NBA General

2007 NBA Playoff Predictions

Once again, I am mostly a baseball guy, but I’m a Sportscenter addict. I follow it like a religion. Plus my hometown Warriors are finally in the playoffs, so I’ve been inspired to take a stab at prediction this year’s NBA playoffs. And no matter what you think of my predictions, I guarantee they will be less annoying than anything Stephen A. Smith says.

Round 1: Eastern Conference

Orlando Magic (8) vs. Detroit Pistons (1)

I rarely got a chance to watch these two teams play this year, but I don’t need to know much more than Detroit is the best team in the East, and the Magic…aren’t. This won’t be much of a series, and while sweeps seem to be a rarity in the NBA playoffs, this one’s got all the makings of one. Pistons in four.

Washington Wizards (7) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (2)

With Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler injured, Antawn Jamison will not be able to carry the Wizards past the Cavs. I’ll give them one game, but LeBron and Cleveland will be too much to handle for Washington in this series. Cavaliers in five.

New Jersey Nets (6) vs. Toronto Raptors (3)

A lot of people see this series as an easy upset for the Nets, but give the Raptors some love! Just because they play in Canada doesn’t mean they are inferior…Led by Chris Bosh and T.J. Ford, Toronto is a very good, athletic team. New Jersey is led by Jason Kidd and Vince Carter and will present a good matchup for the Raptors. But, I think Bosh is the X-factor in this series and will do just enough to get Toronto to the second round. Raptors in seven.

Chicago Bulls (5) vs. Miami Heat (4)

It’s all about the Benjamins. Ben Gordon and Ben Wallace will lead a very scary Chicago squad against Dwayne Wade, Shaq and the rest of the Miami Heat. I’m not convinced that the Heat are as good as advertised and the Bulls are definitely better than last year. The Heat? Not so hot! Bulls in seven.

Round 1: Western Conference

Golden State Warriors (8) vs. Dallas Mavericks (1)

Avery Johnson is going to have his hands full with former boss Don Nelson and his Golden State team. The Warriors’ mid-season trade that brought them Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington was huge for them and Jackson has developed into their most dangerous player. The Warriors went 16-5 in their last 21 games of the season and were one Laker loss away from taking the seventh seed. They also went 3-0 (2-0 in games that mattered) against Dallas in the regular season. Call me crazy, but the Warriors’ fast, small starting lineup is going to cause the Mavs and Dirk Nowitzki a lot of trouble. I see Golden State splitting games in Dallas and then making a run at home. Warriors in six.

Los Angeles Lakers (7) vs. Phoenix Suns (2)

The Western Conference is very intriguing in that each series there is an upset waiting to happen. A few weeks ago I would say this matchup would have upset written all over it. But the Lakers have been struggling and even if Kobe Bryant scores 50 points a game, they wouldn’t beat Steve Nash and the Suns four out of seven times. I think Nash, Amare Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion will prove an unbeatable trio in this matchup. Suns in five.

Denver Nuggets (6) vs. San Antonio Spurs (3)

Unfortunately for Denver, after acquiring Allen Iverson and reaching the playoffs, they had to run into the Spurs. San Antonio is playing great basketball right now and the hot-tempered Tim Duncan should lead them to a win over the Nuggets, as long as Joey Crawford isn’t out there refereeing. Along with Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker, the Spurs will be too much for Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. Spurs in six.

Houston Rockets (5) vs. Utah Jazz (4)

Utah had a magical season behind Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, but Houston has Yao Ming back to complement Tracy McGrady. One of the best all-around players in the NBA feeding the ball to the most dominant center in the NBA would cause trouble for anyone. And since McGrady’s team has never won a postseason series, he’s got a chip on his shoulder and will explode in the playoffs. This series will not be as close as advertised. Rockets in six.

Round 2: Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls (5) vs. Detroit Pistons (1)

While I’d love to take the Bulls’ flashy, young team over the Pistons’ experienced, veteran team, that pick would be sheer idiocy (unlike my Mavs/Warriors pick…). Ben Wallace returns to Detroit in this series to take on his former team, but this time he’ll be on the wrong side. The Pistons, besides being a very good basketball team, also go about things right. They won’t underestimate anyone and they will play their asses off every game. That will be more than enough to dismantle the Bulls. Pistons in six.

Toronto Raptors (3) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (2)

LeBron James vs. Chris Bosh. LeBron outscored Bosh in the regular season by about five points per game, and is just a much more dominant force on a better team. The Raptors are very young and very talented, but the Cavs are just a little bit too much to handle. I know it’s boring, but we’ll see a 1-2 matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals after this series. Cavs in six.

Round 2: Western Conference

Golden State Warriors (8) vs. Houston Rockets (5)

Oh, how I wish my Warriors could pull off another upset. But the only reason the Rockets are a number five seed is because Yao Ming was out for two months during the regular season. Now that everyone is healthy and playing, the Rockets are too tough to stop. The Nellie small-ball system works wonders on most teams, but it won’t faze Tracy McGrady and Ming, who will give Golden State a wakeup call. But for now, Warrior fans, optimism for next season reigns. Rockets in six.

San Antonio Spurs (3) vs. Phoenix Suns (2)

Round 3: Eastern Conference

Cleveland Cavaliers (2) vs. Detroit Pistons (1)

This will be a matchup of the two best teams in the East and the two most deserving to go to the Finals. But only one can represent the conference against the best in the West. This series will come down to the most complete team, which is the Pistons. As it gets down to the wire in games six and seven, LeBron will try to do too much for his team and he can’t win the game for them every time. Another very good series though. Pistons in seven.

Round 3: Western Conference

Houston Rockets (5) vs. Phoenix Suns (2)

T-Mac is very confident in his team’s chances to win the Championship this year, but really all he needed to do to get the chip off his shoulder, the monkey off his back, was to win one series. And he won two. Of course he wants to go farther, but can’t, because he runs into the red-hot Suns. Steve Nash will do away with the pesky Rockets, but not without a fight. If the Rockets can add one more piece to their puzzle for next year, they’ll be tough to beat. Suns advance to the championship game. Suns in six.


Phoenix Suns (West #2) vs. Detroit Pistons (East #1)

It’s always boring coming down to a 1 vs. 2 matchup, but it’s destined to happen this year. The Pistons and the Suns bring in the two most complete teams in the NBA, and it will be close, because Detroit has the veteran presence and playoff experience, but I think the Suns have more talent. Look for the series to come down to six or seven games and to have thrilling finish after thrilling finish. In the end, I think Nash and the Suns will be too much for Chauncey Billups and the Pistons. Suns in seven.

One reply on “2007 NBA Playoff Predictions”

Love the Warriors pick JDWC……you sir know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to the NBA.  Your pick of the Warriors was both bold and worthy of sportscolumn wide admiration.

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