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Friday, April 19, 2013

Hoopshysteria: Playoff Preview & Award Predictions

Wild on Sports

Playoff Preview & Award Predictions
By Wild on Sports Analyst Talyon Perry

As the Regular season has come to a close many teams should feel great about their season. This includes the Charlotte Bobcats who are no longer the worst team in basketball, passing that title to the Orlando Magic. Also, both the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics were able to make the playoffs with their star point guards injured. Now for the season award and playoff predictions.

Most Valuable Player
1. Lebron James:
26.8 8.0 7.3 1.7 .565%
this is an obvious pick because no one is close to his level.
2. Kevin Durant:
28.1 7.9 4.6 1.4 .510%
although he lost the scoring title, he still was the second best player in the league and much more consistent that Carmelo.
3. Carmelo:
28.7 6.9 2.6 0.8 .449%
it can be argued that this spot should go to Chris Paul, but the late season production of Anthony pushed him past Paul.

Rookie of the Year
1. Damian Lillard:
19.0 6.5 0.9 .368% .844%
He came into this league with a bang against the Lakers (23pts 11 assists) and finished that way against the same Lakers team (38pts). Lillard had the most responsibility of any rookie and still produced more than any other.
2. Anthony Davis:
13.5 8.2 1.8 .516% .751%
Davis met all the expectations he was given (unlike teammate Austin Rivers) averaging 13.5 points and 8.2rebounds.
3. Andre Drummond:
7.9 7.6 1.6 .608% .371%
Drummond was drafted almost entirely based on potential, but no one expected he would produce this quickly. His downside is that he might be the worst free throw shooter in a decade.

6th Man of the Year
1. J.R. Smith:
18.1 2.7 5.3 1.3 .356%
Smith won this award over the last month of the season, showing off his ability to score and clutch gene. Smith may have came off the bench, but he played starters minutes.
2. Jamal Crawford:
16.5 2.5 1.7 1.0 .376%
Crawford could be considered the best shooter on the Clippers and one of the best off-the-bench scorers in the NBA.
3. Amir Johnson:
10.0 7.5 1.4 .554% .727%
Usually the 6th man award goes to the best scorer, but Johnson can do everything else. Among other bench players he ranks in the top 10 in rebounding, blocks, steals, and wins shared. If he was on a better team he would be the award winner.

Defensive Player of the Year
1. Marc Gasol:
14.1 7.8 1.7 .494% .848%
The Gasols are usually known for their size and passing ability, but Marc has shown that they can be the most dominate low post defender in the League.
2. Andre Iguodala:
13.0 5.4 5.3 1.7 .317%
Iguodala has always been a great defender, especially on the perimeter. His ability to defend has taken lots of pressure off his teammates and created numberless turnovers.
3. Joakim Noah:
11.9 11.1 2.1 .481% .751%
Noah is the heart of the Bull's defensively minded team and could have won the award had he not gotten hurt at the end of the season.

Coach of the Year
1. George Karl: Karl is something special. He has taken a Nugget team with no superstar players (you can argue for Iguodala) to the playoffs, where they will be a potential dark horse.
2. Gregg Popovich: Popovich has again taken an aging Spurs team and turned then into a team that can contend for the Championship.
3. Erik Spoelstra: Yes Spoelstra coaches the best team in basketball and yes they almost beat the NBA record for consecutive wins, but who couldn't win games with the players he is coaching?

I'm not going to pick a Most Improved because there really is no consistency in its awarding. Now for the bobcat's least favorite part of the year, the playoffs.

Eastern Conference Playoffs

#1 Miami Heat vs #8 Milwaukee Bucks
This is an easy matchup to call. No one in the East is at Miami's record, especially the Bucks. (Although Brandon Jennings claims they will take the heat down in 6)
Prediction: Miami wins in 5

#2 New York Knicks vs #7 Boston Celtics
Any other year the Celtics would have earned home-court advantage, but without Rondo they have no consistency on offense. Combine that with the Knicks hot streak and you have an easy winner.
Prediction: Knicks in 5

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks didnt trade away Josh Smith and are glad they didn't, but he won't be enough to stop the defensive juggernauts of Indiana. Hibbert and George will be able to shut down Atlanta.
Prediction: Pacers in 4 (sweep)

#4 Brooklyn Nets vs #5 Chicago Bulls
These two teams can be considered polar opposites. The star power for the Bulls comes on the low post, while the Nets excel with their guards. The deciding factor is injuries to Rose and potential for Noah to get hurt again.
Prediction: Nets in 6

Western Conference Playoffs

#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #8 Houston Rockets
James Harden and the Rockets made the playoffs, but now they have to face a team Harden is very familiar with. Harden is a star after his trade from the Thunder, but there is no easy way to beat the Thunder.
Prediction: Thunder in 5

#2 San Antonio Spurs vs #7 LA Lakers
Many dismissed the Lakers after Kobe got injured, but they made the playoffs and got the 7th seed! The Spurs and Lakers both have some injury question marks but that won't stop these teams from competing with each other. If the Lakers can still ride the momentum of the season then I say they can beat the Spurs.
Prediction: Lakers in 7

#3 Denver Nuggets vs #6 Golden State Warriors
Curry in now the best 3 point shooter NBA season history, but the Nuggets are one of the Leagues best at defending. This is a tough matchup but the edge goes to the better fast break team.
Prediction: Nuggets in 4 (Sweep)

#4 LA Clippers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies
Earlier in the season the Clippers were considered the best team in the west, but have cooled down over the last half of the year. Memphis features a potential defensive player of the year in Marc Gasol. Unfortunately, Gasol is no match for the relentless dunks from Griffin and Jordan, ask his brother Pau.
Prediction: Clippers in 5


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