And it's here. The Playoffs, we mean — the most exciting time of the year for real fans of the NBA. And like an age-old tradition, Playoffs predictions are coming in left and right from the likes of Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.
While we'll let those basketball scribes get into the nitty-gritty details of the match-ups, we'll give you something else.
All of us has that friend who thinks he knows everything about the NBA, and here we're giving him a chance to talk. Listen, for your hardcore NBA buddy speaks, and his word is mighty and definitive.
The 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs
(1) Chicago Bulls (62-20) Vs. (8) Indiana Pacers (37-45)
Regular Season Series: Chicago wins 3 - 1
Your hardcore NBA buddy says: “Hardly a contest. As it stands, Derrick Rose is too fast, too agile, and too skilled for anyone on the Pacers. The balance and the chemistry of this team is just too perfect right now for an upset to happen. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau, apart from his stellar defensive schemes, has solid Playoffs experience too from his time with the Boston Celtics. Next series, please.”
Your eternally optimistic buddy says: “Derrick Rose is indeed a scary beast, but hey, so is Danny Granger, right? That guy can explode too, I know it. And if the Bulls, specifically, their own forward Luol Deng doesn’t do well on defense, then the Pacers have a chance. It’s going to be tough, but know this: there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”
Your buddy who can’t be bothered to explain: Bulls in 5.
Your buddy who hasn’t watched the NBA in ages: “My God, asa pa silang matatalo nila si Jordan!”
(2) Miami Heat (58-24) Vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers (41-41)
Regular Season Series: Miami wins 3 - 0
Your hardcore NBA buddy says: “I’m usually not one to rely on regular season results to analyze match-ups, but in this case, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Lebron James and company have won by an average of more than ten points in their three regular season meetings against the Sixers. The Heat have this team all figured out. And with James and Wade’s experience in the Playoffs spotlight, there’s no way that the Sixers are going to even steal one game in their series.”
Your eternally optimistic buddy: “Well, there’s Andre Iguodala…ok, I give up. The Heat are just too talented. They feel like they’ve got something to prove, which only fuels their drive further, I know it. Kudos to Coach Doug Collins though for taking this team this far. Keep your head up, coach! There’s always next season.”
Your buddy who can’t be bothered to explain: Heat in 4.
Your disapproving girlfriend who can’t wait for the Playoffs to be over: “Bakit pa kasi best-of-7, best-of-7 pa? Hindi rin naman pala mananalo yung isang team. Parang baliw.”
(3) Boston Celtics (56-26) Vs. (7) New York Knicks (42-40)
Regular Season Series: Boston Wins 4-0
Your hardcore NBA buddy: “Probably the most compelling match-up in the Eastern conference’s opening round. Boston’s deliberate, systematic style versus NY’s 7-seconds-or-less shoot-a-thon. Veteran, championship-tested determination from Paul Pierce and KG versus the primetime scoring talent of both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Rondo’s tempered brashness versus Billups’ steady-as-she-goes mentality. It’s going to be a hard-fought series, one that should go the distance, but in the end, it’s the Celtics’ ability to grit their teeth, and championship experience that will put them over the top.”
Your eternally optimistic buddy: “I really wish both teams could both win, but we all know that’s not exactly possible. To the Knicks, should they lose: keep up the good work, keep on improving, and soon you’ll find yourself on top! To the Celtics, should they lose: soon you’ll be rebuilding…and hopefully find yourself on top again!”
Your buddy who can’t be bothered to explain: Celtics in 6
Your nostalgic dad: “Ibang iba na NBA ngayon. Kung nakita mo lang maglaro sila Larry Bird at si Mchale dati o kahit si Ewing...”
(4) Orlando Magic (52-30) Vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks (44-38)
Regular Season Series: Atlanta Wins 3-1
Your hardcore NBA buddy: “I’ll have to go with Orlando here. It’s true that Atlanta won their regular season match-up with the Magic. But all have been very, very close games, and one can say that the Magic were having chemistry problems then with the all of the trades. Coming into the Playoffs, the Magic have won 5 of their last 7 games, and that momentum could prove to be the difference. The Hawks, on the other hand, look like their engine has stalled, losing their last six games. Worse, they are opening the Playoffs on the road, and now are at the mercy of a team that’s picking up steam at just the right time.”
Your eternally optimistic buddy: “Those regular season wins against the Magic must count for something, right? Maybe the Hawks are just playing possum, so don’t count out these dirty birds just yet. All they need to do right now is to spread their wings, and believe they can fly.”
Your buddy who can’t be bothered to explain: Magic in 6
Your buddy who professes to be Dwight Howard’s number one fan after seeing him in the dunk contest: “Three words: Superman, baby. Superman.”
Click here for the Western Division