by Brett Edwards
Playoff Previews are literally everywhere right now, so this will mostly include the formality of getting our predictions down before the title run begins. Here we go, Western Conference style:
"The playoff drought is over! We're in the PLAYOFFS!!!
Good job guys, but those three exclamation points are three more wins than the Warriors are getting in this series. Mavs SWEEP, 4-0.
Craig says: Mavs 4-1. The GS Warriors bandwagon is flying along... and I don't care. Dallas rolls after losing game 2 at home.
(2) PHOENIX vs. (7) L.A. LAKERS: I broke this one down over at The FanHouse, and it comes down to whether or not the Lakers can slow the tempo (like they did for thee games last year), and I don't think they can. Kobe is good for one Laker win, and that's it. Suns in 5.
Craig says: Suns 4-1
(3) SAN ANTONIO vs. (6) DENVER: The 'Melo/A.I. train has gathered plenty of steam towards the end of the season, just to have it crash into the proverbial mountain. The Nuggets whacked a bunch of nobodies, meanwhile the Spurs finished the season with the highest average margin of victory per game at over 8 points. What's impressive about that stat is the fact that the Spurs only average 98 points per game, so they've been doing it with defense. Spurs in 5.
Craig says: Spurs 4-2. Not really close, but AI has one monster game and the Spurs lead 3-1, but get bored.
(4) UTAH vs. (5) HOUSTON: Note to Jazz fans (are there really any of those?): Your team is a fraud. The Jazz are the only team in the West's top six with a losing road record. If you can't win on the road, you're not going very far in the playoffs. T-Mac gets his first post-season series win, in an easy six games. Rockets in 6.
Craig says: Hou 4-2. Utah's slide is telling (they're a distant 5th best in the west), but I still think they give HOU a run.