NBA Playoffs: East

Now that both the East and West contestants of what is the 2013 NBA Playoffs are set, here’s my take on the winners/losers of each matchup starting with the East. Seeds are in parenthesis.

(1) Miami vs. (8) Milwaukee: LeBron (DNP), Wade (DNP), and Bosh (DNP); Miami still wins 4-0. The Heat have 3 of the Olympic starting 5; Bucks have Jennings, Ellis, and a bunch of no names. The Heat should have been granted a first-round bye. That’s how horrible this series will most likely turn out.

(2) New York vs. (7) Boston: The Celtics should not be underestimated because of their age. Doc Rivers knows all to well – as do his players- what playoff basketball is all about. Only the Spurs Popovich is better at getting the most out of his squad. As long as health is not an achilles heel, Boston has more than a puncher’s chance of winning this series. The Knicks have 2 of the league’s premier shooters in Melo and Smith, but need Chandler to balance everything out. Sometimes when the shots are not fallin, the Knicks get caught holding the ball to long and standing around. The lack of ball movement in halfcourt sets will be their undoing and exactly what the doctor ordered for the Celtics. The Knicks should win; I won’t be shocked if they don’t.

(3) Indiana vs. (6) Atlanta: Pacers are to inconsistent; one minute they look as though they could beat anybody, and then turn around and look as though couldn’t compete with the recently crowned state champ Mentor Cardinals. Hibbert’s production is critical to the Pacers advancing to the next round. 8 points and 5 rebound type numbers will not get it done. Horford and Smith can tip the scales in favor of the Hawks if Josh stops poutin’ and start playin’ up to his ability. Al will bring it every night; will Smith help him out? Indiana wins 4-3 by default.

(4) Brooklyn vs. (5) Chicago: Lopez, Johnson, and Williams make up a nice core for the Nets, but Carlesimo and inexperience may count against them in the end. The Bulls are battle tested like no other. Chicago needs to only put points on the board; everything else will take care of itself. Rose’s return (off the bench) would be a huge bonus. Bulls win this series 4-2 on grit alone.

NBA 2K13 In Season Review: Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are flat out garbage. Ok maybe not garbage, but their play more often than not flat out stinks. I know the Nets’ are sittin’ pretty right about now in the number 4 spot in the East, but that’s primarily because the Eastern conference as whole is nothing to really get excited about. Surprisingly, they have a better road record (16-15) than the Indiana Pacers who sit at number 2 in the East, but are average against the division at 6-6. That tells me the Nets’ have somewhat feasted on the “bottom feeders” of the league.

It’s the style of play from some of their household name players that bother me most. Too often do they play as individuals and not as a team. This is a recipe for a first round exit I guarantee; with their roster it makes no sense to me.

Joe Johnson disturbs me the most. In part because he played under legendary Arkansas Razorback coach Nolan Ricardson (my favorite college team) who’s “40-minutes of hell” philosophy- I thought- should have given Joe the foundation for being a complete player; which clearly he is not. Secondly, a player with his pedigree and ability who can play both small forward and shooting guard should not be on his fourth different team (Celtics,Suns,Hawks) in 11+ years. Did I mention he is a 6x All-Star? How do you not stick? I expect more from him than 16.6 per. Oh no, here comes king of the iso!!

Brook Lopez is a true center and the team’s leading scorer at 18.8 per, but is slow and cloddy to say the least. At times, it takes him a few days to get a shot up at the rim. He needs to be stronger if not quicker around the basket. Guys like Bosh,Tyson Chandler, and Noah will eat him alive on the inside.

Deron Williams is a diva. Being the so called quaterback on the team, his play is to inconsistent for the Nets’ to have any real shot this year-or any year- at a title. If his jumpshot is not fallin’ he gets lost in the sauce. In my opinion he’s one of the most overrated players at any position in the NBA.

Gerald Wallace is one of my all time favorite players because of his hustle and tenacity. It’s unfortunate that he’s on the downside of his career. He’s going to have to do more than 8.4 if the Nets’ have any chance of getting out of the first round. What’s worse, he’s the only player who’ll give a sincere effort on the defensive end of the floor.

Andray Blatche is an interesting piece the Nets’ have. Although he’s not really lighting it up on the scoreboard (10.1/per), he does bring an energy on both ends of the floor that are mandatory for playoff basketball. Will he maintain that energy if he starts to see his counterparts playing disinterested? We’ll have to wait and see.

Kris “Kardashian” Humphries scored more with Kim than he has this season, averaging a paltry 5.5 per. What, if anything does he do well? You tell me and we’ll both know.

Reggie Evans is leading the team in rebounding (621) on the season, but to me is better at using his 6 fouls a game. He is so putrid on the offensive side of the floor, the Nets’ can’t even use him like the Clippers’ use DeAndre Jordan.

Because they have virtually no bench production to speak of, I don’t see the Nets’ winning more than 2 games in the upcoming playoffs no matter who they face in the first round. I also won’t be shocked if someone else “Sprewells” Carlesimo before the season ends.