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Second round NBA playoff predictions
May 4, 2013 - Andy Heintz
I went 5-3 in my first-round predictions of the NBA playoffs.
I never thought that Golden State would beat Denver and the other two were toss ups I was rolling the dice on -- Brooklyn and the Clippers.
Let's see if I can do any better in the semifinal round. Here are my predictions for the next round.
Miami vs. Chicago
The Bulls had the Heat's number during the regular season but nothing will stop the Heat on their way to their second straight title. I admire the banged-up Bulls' effort against the Nets, but they won't be playing a lot of good players when they head to Miami in a few days. Instead, they get the league's four-time NBA MVP in Lebron James, a great sidekick in Dwyane Wade and several really good players who know their roles in Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Birdman and Shane Battier. Prediction: Heat in 6
New York vs. Indiana
I predicted the Knicks and Pacers would make it out of the first round so was an expected matchup for me. The Pacers play a lights-out style of defense and the Knicks are essentially all offense with a lot of "ball hogs" at that end of the floor. Carmelo Anthony had six assists in the first five games of the Boston series. He just doesn't make his teammates better and he wasn't overpowering good in the first round. Indiana plays better as a team and therefore wins the series to advance. Prediction: Pacers in 6
San Anthonio vs. Golden State
The best player in this series resides in the Bay Area, but the better team is in San Antonio. The Spurs are a machine when they are right and they sure did look right in the opening round against the Lakers. I know the Lakers were missing Kobe Bryant and had others wounded, but that series wasn't close and Golden State likely can't match the firepower. The matchups are intriguing though. Will Parker guard Steph Curry (that best player from above) or Jarrett Jack? Without a healthy David Lee, Tim Duncan would appear to have an advantage down low. This series may be entertaining because both teams are fun to watch. The Spurs can make teams play entire games like the Warriors played the final three minutes against the Nuggets, which could spell trouble for Mark Jackson's group. Prediction: Spurs in 5
Memphis vs. Oklahoma City I think this is the most competitive series of the semifinal round. I always doubt the Grizzlies and they always seem to prove me wrong. And without Russell Westbrook, they have a good chance in this round against the Thunder. Kevin Durant will do what he can but does he have enough support? The bigs for Memphis could control this series and Mike Conley could be the difference maker at both ends. Prediction: Grizzlies in 7
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