What’s the deal with the second round starting in the East before the first is finished in the West? Doesn’t seem right, particularly since it forced me to my keyboard on a sunny Saturday morning.
Confession: I didn’t watch a single Eastern conference first round playoff game, even though I had money wagered (Celtics ftw). Actually, I guess I did watch parts of a couple Celtics’ 4th quarters against the Hawks. And I did manage to come up with another firm betting rule for myself in the process: Rule 916: Never Bet on a Team that has Josh Smith.
I have no betting interest in the second round in the East. Not on the Heat (9-1) because I never bet on heavily favored teams. (For what it’s worth, that price is probably too high. What happens if Wade gets injured? I mean re-injured?)
And not on the Celtics (-240), because I think the 76ers (+210) actually have a pretty good chance to beat them.
Actually I’m not sure why I’m not betting the Sixers getting 2-1. They match up pretty well with these Celtics. Old-Pierce really struggled in the Bulls series against Deng. Not sure he can do any better against an Iguodala who’s at the top of his game. Ray Allen played the last couple of games, but looks too injured to make an impact. The Celtics bench is wretched.
And the ancient Celtics are one series older. In the playoffs that matters. They are in danger of getting run on by this Sixers team.
The good news for the Celtics is that they won’t try to match up big against the Sixers, ala Keith Smart and Mark Jackson. They’ve now got Garnett at center — always his best position — and he’s been dominating. And they’ve got Rondo. And Bass might work against Brand — but I think he’ll be lucky to be a wash against Thaddeus Young.
I like the Sixers chances to upset, but because I literally have never watched them, I can’t summon the conviction to bet. I have no idea how this series turns out. And very little interest, since they’re playing for the right to be chum for the Great White Heat in the next round.
In the Western Conference game sevens, I’m sticking with my series predictions. I think the Lakers have been partially tanking this series to get Metta World Peace back before the start of the Thunder series. I think they manage to turn up their effort and beat the Nuggets.
Which is not to say I wouldn’t love to see the Lakers give up and quit, like they did against the Celtics in the finals, and the Mavericks last year. This team truly hates each other. Which is to say Bynum and Gasol hate Kobe Bryant. And I don’t blame them. Because Kobe would rather lose than let them outshine him in the playoffs. It’s absolutely ridiculous how he freezes them out when guarded by Mozgovs and McGees and 6-8″-in-disco-platforms Farieds.
The Grizzlies will, in Jeff van Gundy’s words, “roll” in game seven at home (favored by 9 points now, wow!). Because Les Griz are the better team, and they’ve finally gotten the message through to Rudy Gay and started playing the right way. Gay is the fourth best player on the team, if not the fifth. (Yes, I think I’d even rather have Tony Allen, crazy and unreliable with the ball in his hands as he is.)
And oh yes, because Blake Griffin has a boo-boo, and can’t run back on defense.