunder in 7 games.  At the end of game 7 in this series,  when they meet center court to shake hands, Kobe will tell Durant your time will come, I just have to get mines, right now before y’all turn unbeatable.  LAKERS 4 – THUNDER 3

 

2010-2011 NBA FINALS – LOS ANGELES LAKERS VS MIAMI HEAT 

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