It's time for the pretenders to go fishing and the NBA's finest (not counting the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Toronto Raptors) to show us what it's all about. IT'S PLAYOFF TIME BABY! And that of course means it's time to fill out your playoff brackets over at BallHype for a chance to win an iPod Touch. Make sure you're a member of the GSoM Community. We'll also give out a tee of your choice from the GSoM Store 2.0 to the GSoMer who has the most points at the end of it all in mid-June.
* You must to be a member of the GSoM Community group on Ballhype before the playoffs start to qualify *
Here's my bracket:
A quick rundown of what should be a fun, fun 1st Round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs after the jump!
LA Lakers (1) vs Denver Nuggets (8)
The Nuggets have been a strong home team, but a pretty poor road team. I'll be shocked if they win a single game in LA. Still you never know what Allen Iverson has up his sleeve (think Game 1 of the 2002 NBA Finals). The hoops junkie in me is dying to see what a frontline of Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum looks like. The Warriors fan in me is still bitter the Grizz gift-wrapped Gasol for them.
Lakers in 6
New Orleans Hornets (2) vs Dallas Mavericks (7)
Can you believe the Mavs fell from the #1 seed to the #7 seed in just one year? I guess with the Heat winning the Finals and dropping to the worst team in the league just 2 short years later, nothing should surprise us. This looks to be a great series. CP3, David West, and Tyson Chandler have had great seasons and the Mavs look they're coming on strong. The Dirk vs Peja matchup is going to be really intriguing. It's a flashback to the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals.
Hornets in 7
San Antonio Spurs (3) vs Phoenix Suns (6)
You know it was a crazy season in the West when you have these two teams matched up in the 1st round of the playoffs. Both of teams have championship dreams. I can't say I was a fan of the Shaq-Matrix swap, but it does help them beat the Spurs and give Tim Duncan a lot of trouble. It should be a nice sweet revenge for the Sunny Delight this time around. Just make sure to keep Robert Horry away from Steve Nash in the closing moments of a Suns W.
Phoenix in 6
Utah Jazz (4) vs Houston Rockets (5)
It's really too bad the Rockets made the playoffs. We all know they're going to be a 1st round knockout and this matchup itself is pretty tough to watch. Props to the Rockets for having a fine regular season, but this an NBA ratings disaster. How much better would the playoffs be if the Warriors were in it instead of the Rockets? Hopefully the Jazz fans can act mature if the Rockets somehow steal a win in SLC.
Jazz in 5
Leastern Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics (1) vs Atlanta Hawks (8)
The Hawks are a very fun team to watch, but the Celtics are a very fun to watch and a very good team. The Celts' veteran savvy and Hawks inexperience (Mike Bibby will be key) should make this is a pretty short series. I'll admit I'm pulling for the Hawks in the upset though. Yes, I'm still bitter about how KG to the Bay didn't go down. Instead of being championship contenders over here in Dubs land, there's no playoffs in the Bay for the 25th time 31 years. Hey at least we don't have to hear that annoying woe-is-me'ing from the Celts fans with a bizarre sense of entitlement anymore.
Celtics in 5
Detroit Pistons (2) vs Philadelphia 76ers (7)
Remember last year when the LeBron and the Cavs upset the Pistons and so many critics were crying for Joe Dumars to break up the Pistons and begin the dreaded "r" word? Props to him for ignoring those haters and playing to win the game. Herm Edwards would be proud. For some reason a lot of low hoops IQ members of the media and NBA fans think rebuilding is easy or a sure thing. In most cases you stick with what you got and build upon that instead of blowing it up especially if you're in the Conference Finals every year, which is what Dumars has done masterfully for over half a decade now. Props to the Sixers though for over-achieving big time this season with the roster that Billy King assembled, but isn't getting due credit for putting together.
Pistons in 5
Orlando Magic (3) vs Toronto Raptors (6)
If the Raptors were in the West... well you know the rest. Superman, Hedo, and the $110 million man should put this one way fairly easily. Look for some monster 20-20 nights from Dwight Howard throughout this series. This series might actually be more boring than the Rockets 1st round exit.
Magic in 5
Cleveland Cavaliers (4) vs Washington Wizards (5)
Don't look know, but this is one of the league's best rivalries. This will be the 3rd straight time these two teams have squared off in the opening round. It all comes down to DeShawn Stevenson vs the "overrated" LeBron James. Okay, I'm joking. It comes down to how quickly Gilbert Arenas can return to his superstar form of 2007. Shout out to former Warrior Antawn Jamison who just wrapped up a mighty fine 21-10 campaign. This should make for the most entertaining 1st round series in the East.
Cavs in 7
Drop your thoughts on the 1st Round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs in the comments. IT'S PLAYOFF TIME!