2017 NBA Playoff Predictions — Conference Finals
12–0!! An even dozen! You know it’s getting ridiculous when even Shastradamus is finding it hard to come up with adjectives for his brilliance. I mean…you know, what? I GIVE UP. That’s how unreal I’ve been.
Since the Conference Finals are a joke, let’s take a little bit of time to do a glorious recap of my second round predictions. Shall we? Honestly, I never get tired of this and neither should any of you.
· I picked two series down to the games — Golden State over Utah and San Antonio over Houston. Let’s not forget the majority of ‘experts’ were picking Houston. As I said, there is only ONE expert! ME! Ignore EVERYONE else.
o What had I said about Houston? They were getting overrated because they beat a crappy OKC team. I also took a bunch of shots at Harden and naturally, he came through for me by not coming through for Houston. From the 4th quarter of Game 5 onwards, he was basically Blake Bortles — air balls and picks only. I heard apologists saying he was tired. Yeah, fat people tend to get tired. It’s not a shot at fat people — just a fact. I am fat and I am tired right now after typing 250 words.
· I would have got the Boston-Washington series exactly right too if John Wall hadn’t nailed a terrible shot — a step back three when they were down only 2 with enough time left.
o This is an example of why Washington is a poorly coached team and Boston is the opposite. The Celtics did everything right on that possession. They denied the ball to the real 3 point threat — Beal. Instead they funneled it to Wall with help inside to stop the drive. They baited a crappy 3-point shooter into a terrible 3. They did everything right. Wall just got lucky.
o Of course, he then celebrated like Jordan after he won his 6th title. That’s why John Wall is overrated. Learn to win a second round series first before jumping on tables and popping your jersey. Or better, learn how to make jump shots consistently. The series wins might follow from there.
o I won’t waste my time with Scott Brooks — he was, is and will always be a crappy coach. If you can’t win with Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden, you are never winning. Anything. Ever.
· My only “mistake” was saying Toronto would win 2 games. What can I say? I like dinosaurs — Myles Garrett and me. That’s my weakness.
Let’s move on to the Conference Finals. There’s no mystery about these two series — so I’ll keep it short. Can we start the Finals already? Oh my God! What a terrible, colossal waste of time these playoffs have been! At least you’ve been able to read my columns. I don’t even have that going for me!
WARRIORS VS. SPURS
I’ve already gotten grief from people for picking this series after the first game. “You have 1 data point already, blah blah blah”. Hey, I picked this series eons ago when I was sifting through the sands of time. I am only writing this column now because of the NBA’s ridiculous programming. Don’t blame me that the Western finals will be half over before the Eastern gets going. Blame the Association.
Of course, we know what happened in Game 1. Zaza Pachulia took out Kawhi Leonard and now there’s zero suspense about this series. Before he went down, I gave the Spurs some chance. They could theoretically overmatch the Warriors with size and play volleyball on the backboards. If they could get a dozen shots more a game, then they are in it. But you still need Leonard to play great defense on Durant or Klay (although Klay has done a great job of playing defense on Klay this postseason).
Golden State is not Houston. They don’t rely on 1 fat guard. So without Kawhi in Game 2, the Spurs are cooked. And if that happens, no way the Warriors lose 4 out of the next 5 games. The Warriors don’t collapse. It never happens. Oh wait…
Honestly, there’s a part of me that’s not sold on the toughness of these Warriors. They won 73 games last year and should have lost to OKC even before the Finals gag job. In game 1 — the first time they played a team that wasn’t completely overmatched — they were getting murdered. I don’t know.
You know what pisses me most about Zaza Pachulia? He cost me the ability to rant about the Mike Brown-Popovich matchup (if you can call it that). What a dick!
By the way, I am so sick of the term “dirty” player. The only sports term I hate more than that is “elite quarterback”. Pachulia’s move was that of a douchebag — no matter the adjective you use to describe him. When you slide your feet under a jump shooter, you are exponentially increasing his chances getting hurt. Sooner or later, it will happen. And that’s inexcusable. He should have been suspended for at least 5 games. Put that policy in and this nonsense stops. Zaza Pachulia shouldn’t be able to rob us of a good series.
If the NBA won’t do the right thing for us, do it for Marc Stein, Chad Ford et al. Ratings mean jobs and food on the table. We are all trying to provide for our families here. Except me — writing these columns for free.
WARRIORS IN 5
CELTICS VS. CAVALIERS
I think Danny Ainge and the Celtics blew it. They should have traded one of their high first round draft picks in 2017 or 2018 for either Jimmy Butler or Paul George — if it was at all possible. First of all, there’s no Tim Duncan in either draft at least not in the 2017 one. No matter who you pick, he’s not going to be a superstar or anywhere close to Butler or George for at least 3 years.
You have a good team NOW! Brad Stevens is a great coach. Horford is a good player and Thomas has been a revelation. But they are not particularly young. Even if this draft pick pans out, you are giving up valuable years in waiting for him. Why not roll the dice while you can? I understand the logic of just waiting LeBron out. But what if he has the same doctor as Tom Brady and Big Papi (and I don’t mean that as a compliment) and keeps going until he’s 42? What then? You have to strike while the iron is hot.
This is just a long-winded way of saying that the Celtics have no shot against the Cavaliers. They need Thomas on the floor at all times to keep up in scoring. And whomever the Celtics try to hide him on will crisp him. Everyone on the Cavaliers except their 5 can shoot.
You can’t defend your way to a win against LeBron James — ask the Pistons how that worked out. Besides who exactly will defend him — unless you can have prime Shawn Marion in your pocket. You have to outscore LeBron. That’s what the Spurs and Mavericks did. And there’s simply no way on Earth this Celtics team can do that.
I respect Brad Stevens and the spirit of this Celtics team enough to give them a couple of games, but I think I am being too kind. Dinosaurs and kindness — my twin weaknesses.
CAVALIERS IN 6