Celtics over Heat in 7. Bulls over Hawks in 7. Lakers over Mavericks in 5; the Mavs are due for a choke and here we are. Thunder over Grizzlies in 6; Memphis believes in themselves, and that's worth a lot.
The Lakers/Thunder Western Conference Finals series will be epic if it happens.
"Nobody ever came out and said, 'Please pass a law so I can be forced to stop doing something I shouldn't be doing,' no, it's always 'Please pass a law to force them to stop doing something that I don't like.'" --Manny Garcia, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
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Heat over Celtics in 6. I want to pick the Celtics. It seems safer to pick the Celtics. But due to the Celtics health problems, I think I have to pick the Heat.
Bulls over Hawks in 6, maybe 5. Kirk Hinrich is questionable for the entire series, and while that might seem laughable as big news to most of you, he's the best shot we had at containing Derrick Rose. His backup Jeff Teague may or may not be a good player. We still don't really know because in his two years with the team he's barely averaged double digit minutes per game in the regular season (and that number is about half in the postseason). Boozer's injured too but Noah and Kurt Thomas haven't had trouble guarding Al Horford. I don't think we have a shot. The Bulls are my second favorite team in the league, though, so I'll be cheering for the winner of this series the rest of the way.
Thunder over Grizzlies in 5. After the Hawks and the Bulls, these are my next two favorite teams. I don't think the Grizzlies have what it take to even challenge the Thunder, though. Perkins, unlike Tim Duncan, should be enough to help contain Zach Randolph.
Lakers over Mavs in 7. I could care less about either of these teams, so maybe that's why I can't really tell who's gonna win this one.
I think it is an interesting semi-finals on both conferences but here are my predictions...
The Celtics over the Heat in 7; let Miami wait until next season to complete their chemistry
Bulls over Hawks in 6; Hawks beat the Magic but comes to an end of the most consistent team all season.
Thunder over Grizz in 6; the surprising Memphis Grizzlies give the Thunder more than they wanted but the Thunder is led perhaps by the best duo in the league (Westbrook and Durant) and the Perkins deal pays dividends.
Lakers over Mavs in 6; Sorry Mavs, I desperately want you to beat LA but if history is any indication, you choke when you need to perform on another level
Since the original dispute was between TMac and Kidd I really don't think Shaq comes into it. That said he's certainly the most dominant, whether you can say he's the best player, skill wise, is another matter.