After my disastrous 1st round predictions, going 4-4 with no correct guesses on the amount of games in each series, I am going to try again.
#1 Indiana Pacers vs. #5 Washington Wizards
Wizards in 4
(I posted this slightly after the game started, but trust me, I did not look at the score until I was done)
After seeing how horribly the Pacers were capable of playing in the 1st round against the worst team in the playoffs, I have started to doubt their abilities. Roy Hibbert, 7 foot 2 center for the Pacers and one of the Pacers’ most important players during their regular season, averaged 5.3 PPG and 3.7 RPG in the first round of the playoffs. As well as doubting the Pacers’ abilities, I have realized how good the Wizards are. If John Wall and Bradley Beal keep up their good work that they did in the first round and the regular season, and if Nene keeps up his surprisingly good work, they will easily sweep the Pacers. John Wall has been averaging 18.8 PPG, and Bradley Beal has been averaging 19.8 PPG this playoffs. Nene has increased his scoring average by 3 whole PPG this playoffs. The point is that the Wizards are so much better than their seed suggests, and the Pacers are so much worse than their seed suggests.
#2 Miami Heat vs. #6 Brooklyn Nets
Heat in 7
The Heat are by far the best team in basketball, and Lebron James is arguably the best player in the NBA (although I believe KD is better now). Even their role players are very talented, for example Shane Battier and Ray Allen. They have the most experience in the NBA with the highest average age among their players, but they still have guys with young legs like Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. However, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have their number. In the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Celtics, with Pierce and Garnett, pushed the Heat to 7, who ended up beating the Kevin Durant led Thunder in only 5 games in the NBA Finals. The Nets swept the Heat in this year’s season series 4-0. However, Kevin Garnett has been awful this whole season. Last year, he was an NBA All-Star, but this year he scored 6.5 PPG and grabbed 6.6 RPG. He’ll be a big factor in this series, and if he doesn’t produce, which I don’t think he will, the Heat will end up winning.
#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #5 Portland Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers in 7
How good are the Spurs? Even when they’ve been counted out countless times by fans all around the league due to their age, they still continue to be the best team in basketball according to their record. Tim Duncan is arguably one of the best players in NBA history, and Gregg Popovich, in my opinion, is the second best coach of all time, only behind 11x NBA Champion Phil Jackson. They are so talented and experienced and they have the best team chemistry in the NBA right now. Unfortunately for them, The Blazers are coming off their red hot performance in the series against the Rockets. No one can underestimate how much confidence the Blazers gained after Damian Lillard’s 3-pointer over Chandler Parsons in the final seconds of Game 6 to clinch the series. The Spurs had to go to 7 to defeat the 8-seeded Mavericks, and the Blazers only had to go to 7 against the 4-seeded Houston Rockets. It will be close for sure, but I believe the Blazers will pull off the upset and win the series.
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #3 Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers in 7
Again, I believe that the Thunder are one of the best teams in basketball, and Kevin Durant, in my opinion, is the greatest player in the game right now. With Russell Westbrook at point guard, they have possibly the best scoring duo in the NBA, plus they have the added bonus of the defensive presence inside from Serge Ibaka. Though, don’t sleep on the Clippers. I honestly thought the Thunder would win the championship this year, and I’m sure many others thought the same, but after their lackluster effort against the 7-seeded Grizzlies, I can’t help but think they’ve lost a lot of confidence. However, the Clippers have gained so much confidence after beating the Golden State Warriors even through the disaster going on with their owner. The Clippers will be determined to win this series, and they will do it in 7.