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CelticsHub’s “Expert” NBA Playoff Predictions: How Far Will Boston Go?

 

We are just one day away from the NBA playoffs and that means it’s prediction time here at CelticsHub. So gather around and take note of our bracket breakdowns, while gathering ammo to use against the three of us when our Championship winner gets knocked out in the 1st round. So without further ado, let’s get to the picks:

Let’s start with the hometown team to begin in their opening round matchup with Miami:

Zach Lowe: Celtics in 5
Brian Robb: Celtics in 6

Zach’s Analysis

The Heat can challenge Boston, but they don’t have the depth or offensive power to beat the C’s four times in seven games. The C’s size will hurt Miami on both ends–KG should be itching to take it to Michael Beasley–and the C’s will overload the strong side on Wade the same way they did on Manu Ginobili and Carmelo Anthony in recent games. The difference: Miami doesn’t have the secondary offensive pieces to make Boston pay as Denver and San Antonio did.

How far do we think the Celtics can go? Find out after the jump.

Zach’s 1st round analysis continued:

The C’s should also be able to hurt Miami in transition, since the Heat have no one who can keep up with Rajon Rondo. And if Miami decides to defend Rondo with someone other than their point guards (perhaps Wade, even), the C’s should be good enough now to adjust properly and attack the mismatch.

Understand: The five-game prediction isn’t a slap at Miami. Unless you think the series is going the full seven, if you predict the home team will win, a five-gamer is your best bet, according to the stats.

B Robb’s 1st Round Analysis

Nothing has come easy for this team this year, so why would it now? Despite losing 7 of their last 10 games, I have faith that the Green do have another gear to turn on right now. Paul Pierce is rounding back into shape these past couple games, Ray Allen has had a strong 2nd half and everyone else (except Perk) is as healthy as could be hoped for after an 82 game grind.

There’s plenty of turmoil surrounding this roster, much of it warranted. Whether it’s coaches, players, you name it, the dissension is there. Winning is the trump card right now over all that though, and with the playoffs coming to the forefront, the team’s issues take a backseat.

The Heat present some problems. Tony Allen will be pivotal this series in guarding D Wade. Look for TA to play 25-30 minutes, perhaps some at Rondo’s expense, if Pierce/Ray stay out of foul trouble. The C’s must stay disciplined defensively, avoiding all of the shortcuts in their schemes (switching on picks, failure to rotate) that plagued them much of the year. Again, I have the belief the defense will kick in, enough to take care of a subpar Miami supporting cast. It won’t be pretty, but C’s get it done.

Celtics in 6.

1st Round Predictions (Brendan Jackson’s predictions are on the way)

Cleveland v. Chicago:

ZLCleveland in four. Someone please ban Joakim Noah and all other athletes from using the phrase “shock the world.”
BR: Cleveland in six. It’s going to be tougher than you think for the Cavs here. Bulls can play D and Cavs have no one to contain Derrick Rose.

Atlanta v. Milwaukee:

ZL: Hawks in five. No Bogut, no chance.
BR: Hawks in five: Atlanta has too much firepower here.

Orlando v. Charlotte.

ZL: Magic in five. The Magic are just too good, all over the court. A sweep wouldn’t surprise me, but I’ll give Charlotte one game because of its stingy D.
BR: Magic in seven. Bobcats are a good matchup for Orlando. Look for a bunch of low scoring defensive struggles, especially if the Magic aren’t hitting their 3′s.

Lakers vs. Thunder:

ZL: Lakers in four. They are going to come roaring out of the gates in round one. But can they sustain it?
BR: Lakers in six. I really want to pick the Thunder here, but I’ll wait for their exit a couple rounds later

Nuggets vs. Jazz.

ZL: Jazz in six. Utah is a better, deeper and more consistent team, and they’ll have a legit shot at the Lakers in round two.
BR: Jazz in six. Utah is my sleeper pick to go to the Finals, or they were anyway until I just found out Kirilenko is out for the first round. Nonetheless, sticking with my gut here.

Suns vs. Blazers.

