Yes, my brain is currently in the frying pan. No, not because of that, but because of this. At least it's not a math paper. Shudder. Anyway, here's another batch of poorly-predicted, hoops-related guesses. Hey, as Smooth Jimmy Apollo says, when you're right 52% of the time, you're wrong 48% of the time. (For the record, I am currently 6-1, anxiously awaiting the outcome of the woefully underachieving Celtics. Forget all about my hockey predictions. Go Habs!)
"Jeez, what's taking you guys so long?"
Oh, and Boston, you with the 66-16 record and league-best point differential? Thanks for fucking up the timely posting of my picks. I'd like to assume that you'll win at home tomorrow, but you know what they say when you assume. It makes a Republican out of you and me. The ungodly 37-45 juggernaut should fall by your hand, but just in case:
IF Boston doesn't succumb to the greatest upset in NBA playoff history, Boston vs. Cleveland: Well, I did say it would be ug-lee. Celtics, you guys indeed look to be prime candidates for the grave or a few lines in the DSM-IV. Your most dangerous weapon, your defense, got picked apart by rookie Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia while getting matched on the boards by the Joshes. Oh, yeah, you're real scary. I'd like to see Wally World duplicate his game six exploits before he makes me a believer, but if the goddamn Hawks -- they were, and I cannot emphasize this enough, thirty-seven and forty-five! -- can beat you, what chance does an equally average team with the crucial difference of having the best player in league carry? Cavs in six.
Yes, before you move to pick your jaw up off the floor, I'm fully aware of the bizarre, almost supernatural sight of a Cleveland sports fan showing any confidence whatsoever. You don't think it's giving me a case of deathly, the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh fright, as well?
IF the Boston giant gets slain by the pawns missing a king, queen, both bishops and a knight, Cleveland vs. Atlanta: 'bout time that goddamn city feels some sporting pain. Could this have been set up any better? Getting to play the undoubted worst team in the playoffs with a potential matchup against another team who, regardless of their public yammerings, would rather have played the Celtics? You're not going to see a repeat of the 1981 Western conference or the Sonics in 1987. The sub-.500 team goes down like they should. Cavs in five.
Detroit vs. Orlando: Hell if I know which Detroit team will show up. Yes, their collective tooth is a bit long, but they've added some young guys who actually contribute a few quality minutes here and there. Neither Rasheed, McDyess nor Jason Maxiell can handle 20/20 guy Dwight Howard -- Dwight, please, get a Mean Streak®. You'll be able to win series nearly all by yourself if you do, thereby joining the pantheon of all time great pivotmen -- and experience is overrated. Just ask Dallas. But, Motor City has home court and, well, see the first sentence of this paragraph. I'd dearly love to pick Orlando, but Pistons in seven.
L.A. Lakers vs. Utah: Kobe, enjoy your lifetime achievement award as you get blistered in the paint. Carlos The Traitor is due to break out and as someone lit an inferno under Mehmet Okur's shoes -- even AK-47 is a valued member of Mormon society once again -- Utah has the superior starting five. For the Lakers, going up against such a tough squad with Pau Gasol instead of without is triple-word score groovy, but Utah is the better team, period. Jazz in six.
New Orleans vs. San Antonio: The feel-good story of the season versus Old (Cowboy) Hat. The Spurs do have the most powerful triumvirate on paper since Caesar, Crassus and Pompey -- okay, Cream kicked a bunch of ass, too -- but the Hornets proved beyond a shadow of my doubt that they are quite the legitimate title contender. For one more series at least, the Ben Gay savvy of role players such as Kurt Thomas, Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry prove to be the edge. Spurs in six.