Heading into the NBA Playoffs last year, I was pumped.
My Chicago Bulls had the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and had proven they had the defense and depth to take down the Miami Heat.
Sadly, the dream of a Bulls title ended when Derrick Rose collapsed on the floor with a torn ACL at the end of their playoff opener. Add in a sprained ankle for Joakim Noah a few games later, and Chicago was eliminated in the first round.
Miami went on to win the NBA title and LeBron finally captured the championship that had eluded him for years.
Fast forward to this season, and as much as I hate to admit it, the Heat appear to be on their way to another NBA title. LeBron has been unstoppable this season, and there appears to be no team in the East that can give Miami a run for its money.
So this may be the first time I hope my horrible predictions are indeed horrible. I don’t want the Heat to win the title and I will be rooting against them, regardless of my predictions below. I just don’t think it’s going to happen.
So here are my horrible predictions (which probably aren’t so horrible) for the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Miami over Milwaukee, 4-0 – A total mismatch. The Heat will take care of business quickly.
Boston over New York, 4-2 – The most intriguing match-up in the first round. The Knicks have been hot lately, but the Celtics have the experience and defensive edge to help them pull out a series win.
Indiana over Atlanta, 4-1 – The Hawks have a tendency to fold in the postseason when going up against tough team like the Pacers.
Chicago over Brooklyn, 4-2 – The Bulls are finally getting healthy, and the Nets are still an unknown in the postseason.
Miami over Chicago, 4-1 – The Bulls can probably steal a game (maybe two), but ultimately, they have no one who can stop LeBron.
Boston over Indiana, 4-3 – First one to 90 points in a game wins. This is going to be as physical as it gets in the playoffs, but the Celtics role players come through in the final two games.
Miami over Boston, 4-1 – After playing physical games in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Celtics run out of gas against the Heat.
Oklahoma City over Houston, 4-1 – The Thunder will have no problem running with the Rockets. Harden can carry Houston to one win, but Oklahoma City has way too much firepower to be upset.
San Antonio over LA Lakers, 4-2 – The Spurs aren’t exactly healthy heading into the playoffs, but I still don’t trust the Lakers to win four out of seven games.
Denver over Golden State, 4-1 – The Nuggets are unbeatable at home and one of the deeper teams in the league. The Warriors will keep games close, but lack of experience proves to be the difference.
LA Clippers over Memphis, 4-2 – Another intriguing match-up. The Grizzlies are a tough defensive team, but they probably won’t be able to stop Chris Paul in the clutch.
Oklahoma City over LA Clippers, 4-2 – The Clippers have the players to beat the Thunder. However, Vinny Del Negro is a liability as head coach, which allows OKC to win the final three games of the series.
San Antonio over Denver, 4-2 – A contrast in styles, but I still like the Spurs to make enough late stops to win the series.
Oklahoma City over San Antonio, 4-1 – The Thunder have the mental edge over the Spurs after last year’s playoffs. San Antonio puts up a good fight, but OKC’s athleticism proves to be too much to stop.
Miami over Oklahoma City, 4-2 – I want to pick the Thunder to win this series, but the truth is, they have no one who can stop LeBron. Last year’s experience helps OKC take a 2-1 series lead, before the MVP takes over and leads the Heat to three straight wins and another title.
• Michael Jordan’s former personal trainer said Jordan was suffering from food poisoning, not the flu, during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. I wasn’t surprised in the least, seeing as I said it was probably food poisoning while the game was going on.
One fun memory about this game: My dad was rooting for the Jazz, while I was obviously rooting for the Bulls. My dad was convinced Jordan was exaggerating his sickness. As Jordan buried dagger after dagger, then staggered to the bench, my dad would even mock Jordan – “Oh, I’m so sick. Cough, cough.”
Not going to lie, the little rivalry my dad and I had going during that series made Game 5 even sweeter!
Note, I am completely fine with Rose taking off this whole season. The Bulls weren’t going to win the title this year, so make sure the star is 100-percent healthy and come back strong next season.
• Obviously, there’s not much more that can be said about the Boston Marathon bombings. What a horrible event in our country’s history, but as always, we have all united and shown support for Boston and the U.S.
And for those that don’t think sports are a vital part of a healing process after a disaster, please watch this video from Wednesday night’s Bruins-Sabres hockey game.
As a sports writer, I’ve heard the national anthem countless times in my life. Sadly, that has made the song not as special to me anymore.
However, if you don’t have to fight to hold back tears when listening to the Boston crowd sing in unison, well, you aren’t American.
• Thanks to winning a raffle at a 5K event last month, I’m golfing at Houston National Golf Course on Sunday with a few of my friends. I’ve heard it is a pretty awesome course, so I’m pretty stoked.
• Faith Hill decided to step down from her role as the intro singer for Sunday Night Football. Here’s my question – how hard of a job was this? I mean, wasn’t she able to just film this in a day? Was it that hard of work that she needed to step away?
• Finally, I haven’t ever seen Parks and Rec, but this filibuster scene with Patton Oswalt is amazing. If you like Stars Wars and/or the Avengers, you have to watch this.
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!