NBA Playoffs ‘Heat’ up

Evan Stradford, Assistant Copy Editor
May 1, 2012
Filed under Basketball, Opinion, Sports

It’s that time of year, basketball fans. The NBA playoffs are here and for fans it doesn’t get any better than this. Here is how I see each round going.

Round 1

Advancing in the West: Spurs, Thunder, Lakers, Grizzlies.

Advancing in the East: Bulls, Heat, Pacers, Celtics.

West Quarterfinal
Spurs over Grizzlies
Lakers over Thunder

East Quarterfinal

Celtics over Bulls
Heat over Pacers

West Finals:
No. 1 Spurs vs. No. 3 Lakers

In a matchup of two of the oldest teams in the NBA, the Lakers and Spurs reunite in the Western Conference finals. The Lakers have a huge advantage on the interior. Despite Tim Duncan’s best efforts, the other big men Thiago Splitter and Dajuan Blair will not be able to handle Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. The Lakers have excellent perimeter defenders in Kobe Bryant and Ramon Sessions to keep Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in front of them, which will result in Bryant’s seventh trip to the Finals.
Lakers win the series 4-2.

East Finals:
No. 2 Heat vs. No. 4 Celtics

Talent and athleticism goes up against intelligence and experience in this matchup. Boston will rely on solid team defense and sound decision-making on offense to try and corral the explosive duo of Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. Try as they may, the young legs of the Heat will win out in the end. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen don’t have enough in the tank to keep James and Wade contained in a seven-game series. The Heat will use their youth, athleticism, and home court advantage to advance to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.
Heat win the series 4-3.

NBA Finals:
No. 3 Lakers vs. No. 2 Heat

Kobe Bryant versus Lebron James, finally NBA fans get the matchup they have hoped for. The old guard faces off against the new guard. The Lakers’ size up front will make this an extremely difficult series for the Heat, however their talent on the perimeter will be too much for this aging Lakers team to handle. Bryant will struggle to stay in front of the crafty and athletic Wade, and he will struggle to get good shots against the stifling perimeter defense of Wade and James. Despite having a major advantage in the paint, the Lakers need solid contributions from Bryant to win the series. Having two of the best players in the NBA will prove to be a huge advantage for the Heat on both ends of the court and that will result in their first NBA title.

Heat win the series 4-2.


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