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The NBA Hypothetical Play-Offs

May 18, 2013

It’s been a while since my last post. I know, I’m sorry, but I’m poor and I’m not so sure if my computer is any better than your average 70’s typewriter. I’m fully dependent on my sister’s laptop and she’s never around so… I’d be really happy if someone felt the need right now to send me a laptop.

Back on-topic, the NBA Play-Offs! Let’s be real here, we all want to know how everything would’ve went if D.Rose, Kobe, Russel were all healthy. Pick a random game to watch and you can point out a key player that’s out due to injury. So that’s my job today…behind my sister’s laptop, to give you an idea how the Play-Offs would’ve went with a 100% healthy NBA.

ROUND 1

OKC-HOU 4-2 (4-1)

Russel Westbrook’s absence made something 100% clear. I was wrong. I was THAT guy complaining after last year’s Finals that Westbrook takes too many shots, has too many turnovers, etc and was holding Durant back. The loss of Westbrook causes periods of scoring droughts and lack of creativity. Durant is the second best player on the planet, but he lacks Westbrook’s (crazy) aggressiveness to be a killer that everybody fears.

LAC-MEM 2-4 (2-4)

I called it in other blogposts, the Clippers are posers while the Grizzlies are for real. LA has regular season players who put on a show every night, but when things get a little bit tougher, they disappear. The Grizzlies are the exact opposite. Gasol, Z-Bo, Conley are three guys that are NBA Play-Offs All-Stars without a doubt. The last couple of games of the series were a bit one-sided. I’d say without the injuries to Griffin & Billups, the games would’ve been closer, but the Grizz’ Grind is way too much for the Clippers to handle.

DEN-GSW 2-4 (2-4)

Denver was missing Danilo Gallinari, who could’ve been the offensive answer to the bombing of Stephen Curry (a lil’ bit). At the same time, imagine a Golden State Warrior team with a 100% healthy Bogut and David Lee. The injury to Lee was probably a blessing in disguise which forced Golden State Coach Mark Jackson to play an undersized line-up which gave the Nuggets serious problems. To be honest, even with two teams completely healthy, I’d expect Mark Jackson  to outcoach the reigning Coach of the Year again and win the series.

SAS – LAL 4-0 (4-1)

What was probably the ugliest Play-Off series in LA’s glorious history, would be very different with Mr. Kobe Bryant. Don’t forget the Lakers were riding with momentum into the Play-Offs until Kobe’s achilles blew up. I was convinced those Lakers could’ve won against the Spurs! I was probably wrong though… San Antonio is such a machine, they “execute you to death”. A healthy Lakers squad does not execute and they fail to win games because of themselves.

Even with a healthy star-studded starting five, they lack chemistry to really battle with the best NBA team of the last decade. Duncan would outclass Gasol & Howard, Parker would absolutely obliterate everyone on the Lakers’ roster and Ginobili has a free run to the basket. Yes, the Lakers roster is so hilariously bad on defense.

MIA – MIL 4-0 (4-0)

“Ummm…If Wade was healthier, we could’ve got more highlights or sumtin?”

BKN-CHI 3-4 (2-4)

Derrick Rose, Marco, Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah. Yeeaah, Brooklyn wouldn’t underestimate those guys, which is what happened here. Brooklyn isn’t a bad team, but they lack experience and gritt AND great coaching. I think the series would split after two in Brooklyn, than the Bulls go up 3-1, the Nets win at home and the Bulls finish it off at home. Be sure to know, that Nate Robinson wouldn’t be current Nate Robinson. Current Nate Robinson needs a hella lotta shots to be THIS effective.

I know ‘hella lotta’ sounds bad, but so does “Nate Robinson is our no1 option on offense”.

