Western Conference:

#1 Nuggets vs. #8 Mavericks

Nuggets win 4-1. Denver is clicking on all cylinders right now and the Mavs are an easy opponent. The reason they are even in the playoffs is because of most of the work done by Antoine & Nash prior to being traded. They hung on by a hair with just Dirk left in Dallas, but he won't be enough.

#2 Kings vs. #7 Lakers

Kings win 4-2

Much like the Mavericks, the Lakers are a shell of their former self and are really only in the playoffs because of the work Kobe & Shaq did earlier in the season. Oh, and the small fact that the west is atrocious after the top 5 or 6 teams. Kings have a fairly easy road here.

#3 Grizzlies vs. #6 Supersonics

Grizzlies win 4-2

The series will be hard fought, but the Grizz are just too much. Diop will nuetralize Shaq a bit (relatively speaking) but Webber will eat Randolph alive. Webber is my favorite matchup for the Grizzlies, unless Randolph can have some kind of amazing series getting C-Webb into foul trouble I don't see a chance for the Sonics.

#4 Timberwolves vs. #5 Spurs

Spurs win 4-3

Bosh will be back for the playoffs from his stint in the d-league and the Spurs have really overachieved this year. I like them for the lone upset in the west.


#1 Nuggets vs. #5 Spurs

Nuggets win 4-1

The Nuggets are too much for the Spurs. Their strong defense is enough to slow San Antonio's attack. All those test sims finding the best dc just too much to overcome

#2 Kings vs. #3 Grizzlies

Grizzlies win 4-2

Shaq dominates, Stack dominates, and the rest is history. The only positional advantage the Kings have here is SF, but King James is still too young and just doesn't have the help he'll need.

#1 Nuggets vs. #3 Grizzlies

Grizzlies win 4-2

The Nuggets are good, not great, from top to bottom and have found seemingly the perfect DC. They're outgunned here though. In a 7 game series, the Grizzlies star power is just too much. Nuggets are that really solid regular season team that can never get it done in the playoffs because they don't have the star or stars to take a series over.

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Eastern Conference:

#1 Celtics vs. #8 Bulls

Celtics win 4-2

I'm surprised to see that all the Bulls got was the 8th seed this year, but not surprised enough to favor them over Boston. Adding Antoine Walker absolutely stacks this team and they put up points in a hurry.

#2 Hornets vs. #7 Nets

Hornets win 4-2

KG will go down fighting, but much like the #1 / #8 matchup the Nets are just outmanned. The east's top 2 teams are most likely the 2 deepest teams in the league.

#3 Magic vs. #6 Raptors

Raptors win 4-3

Another great #3 / #6 matchup. These 2 teams split the season head to heads at 2 games a piece. I'm giving this one to the Raptors for a couple reasons. First, they really came on strong and seem to have found the DC in the second half of the season. Second, they added Doug Christie who was a steal and him guarding McGrady at the SG spot allows Vince to move to SF and have it a bit easier against Hill. This could go either way but I say Raptors.

#4 Wizards vs. #5 Bucks

Wizards win 4-3

This one is going to be really fun to watch also. Best player is in Milwaukee (Ray Allen) but the Wiz have advantages at SG, PF, and C with a defensive stopper at SF to slow Big Dog Glenn Robinson.

#1 Celtics vs. #4 Wizards

Celtics win 4-3

Timmay not being needed much on offense anymore lets him focus his efforts on slowing Pau. I see Antoine Walker being the key to this series. His ability as a stretch 4 in Boston's outside focus will take O'Neal away from the basket where he's most effective on defense.

#2 Hornets vs. #6 Raptors

Hornets win 4-2

Much like the Boston / Washington series I see the key being Charlotte's outside system with a stretch 4. Tyson chandler is a great interior defender just like Jermaine O'Neal but the Raptors don't have a favorable matchup to play to that strength. Too much fire power from the Hornets, they move on.

#1 Celtics vs. #2 Hornets

Celtics win 4-2

Second chance points will be the story in this series. Both teams are stacked from top to bottom, both play a fast outside system with perimeter shooters from the 1 to the 4 but the biggest difference I see in these teams is rebounding. Charlotte has miserable rebounders. Only 1 guy above a C+ rating on the entire team, that's not going to get it done. Everything else being pretty equal, Boston is the far superior rebounding team and that should be the difference, getting them second chance points and making it hard for Charlotte to get second looks.

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NBA Finals:

Vancouver Grizzlies vs. Boston Celtics

It will be an interesting series. Last time these teams played Vancouver didn't have Shaq and Boston didn't have Antoine. The teams are opposite from one another, Boston gets it done by outscoring everyone and running a fast / outside system. Vancouver also scores a ton, but they aren't as rushed and don't chuck it quite so much. Their offense if a more efficient, mythotical approach. The Grizzlies frontcourt will exploit Boston I think. The biggest advantage given to the Grizzlies though is going to be at SG. Finley is a pretty good defender, but I don't think anyone can stop Stackhouse. If you want a chance at slowing him, it's going to take more than a B+ defender and even then all bets are off. Grizzlies matchup well against Boston, the run and gun system will get the Celtics almost all the way there but the Shaq and Stack will prove to be too much in the end.

Grizzlies win 4-2