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An updated playoff preview.

April 17, 2009
Yeah, its etched in my mind too.

Yeah, it's etched in my mind too.

So I got the breaking news this morning: KG is most likely out for the playoffs.
Even still, the Celts won’t just come out and say it: KG IS OUT for the playoffs. We are still getting the “most likely” out for the playoffs.

Come off it, guys.

This mysterious knee injury has been such a media circus since February. I think Doc and the Celts saying that they are “moving on” before the playoffs start on Saturday is just a sigh of relief. At least, it is for me. For the folks that have been following along with the Celts charade of masquerading the injury, this is just the “thanks for telling me what we’ve known.” By the way, did you hear that Danny Ainge had a minor heart attack today? Maybe he got the news about KG before we did… (kidding: get better Danny)

So we move on as fans as the Celts move on as a team. I hope the big difference between a KG-less regular season and post season is that he is on the bench and traveling with the team. He exudes intensity and we need a fairly high dosage of intensity each night the men in green take the court.

Take away what KG brings to the table and we still have a BIG problem: what to do if our bigs get into foul trouble? Who does that leave? Leon proved last year he can play in the playoffs. Mikki Moore is exactly the kind of player that will “overplay” and try to make too much happen off his little minutes. Is Scal really ok to play? Can Bill Walker really guard players bigger than him?

I am excited to see our bench backcourt play (any combo of TA, Eddi3, and Steph), but I am scared to think about what happens if Leon/Perk/Big Baby get into foul trouble. We don’t have many more options.

But this KG update isn’t going to change things. The Celts were going to get through the first 2 rounds anyway, but not past the Cavs. This doesn’t change anything… but it does remove the last thread of hope I was hanging onto that KG could be the difference maker.

Upward and onward.
Here are my updated predictions based on the way the seeds fell in the West. The match-ups out West are now MUCH more interesting to look at it than I originally thought last week. I am going to change my picks in the West but keep them in the East (except change how many games it will take in the East) due to the shuffle of seeds. Moment of trutht: I am absolutely lost about where to go in every opening series except for the Lakers/Jazz. Whoa. I hate the way the 3/6 and 2/7 match-ups ended up; I don’t like it one bit.

IN THE WEST:

(1) Lakers v. (8) Jazz  :  Lakers in 5 (the only thing tough about this pick was should it be in 4 or 5 games)

(4) Blazers v. (5) Rockets  :  Rockets in 6 (I got to admit: Ron Artest and Yao Ming = Craziest duo in the NBA and crazy enough to shut down the all Blazers except B-Roy)

(3) Spurs v. (6) Mavs  :  Spurs in 7 (I just can’t see the Mavs playing good enough defense and Timmy giving one great series before his body gives)

(2) Nuggets v. (7) Hornets  :  Nuggets in 6 (I feel uneasy about this pick, but which Hornet can guard Melo? Chauncey can put up a fight against CP3)

(1) Lakers v. (5) Houston  :  Lakers in 6 (this is too bad because Houston would have had a chance at the WCF if they had finished as the 4th seed)

(3) Spurs v. (2) Nuggets  :  Spurs in 6 (this has everything to do with me thinking that the Nuggets will self-implode because they won’t know how to play in a semi-final round and Coach Pop exposes this despite the fact that Timmy falls apart; by the way, I hate this pick and I know I am going to be wrong here but it doesn’t matter because the Lakers make it out of the West)

(1) Lakers v. (3) Spurs  :  Lakers in 5 (easy)

IN THE EAST:

(1) Cavs v. (8) Pistons  :  Cavs in 5 (Lebron chews through Rip Hamilton while kicking Rasheed Wallace in the face as his right arm extends back 30 feet behind him during a tomahawk dunk; who on earth will guard him in this series?)