ZL: Suns in five. The Blazers were just 8-9 overall without Roy, excluding the season finale.
BR: Suns in four. It’s not even that close.

Spurs vs. Mavs:

ZL: Spurs in six. The health of the Spurs’ point guards is a huge, huge worry. DeJuan Blair has at least one 15-10 game in this series.
BR: Spurs in seven. Again, health is a huge factor in this equation, but I can’t help but count out the Spurs blend of talent but of the young and older kind to take out the Mavs here.

Overall predictions:

Zach’s Analysis:

Cavaliers over Celtics, 4-1, in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Sorry, everyone, but there is nothing to suggest the C’s are much better than a tough second-round out. But I do think this series will be tough. Let the rebuilding process begin.

NBA Finals: Cavaliers over Lakers in five. The Cavs have the best team, and I’ll take the winner of Cavs-Magic against anyone from the West.

B Robb’s Analysis:

Celtics over Cavs in seven games in Eastern Conference Semifinals. Why? Blatantly blind optimism and homerism that’s why. Plus I think Cavs, are going down next round anyway, so why not take a chance here?

Magic over Celtics in seven games in Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics run out of gas after making a memorable run and Danny Ainge is left to make many tough decisions about the impending offseason.

NBA Finals:

Magic over Suns in six games. Suns have no one to contain Howard.

There you have it. Feel free to chime in with your own picks in the comments section to see who comes out with the bragging rights in June.

  • http://thinkshesmorelike.wordpress.com/ jylze

    dwight howard will never win a title as the number one guy.

  • Dan

    You don’t actually think the C’s can win 4 games against the Cavs, right? They’re much more likely to not even make it past the Heat.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    They said that about Jordan once, too.

  • joe

    you cannot play .500 ball for 4 months and then become an elite team overnight. that’s an unrealistic expectation. this team has not given us any indication that they can consistently play at an elite level. no way they beat CLE.

  • stephen

    Interesting picks–Have to disagree on the Mavs-Spurs. Yes-Ginobli is playing well and Parker appears fairly healthy,however Mavs have more length than they have ever had,they are better defensively than before and run pretty deep of their bench.Besides Duncan is clearly past his prime. In fact Mavs are biggest threat to taking out the Lakers.

  • I love Green

    We’ll beat the Cavs in 6, Magic in 7, and Nuggets in 6. Thats my homer choice though, I think it’ll be Magic vs. Nuggets and Magic win in 6

  • stephen

    Magic vs. Dallas—–Magic in 7

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    on Cs: i think they have a serious, serious shot at knocking off the cavs. can’t see them getting through the hawks or magic though.

    east gets no respect: any of the top four could take it all. in my opinion, the magic are the deepest team in the NBA, but not fully convinced dwight and wince can be war time presidents.

    lakers: no bynum, no chance. with bynum 100% (i don’t think he will be), no one else has a chance.

    rest of west: who the f*ck knows?! i think the experts are conceding to the lakers too easily, i would not consider it a major upset if utah, phoenix, denver, dallas or SA wins it all.

    darkhorse bracket buster: charlotte. i would never put money against a strange brew of Jax, Crash, Ty Thomas, Larry Brown and MJ. i can image the freedarko post-mortem already.

    overall: i think it will be a playoffs for the ages…..so many teams have a legit chance to win multiple series from all over the seeding map.

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  • GranTur

    Here is my bracket with everything nicely filled out!

    http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/379/jim2010nbaplayoffsbrack.png

  • Dan

    I think you have ‘drunk the koolaid’. Be honest: If you’re picking Boston to win more than 1 series that’s fine, but you’re picking themyou want them to win, not because you think they will.

  • J-Bad

    Everyone is loosing hope in the Celtics, but we will C who will come out. Punk ass fans. At the beginning of the season you all were dick riding Boston and now everyone is against us. What do the Celtics lack that other teams have??? Nothing!! Just because you have a bad regular season does not transfer into a bad post season, especially for a veteran team. Just look at da cavs last year. Basketball is a game of match-ups and preventing being vulnerable. Boston is well balanced and can compete with anyone on a nightly basis.