IND-ATL 4-2 (4-2)

Weird series, ugly series, no one really cared. Not even ATL fans: Which is no one anyway, moving on…

NYK-BOS 4-2 (2-4)

Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Bass, Garnett, Green, Sullinger, Terry & Lee would be the active rotation. If you watched the series, the Celtics’ only offensive threats were the high post for Pierce or the high pick’n roll with Pierce & Garnett. That’s not good. But in comparison to the Knicks: Iso-Melo & Iso-J.R. it was enough to make the Knicks sweat a little. I don’t know why, but the Knicks went away from their succesful regular season ball movement and million three balls per game and failed. Against a healthy Celtics team, I have no doubt in my mind NY would lose against this squad.

 

ROUND 2

OKC-MEM 1-4 (4-3)

Kevin Durant put up epic stats in the second round until the last game. The Memphis Grizzlies used T.Allen and Tayshaun Prince on Durant, what couldn’t be possible if the Thunder had Russel Westbrook. Speaking of which, he would be the one to put Gasol & Z-Bo on the bench with foul trouble because of his penetration ability AND Mike Conley wouldn’t have had the series he had against Russ. I went from full-on hater to Westbrook-lover in ONE series, there goes my credibility I guess… Another important thing I can’t overlook is the amount of pressure on Kevin Martin after Russ went down. They needed a lot more offensive from Martin, which caused him to force things he’s not used to.

I do have doubts with this outcome though, because with or without Russ, Kendrick Perkins would still be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. You know, that guy who has the worst +/- stat of all-time and looks like he’s been constipated since his Celtic green days.

GSW-SAS 2-4 (3-4)

You could tell Steph was really hurt after he turnt his ankle. If that injury didn’t happen, I’d predict one hell of a performance in game six from him in front of the best home crowd in the NBA. Let’s be honest here, we all had a collective “Ooowwh” when we heard Golden State was eliminated from the Play-Offs.

And… Mark Jackson man!

MIA-CHI 4-1 (4-2)

This would mark the first time in D-Wade’s career he would be able to play his hometown healthy and a healthy Big Three is unstoppable. Quite simple… A healthy Chicago wouldn’t have the momentum that banged-up Chicago had, which was their driving force throughout their epic run. The series would’ve been a must-watch in terms of physicality and hard fouls, these two teams REALLY don’t like each other. This series is going to be something next year!

Remember game 5 in 2011?

IND-BOS (3-4)

That means Boston would win in Indiana. Yes, I can see that happening and so should you. Like the Memphis players, Boston’s Big Three blossom during the Play-Offs. It seems like every year Pierce turns into a First All NBA Team-er in the Play-Offs. Boston’s filled with winners and the Pacers would lose because George isn’t quite ready to be THAT guy in the clutch when his team needs him. It would mark Boston’s last great run though…

CONFERENCE FINALS

OKC-SAS (4-3)

Maybe my romantic soul takes over, but I’d expect a classic series. The Spurs would be out for revenge and OKC’s duo would destroy every match-up. I picked OKC just because of their offensive capabilities and I’d expect the Spurs to show a little fatigue throughout a seven-game series.

MIA-BOS (4-2)

The difference between East & West becomes very clear. The West delivers clean, intense basketball and the Eastern Conference isn’t shy to get their hands dirty. Miami and Boston act respectful the first two games, but things get personal after a Miami blowout because some Miami Star with an extravert sense of fashion says the Celtics are old and done. The Celtics come out aggresive and set a new tone for the series. The following games look more like the NFL and Ray Allen suffers a severe bone bruise after an illegal Garnett screen. You get the feeling the Celtics can’t hang with the Heat, but because of their toughness and effective old-man game, Miami has to squeeze everything out of the tank to win the series. After the final buzzer, both teams show great respect to each other. In case you didn’t know, I just described the ’11 series between Boston and Miami…except for the Allen-Garnett altercation.

FINALS

MIA-OKC (4-2)

Kevin Martin does a better job than James Harden in the Finals, but the difference between Lebron & Durant becomes, again, very clear. Miami dumps the ball to Wade & Lebron in the post, while Bosh abuses Perkins off the dribble from the high post. The Miami Heat roleplayers, again, steal the show in the close-out game. It becomes obvious Durant needs some extra pounds and a postgame to compete with Lebron James. AND Kendrick Perkins sucks, again.

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