Sports: Speed on the Beat’s NBA Playoff Predictions (Opinion)

Picture 13 620x422 - Sports: Speed on the Beat's NBA Playoff Predictions (Opinion)

Well, I’ll be honest. March Madness has kicked my you-know-what (so…many…upsets) and my bracket is all but destroyed. I’m also out $20, but I won’t speak on that. At least now, I can re-devote my attention to the NBA and the upcoming playoff season. Y’know, the time of year when everyone and their mom is a fan, even if they only know Steph Curry from the “0 to 100” reference. A lot has changed since the last time we took at look at the NBA. Let’s take a look at some predictions. Hopefully, they pan out better than my brackets.

The Wizards Will Right the Ship (Just Not the Champion-ship)

There’s one thing that Washington has become known for in these past few years. And that’s performing when it counts…usually. Armed with John Wall and a healthy Bradley Beal, Washington’s backcourt is one of the most stellar in the league. Their frontcourt isn’t exactly slouch material, either. But, Wall and Beal, when healthy, drive opposing defenses (and offenses) insane. Expect them to right their streaking ways into the playoffs. However, I still don’t feel confident enough to say they’ll go beyond the conference finals. In fact, I have them losing to the Raptors, if the season ended today, in the conference semifinals (because the Raptors have backups who’d start on some teams).

LeBron Back! LeBron Back! LBJ Got Cleveland Screaming LeBron Back!

Cleveland Cavaliers players LeBron James and Kyrie Irving during warm-ups. Photo Credit: AP

Cleveland Cavaliers players LeBron James and Kyrie Irving during warm-ups. Photo Credit: AP

Seriously. Did you really think I could get through a post on the NBA and not mention how the Cavs are playing these past couple weeks? Yeah, there may still be some off-court strife. But, really, who cares? I don’t. And you shouldn’t either. As long as LeBron (sans headband) is playing like he is and has Kyrie and Kevin Love to clean house when needed, Cleveland can contend for a championship. They have one of the best post-ASG-game records in the league. They, however, still aren’t Atlanta.

This (May Be) Atlanta’s Year

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Atlanta has the second-best record in the NBA. They didn’t exactly get it playing bottom-feeder teams, either. There aren’t any teams that really stack up against Atlanta, even though the Raptors and Wizards have gave the Hawks trouble in their meetings. Will it be enough come April? I don’t think so. But, then again, everyone thought that Indiana would run roughshod last year–when they ended up losing four games to three to these same Hawks.

Russell Westbrook is the Man in OKC (which may cost them in the future)

Photo Credit: NBA

Photo Credit: NBA

In what may turn out to be a seismic shift in Oklahoma, the Thunder are playing some of their best ball this season–and Kevin Durant’s not involved. Their newfangled leader is a 6’3″ point guard in the Allen Iverson-meets-Derek Fisher mold, Russell Westbrook. He slices, he dices, he makes me write in even more dated cliches than a little bit. Playoffs or not, Westbrook has made it known that the Thunder are his team (and he’s not letting them go for anyone). This may lead to Durant leaving Oklahoma in 2016. But, in 2015, Westbrook’s multiple triple-double games have them knocking on the door for an eight-seed in the playoffs. I don’t see them toppling Golden State, but they’ll get in the door at least.

San Antonio Will Not Repeat

Photo Credits: 2013 NBAE/Getty Images

Photo Credits: 2013 NBAE/Getty Images

I’ve said it time and time again. They’re still a solid team. But it’s all but over for the Spurs’ reign. They’re projected to be a six or seven-seed in the playoffs and haven’t played that shutdown Spurs game that they’re known for. Plus, and excuse me for potentially sounding ageist, they’re old. According to RealGM, they have the second-oldest team. I don’t see Tim Duncan and company winning one more for the road, even though Duncan is one of my favorite players all-time.

Steph Curry Will Lead Golden State to the Finals


Whether or not Golden State can will the Warriors to win it all, however, is another story. But, I see the Warriors making it to the Finals. They’re the highest-scoring team in the league. They’ve one of the better defenses. And Steph Curry is…well, he’s STEPH CURRY. There are few teams in either conference which can match up with the Warriors. I don’t think it’ll be a cakewalk, especially with teams such as Houston (Thunder fans are still kicking themselves, I’d assume) and Memphis in the mix. But, I see them going to the promise land against either Atlanta or Cleveland.

 

The views of our contributors are their own, and not necessarily those of Boi-1da.