Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sports: NBA Playoffs (Second Round)

The playoffs are in a strange position where one round is ongoing while the next has started, which is why I'm a bit late with my preview of the second round even though one game was already played yesterday. I couldn't post without knowing, which teams will make it but I also have the foresight to know which teams have already pulled ahead.

It seems that the West is moving a bit faster with the dominant teams winning quickly and the teams suffering injuries dropping out faster. The injuries have been crucial, which is why the Clippers are no longer in it and the Golden State Warriors have a tougher challenge as they move ahead. 

I'll start with the West and this time I think I can put each team's logo.
The Portland Trail Blazers benefitted from having an injured opponent in the first round but I don't think they can do the same with the Golden State Warriors. Despite Stephen Curry's absence, the Warriors are a dominant team and should beat Portland in this round.
Game 1: The defending champs, the Golden State Warriors won the first game against the worn out Trail Blazers by 12 points. 
Game 2: The Warriors win the second game to go up on the Trail Blazers two games to none. Portland now has a chance to take down Golden State at home. 5/4
Game 3: Portland took a 12-point win against an ailing Golden State. Steph Curry still has not come back to play for the Warriors so the Trail Blazers have a chance of coming back. 5/8
Game 4: Golden State won in overtime by seven points against Portland. The Trail Blazers are encouraged by their previous wins but the return of Steph Curry for the Warriors and the return home should put the former champions in a position to progress. 5/10
Game 5: The Warriors defeat the Trail Blazers by four points to move on to the Western Conference Finals. Portland had a chance with the MVP Stephen Curry out but couldn't capitalize and Golden State moves forward. 5/12

The Spurs have already taken game one by 32 points and it looks like San Antonio could be the most dominant team in these playoffs. The Thunder will have a tough time taking on my new prediction for the champs.
Game 1: As mentioned, this game already went to the San Antonio Spurs over the Oklahoma City Thunder by 32 points. 5/1
Game 2: The Thunder pull off a one-point win in San Antonio. The Spurs will now travel to Oklahoma City with the series tied. 5/3
Game 3: The Spurs take a four-point win in a contested battle against the Thunder. Oklahoma City has another match at home against San Antonio that they'll have to win before they lose home court advantage. 5/7
Game 4: The Thunder and Kevin Durant battle back to take a 14 point win against the Spurs. San Antonio will return home after this game to face Oklahoma City as the series is now tied. 5/8
Game 5: The Thunder upset the Spurs by 4 points. Oklahoma City takes the lead in the series over San Antonio. 5/10
Game 6: Oklahoma City eliminates San Antonio with a 14-point win. The Thunder move from the Spurs to face the Golden State Warrior in the Western Conference Finals. 5/12

I would love to say that the Hawks could win this round but they are facing an unstoppable force in Lebron James in the Cleveland Cavaliers. The best I can do is hope they put up a fight.
Game 1: Though the Hawks lost by 11 points to the Cavaliers, they put up a decent fight. Cleveland may have a tougher challenge when they head to Atlanta after game two. 5/2
Game 2: The Cavs trounce the Hawks in Cleveland. Atlanta will have to recover to get any wins on the return home. 5/4
Game 3: The Cavs move one step closer to sweeping the series taking the lead back from the Hawks in the fourth quarter. Lebron and Cleveland needs one more win against Atlanta before they can move on to the Eastern Conference Championship. 5/6
Game 4: The Cavs sweep the Hawks taking their final win by one point. Atlanta fought in the last game but had no answer for the dominant Cleveland team with Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers will face the winner of the series below. 5/8

The Raptors squeak by the Pacers and now have to face the Heat. Both of these teams had a tough time in their previous series but I am curious who will pull out on top here. I am going with the Raptors.
Game 1: Miami wins the first game in Toronto by six points in overtime. The Heat surprised me by taking the lead here and may be a tougher opponent for the Raptors than I imagined. 5/3
Game 2: The Raptors outlast the Heat to win by four points in overtime. This ties up the series between as Toronto heads to Miami. 5/6
Game 3: Toronto takes a four-point win against Miami to take the lead in the series. The Raptors have won their first game facing the Heat at home. 5/8
Game 4: The Heat took the Raptors to overtime and won by seven points. Miami ties the series as they return to Toronto. 5/9
Game 5: The Raptors win their third game by eight points against the Heat. Miami has another chance at home to tie up the series or be eliminated by Toronto. 5/11
Game 6: The Heat tie up the series against the Raptors at three games with a 12-point win. Toronto has one last chance at home to beat Miami and move forward. 5/13
Game 7: The Raptors beat the Heat by 27 points. Toronto advance past Miami to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. 5/15

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