  • Ray Leighton

    Well, a month ago, I picked the Cs to make it to the Finals, and although most of you called me delusional and a true fan etc., I wasn’t picking based on wishful thinking; I was picking based on a number of production stats, which I described at the time.

    So for the record:

    Cs over Heat in 5.

    Cavs self-destruct just like they did last year. Watch for everyone on Cleveland to stand around while Lebron tries to beat the Celtics by himself. Cavs just have too many mediocre players and I don’t think that even the best player in the league will be able to overcome that. Cs in 6.

    The tough matchup will be against Orlando, and I think that could go either way.

    What I am even more confident of though is that both Kobe and Lebron will only be able to see the finals by watching it on TV.

  • legs-diamond

    Considering the wave of influenza, … Celts in 7 over the Heat. Cavs in six over C’s. Orlando in 7 over Cavs. Phoenix Suns over Magic in 6. (the west pick maybe a tad hopeful)

  • DRJ1

    Until we see these teams play in the playoffs, predictions are a complete waste of pixels. The good thing is that we will know pretty quickly what the Cs’ destiny is likely to be… either they will be flipped, or unflipped. I think the former is more likely, but who the hell knows. A few more hours and we begin to find out. Till then, we have no reliable data on which to base any predictions regarding the Celtics (and the includes the entire regular season).

  • dave

    DRJ, if the reg season is so unimportant then why play the games? why don’t we just skip it and seed the teams? the c’s played .500 ball for 4 months and you’re saying that’s irrelevant? c’mon man.

  • J-Bad

    To DRK1- you are a genius and that is the point that I have been trying to make a ll season long. We will c a whole new team.
    To dave- We all know that the regular season is to develop your team and prepare for the regular season. Guys on the C’s have stepped up all the time in the regular season. The post season is when everyone has to step up and there will definitely be a sense of urgency. The C’s were trying to escape the regular season and be fully healthy and look at the outcome. Would you rather have the best record in the REGULAR SEASON and not be fully healthy or would you be a team that knows that playoff basketball is what you need and be fully healthy?

  • J-Bad

    I meant to say DRJ1

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  • Ray Leighton

    @DRJ1 and Dave — agree with DRJ1. Dave, the only reason for the regular season is for the teams to make money…. I’ve actually thought that it would be better to have a much shorter season and more games in each round of the playoffs. Or even do it English-football league style — have different divisions based on caliber of team, and do all play all, no playoffs, winner is team with the best record. Imagine a division with just the six best teams, and they each play each other six times. Worst two teams of each division switch with the best two teams from the division below for the next season. And then after a month of rest, have a knockout tournament involving everyone. Two short seasons, different formats, in one year. Fans of weak teams still have a chance for a championship, because their team only plays other weak teams in one of the seasons.

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  • ricky

    Hey Brian Robbs, Looks to me like Blazers just beat Phoenix in Phoenix. Looks like its going to be a lot closer than a four game sweep. Dipshit.

  • Geoduck

    Brian,

    Stick to Celtics basketball. I’m sure you are very knowledgeable about the Celtics and have probably watched every game. However, you have probably only watched a handful of Blazer games this year. I would be highly surprised if you watched any of the Blazers/Suns games.

    Point being… either you really suck at being an analyst (if you have watched a sufficient number of Blazer games) or you are boldly making a uninformed statement “It’s not even that close.”

    If you had watched any of the match-ups you would have seen that the Blazers match-up real well with the Suns. Sure your colleague can throw out a stat about their record without Roy but that doesn’t tell you who they played. Did you know that without Roy they were 1-0 vs the Suns during the season?

    The Suns may win this series in the end but a prediction that they would sweep it (or even win in 5 games) is way off base.

    I’m not even going to comment on your even more ridiculous prediction of the Suns in the finals.

  • Elope

    Magic over Lakers in 6. Magic are just too deep to be stopped. Even while playing at there worst they manage to sweep Charlotte. Orlando tragics my arse. THIS IS OUR YEAR!!

  • carlos

    This is arguably the shittiest most ignorant breakdown ever

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