Lets take a look at the 2015 NBA playoff match ups along with my predictions across the board starting with the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta (1) vs Brooklyn (8)
The Atlanta Hawks have been a very nice surprise this year in the NBA. Mike Budenholzer has built a very Spurs like system (he was an assistant there for a long time) which has allowed for team basketball to shine in the East. The unfortunate part for this team has been the Thabo Sefalosha issues with the police, which is another story in itself. The Brooklyn Nets are just the Brooklyn Nets. I strongly believe they just fell into a fortunate situation with the injuries to Miami and Indiana. I do not see Brooklyn putting up the fight to stick around long, and Atlanta should win this in 4.
Cleveland (2) vs Boston (7)
So all that Miami vs Cleveland first round talk died down pretty quickly…. After Miami imploded, I’m sure the NBA tried to find another intriguing matchup that would draw viewers to the East. Here we get to see a Cleveland team that has depth vs a young but feisty Boston group. The Celtics can be said to be rebuilding and have done well. The Cavaliers are going to be tested early, but I do not see Lebron allowing his team to lose in this one, especially against a franchise that is his own personal rival. Cleveland in 5.
Chicago (3) vs Milwaukee (6)
Derrick Rose is back and Derrick Rose is back. The Bulls are healthy at the right time and will face a nice uphill battle vs the Bucks. Jason Kidd has done a marvelous job coaching this young team even though they are without rookie Jabari Parker. If anyone doubted Kidd in Brooklyn, guess again. Even though Milwaukee struggled towards the end they are still a team that fights hard. Do I see an upset? Probably not. Just expect a very very defensive series. Chicago in 6.
Toronto (4) vs Washington (5)
This is probably my favorite matchup in the Eastern Conference. Both teams were hot early in the year but have tapered off since the All Star break. I personally chose Washington to be a top 3 seed, and I feel like some of their youth along with Bradley Beal’s injury issues brought them down some. Toronto is a tough tough team. Kyle Lowry is as good of a scoring PG in this league as anyone. Be ready for this series to be close but ending in 6. You could say the rapper Drake will be happy with my pick also. Toronto in 6.
With the East out of the way. Let’s take a look at the Western Conference, and your Dallas Mavericks.
Golden State (1) vs New Orleans (8)
We will finally get to see Anthony “Lebrow” Davis take the big stage in the playoffs. This young man is a monster (ok, man crush over). Golden State will continue their dominance and finish this one fast. The Warriors have the bodies to bang down low, and honestly the Pelicans are just young. Tyreke, Jrue, and Anthony will have a chance in the future but right now, this is Steph Curry’s time to shine. I see the Warriors ending this one in 4.
Houston (2) vs Dallas (7)
The last time I witnessed a Houston vs Dallas playoff matchup was when T-Mac was in the league. That series went to 7 and I do not expect this one to be any less. Both teams have shown that they do not like each other. Morey and Cuban have also shown hate towards each other. Chandler Parsons has switched teams. Jason Terry has switched teams. The star power is there on paper. Both these teams know each other very well. There was a reason the Mavericks wanted this matchup and here’s why. Dirk is finding his rhythm and the Mavericks have the veterans who came here just for this. Parsons might not play but I do not feel his void will be greatly missed. You have to remember that Houston is going to be missing Beverley and that could be a bigger blow. Rondo will enjoy this series, and Dallas has the bodies to go at Harden. Dwight will be cancelled out by Tyson Chandler, and Dirk will easily take care of scoring on Josh Smith. I choose Dallas in 7.
Los Angeles (3) vs San Antonio (6)
I personally feel the Spurs wanted to stay away from Dallas in the first round. With this team finding its stride at the right time, I see the Spurs taking care of business very easily in this one. The Clippers look great on paper. They have a stud PG, a young star PF, Doc Rivers, and more. I just do not like how the Clippers play in the postseason. Year after year they have disappointed, and I feel this year will be the same. San Antonio in 5.
Portland (4) vs Memphis (5)
David Joerger has done a fantastic job with the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are a terror inside. If Lamarcus Aldridge can stretch the floor allowing some lanes for Damien Lillard this could be a series. This will be the year that will tell us if the Blazers are truly contenders. I personally believe Portland is missing a piece, but I also believe they might need a playoff tested coach. Terry Stotts has done a wonderful job (former Mavs assistant) but he is still young. Portland has 2 guys who will need help and will not get it in this series due to the Memphis defense and the Grizzlies getting home court advantage at the Grindhouse. Memphis in 6.