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May 1st
NBA Playoffs Predictions

By the time you read this it’s likely that the fate of our predictions will be very well on their way to being unraveled. But we wholeheartedly endorse all picks listed below – even if you open this if/when the Heat are battling a 3 – 0 deficit or the Thunder seem to be unraveling.
Yep the NBA Playoffs snuck up on basketball fans like a Rajon Rondo stat-line. The O’Brien trophy is anyone’s for the taking. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade seemed poised to meet Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in a Heat vs. Thunder finale. But how incredible would it be to see a final Kobe led Lakers vs. Celtics duel? Or what about witnessing Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich make player and coaching history? And how likely is it that we see an upset of epic proportions given the rushed season schedule, made-for-TV first round match ups and huge pools of talent from top to bottom?
Well – let’s just say we’re rooting for the underdog while betting on the megastars. Proceed forth for the Star Club’s highly official and certifiably rare (!) 2011 – 2012 NBA Playoffs predictions.

First Round:
(1) Bulls def. (8) 76ers in 5 – With or without Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls are a top seed. Respect given to Philly, but
(2) Heat def. (7) Knicks in 7 – If anyone can will his team to a championship, it’s Carmelo Anthony. We don’t see it happening this time around. But if it does? Don’t be surprised.
(6) Magic def. (3) Pacers in 4 – Contrary to popular belief, Stan Van Gundy knows what he’s doing on the court. With nothing to loser, you can be sure he’s going to have the Howard-less Magic fighting like dogs.
(4) Celtics def. (5) Hawks in 6 – Joe Johnson is really good. Josh Smith is really good. And the Hawks as a whole are definitely respectable. But this Celtics squad is an entirely different beast come Playoff time.
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(1) Spurs def. (8) Jazz in 5 – Paul Milsap deserves a lot more respect than he gets. Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait at least another season to gain it as Timmy D and company cruise forward.
(2) Thunder def. (7) Mavericks in 7 – The Mavs have been a mess all season. But if you think they’re not going to make it a series with the young gunners out in Oklahoma, you’re crazy. This has to be one of the most intriguing opening series: A match-up between veteran fortitude and inexperienced superstardom.
(3) Lakers def. (6) Nuggets in 6 – Kobe Bryant chose to sat out the last game of the season to rest for the playoffs while conveniently (and somewhat subtly) waving the white flag in the NBA scoring title race. Why is this important? Because it shows the championship obsession that never leaves Kobe’s mental. Too old to do it again? We’ll see about that.
(5) Clippers def. (4) Grizzlies in 6 – The difference in this seeding came down to the final day of the NBA regular season. That should show you how close (and great) this series could be.

Second Round:
(4) Celtics def. (1) Bulls in 6 – Could the Big Aging 3 go all the way? Well…
(2) Heat def. (6) Magic in 4 – …Not quite. SVG’s coaching and hollering abilities will be no match for the Miami Monstarrs.
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(5) Clippers def. (1) Spurs in 6 – Chris Paul is a hell of a leader, especially in the postseason. We understand the Spurs ended the season playing unreal offensive basketball but can they run night-for-night with the explosive Lob City? We argue no.
(3) Lakers def. (2) Thunder in 7 – The X-factor in this series? Andrew Bynum. Can he physically dominate the league’s leading shot blocker in Serge Ibaka? If he can, Kobe can loosen the reigns and allow the fairytale Battle of Los Angeles to come to fruition.

Conference Championships:
(2) Heat def. (4) Celtics in 6 – We’d just like to take a moment to acknowledge that the Miami Heat are extremely good at playing basketball despite the immense roster gap between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ talents. That is all.
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(3) Lakers def. (5) Clippers in 6 – The thought of Kobe Bryant losing in his own arena, in his own city, in front of his own people is tough to imagine. Multiply that by 100 when you consider that the Lakers are playing the oft-joked about Clippers.

NBA Finals:
(2) Heat def. (3) Lakers in 7 – Well it’s not two….or three…or four…or five…or six…or seven…or eight…or nine…but it’s something! But don’t tell Kobe we said this.
Agree? Disagree? Care to hear why we chose the Miami Heat to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in a game of legacies on the line? Tell us in the comments sections and let us hear what you have to say about the post season action! Though we can’t be sure of all our predictions, we do know one thing: We can’t wait to watch.