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Deke Bellavia

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Deke: A look at the NBA Playoffs

Love them or hate them, the Miami Heat are still the team to beat!  Miami is seeking to become the sixth team to win three straight titles.  Consider the 52-54 Minneapolis Lakers, 59-66 (eight straight titles!) Boston Celtics, 91-93 Michael Jordan-led Bulls (did it again from 96-98), and the last team to win three straight was the 00-02 L.A. Lakers.

Miami is 16 wins away from making history.  But who’s the team most likely to derail the Heat from a three-peat?  Is it the Spurs, Pacers, OKC, Clippers, or how about the up and coming Rockets or Golden State Warriors? I think the Western Conference playoffs are going to be some of the best by a division we’ve seen.  The Eastern Conference is muddled with six teams whose record is in the 500 range, while over on the much stronger West, every team in the post season has won 60 percent of their games or more (the Mavericks are 49-33 - .598). 

I picked the Spurs to take the title last season.  Miami edged San Antonio 4-3 in seven games.  San Antonio has rested their players and gained home court throughout the post season.  Will the Spurs get one more shot to get it right?

Could you be thinking the Thunder from OKC?  How about the CP3-led Clippers from L.A.?  Golden State Warriors, or what looks to be the Heat’s biggest obstacle in the East the Indiana Pacers.  These playoffs look like they are going to be two months of great action.

I get one of those "man, I got to watch that" feelings when I think about the first round match-up between the Warriors and Clippers in the West post season bracket.  Golden State and L.A. split the season series winning two games each.  Both teams won their games at home.  Could home court really play out here with the Clippers winning a game 7 in Staples?  Or will Steph, Klay and the Warriors breakthrough and win a game in L.A.? 

I’ll give my take, my way.  I think the Spurs will battle the Heat again and I again think San Antonio will win.  But here are some other things I think about the NBA Playoffs.  I think that the 2014 version of the Indiana Pacers is not as good as the team that took the Heat to seven games in 2013. 

I think if there is one team in the Eastern Conference that might give the Heat a run for their money, it is the Brooklyn Nets.  Brooklyn swept the regular season series, and the Nets roster features some big time firepower. 

Chicago is a Rose (Derrick) away from making the Eastern Conference Playoffs tougher.  Chicago is a dangerous #4 seed in the East and if they win their series with Washington they could be staring at Indiana, the team they love to hate. 

So first round I say Spurs over Mavs in five, Houston takes out Portland in seven, OKC beats Memphis 4-2 and the Clippers prove that having a Doctor in the house makes a difference.  Over in the East I’ll take the Nets in six over the Raptors, Heat sweep Charlotte, Indiana clips the Hawks in five and the Bulls beat the Magicians 4-2. 

In the Western Conference Finals, I say we will see the Spurs and Thunder and in the East and I’ll go with the Pacers versus the Heat.  Spurs and Heat make it to the Finals, and I as stated earlier, I’ll again pick the Spurs to win it all. 

I was a taped-off court and chilled champagne away from coming through on that prediction last time.  That was about as close as you can come to winning without winning.  But the Heat prevailed.  If they do so again this year, they would only add more truth that LeBron James clearly is one of the greatest of all time! 

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People : LeBron JamesMichael Jordan-led Bulls

04/19/2014 8:33AM
Deke: A look at the NBA Playoffs
Please Enter Your Comments Below
04/19/2014 10:14AM
it's already been projected the heat is going to win
It's like other teams don't need to play. The sports talk is "the Heat going to win"! I think it's personally a "set up" league!! Only the BIG venues going to win
04/19/2014 10:15AM
I agree with deke spurs over heat
04/19/2014 10:52AM
this is Lebron's last chance to win in Miami
The $ restrictions will dramatically change personnel next yr. The team's administration choices will be bigger news than LeBron's decision to sign with Miami. Wade&James' legacy to be mentioned with basketball's elite hyarchy hinges on this season's NBA Tittle win. Their bball Pres. will surely use this as their motivation to excell this yr. I think the team will realize this is a last attempt for this group and make the most of the opportunity. This may be the most difficult tittle for the Heat to capture. It will be done!
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