(4) Hawks v. (5) Heat  :  Hawks in 7 (this was a tough one: can D-Wade really carry his team through 7 straight grueling games? Plus the Hawks have taken 3 games to 1 this season)

(3) Orlando v. (6) 76ers  :  Orlando in 6 (Everyone will start spitting the old rhetoric that I’m sick of, “Orlando is a legitimate team with a real chance of taking down Boston and to give the Cavs a series”; they’ll fold to the Celts if they even get there)

(2) Celtics v. (7) Bulls  :  Celtics in 6 (I’d rather see the Celts play the 76ers, but whatever; the Celts will have a tough match-up against their bigs (Miller, Noah, Tyrus Thomas) and their hot shooting (Salmons, Gordon) and the ever-improving play of Derrick Rose. Whatever, I am not saying the games won’t be close, but if you do player-to-player match ups, the Celts come out on top very easily with Rondo, Pierce, and Ray Ray; plus our bench is infinitely better than their bench so suck it)

(1) Cavs v. (4) Hawks  :  Cavs in 6 (Atlanta will make it look tight, but then Lebron will chase down a Joe Johnson fast break and block his shot off the backboard so hard off glass that the ball will actually go through the backboard; who on earth will guard him in this series? Sound familiar?)

(2) Celtics v. (3) Orlando  :  Celtics in 7 (I still believe that without KG, the Celts can still take this series; Perk is the secret in this match up– he’s guarded Dwight Howard so well this year; but most importantly, Stan Van Gundy can’t out-coach Doc and the Celts bench is deeper, which will be important because games will be tight and this series should go to 7)

(1) Cavs v. (2) Celtics  :  Cavs in 6 (It doesn’t matter that KG is out– it really doesn’t; their bigs are better and Lebron is Lebron because he is really, really, really, really, really, really good)

Lakers v. Cavs  :  Cavs in 6
I will plagiarize myself from a previous post:

Lebron will remind us of those special players that not only won a regular season MVP (he must, right?) but also a Finals MVP. Lebron will also remind us of loyalty: he stuck with the Cavs, and the Cavs stuck with him. He will cry. Then everyone else on that damn team will cry because Lebron showed/said it was ok. And it will be really, really, really, really, really, really emotional, but also really, really, really, really, really, really awesome to see Lebron dethrone Kobe as the most dominant player in the game and walk away with 2 things Kobe wanted: a title and a Finals MVP (during the ’99-’02 run, Shaq was a 3-time Finals MVP).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. kaliphornya permalink
    April 19, 2009 6:48 pm

    That is an interesting idea to sit Bynum and start LO. I was one to think that as well, until I saw how fast Bynum was getting his swagger back. No questions asked Lamar and Pau play much better together than Bynum and Pau. The problem with starting Lamar is our second unit has struggeled immensely when Lamar does not come on the floor with them. It was a couple weeks ago before Bynum was back and our bench had 2 first half points. Sasha (who I despise and would love to see traded) is shooting around 34% from the arc. Jordan is playing no where near the level he played before the injury (possible curse, lol) and Walton well he can’t shoot. When we get Lamar in there it changes the whole dynamic and look. Plus we leave Pau on the floor and take Bynum out so the two do get to play together. The bench plays ten times better when Lamar is out there with them.
    In regards to LeBron, well when we beat them up in Cleveland, there was no Bynum, Kobe was sick, and Lamar had a break out game. Now that Bynum is back we can clog the lane and make it that much harder for LeBron to get in and finish. He still will finish but it wont be easy with two 7 footers in there. Then there is the Lamar and Ariza factor. Both tall guys who can play good D and move like 2 guards. Kobe will probably guard LeBron majority of the time. Lets face it he guards him as good as anyone can and vice versa. We can pretty much match up with anything Cleveland throws our way. We can go tall and run Pau, Bynum, Odom, Kobe, and Brown. Or we can go quick and run Pau, Odom/Powell, Ariza, Kobe, and Fisher/Brown.
    Cleveland is not deep enough. Yes they do have the clear cut MVP and Kobe does look tired, but it has been proven time and time again that one guy can not win a ring unless you have the last name Jordan but even then he had Pippen majority of the time. Kobe tried to do this and failed miserably, and even as good as LeBron is the Cavs are not deep enough nor do they have a good enough number two guy. Mo Williams was an all star but that was because Ray Allan got injured. I just don’t see Cleveland winning it all. They need another great player. They also need a healthy Ben Wallace. If Big Ben is hurting, then there is no way they will match up with our bigs down low…

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