Implied Dissent

Saturday, April 18, 2015

NBA Playoffs 2015

It looks a lot like the Cavs and Warriors are on a collision course, but there are a few “upstarts” that could derail that. Like before I'll give predictions for all rounds now, but only take my Round 1 picks at all seriously (and even those don't take very seriously). Also like before, I don't think any of my picks are particularly surprising, but maybe I'm wrong (and hopefully only on that dimension).

Round 1
Eastern Conference
#1 Hawks against #8 Brooklyn Nets. An upset is possible, especially with the Sefolosha situation and Millsap maybe not himself. Then again, the Nets aren’t good, and I doubt Millsap will take all that long to be good again. Hawks 4-2.
#2 Cavaliers against #7 Celtics. The Celtics are better than people think. Thomas and Zeller are really good, Crowder and Smart of pretty good, and the next 4 guys are solid. Unfortunately that’s not enough to beat the LeBrons. The games in Boston are tossups, the games in Cleveland will be blowouts. Cavaliers 4-1.
#3 Bulls against #6 Bucks. Things are shaping up for the Bulls, finally. They still need Noah to take seriously as a contender (he’s supposed to play, we’ll see). I like the Bucks, but don’t see them doing much this year. Bulls 4-1.
#4 Raptors against #5 Wizards. Both teams started the season very well, both slowed a lot, and both perked up a bit at the end. I just have a feeling the Wizards with Beal back are better. Wizards 4-2.
Western Conference
#1 Warriors against #8 Pelicans. Got to love Anthony Davis, top 10 player, best young big man today, could well be MVP next year. However, Curry is either #1 or #2 this year, and the rest of his team is much better. Warriors 4-1.
#2 Rockets against #7 Mavericks. The talent is close enough that I’m going with the superior coaching of Carlisle enabling the mini-upset. Mavericks 4-2.
#3 Clippers against #6 Spurs. These are the 2 teams most likely to take down the Warriors in the West. It’s too bad they’re playing in round 1, but it should be an excellent series. Go with the champs. Spurs 4-2.
#4 Trail Blazers against #5 Grizzlies (Grizz with home-court). A healthy Portland would be interesting. Oh well. Grizzlies 4-1.

Round 2
Eastern Conference
#1 Hawks against #5 Wizards. Hawks 4-1.
#2 Cavaliers against #3 Bulls. Health could be a big issue for this series. For now, Cavs 4-1.

Western Conference
#1 Warriors against #5 Grizzlies. A small chance of an upset due to the very different styles, but unlikely. Warriors 4-1.
#6 Spurs against #7 Mavericks. These teams always matchup well. Stick with the Spurs, but it will be a basketball purists dream series. Spurs 4-3.

Round 3
Eastern Conference
#1 Hawks against #2 Cavaliers. Cavs 4-2.

Western Conference
#1 Warriors against #6 Spurs. An awesome series. Warriors 4-3.

NBA Finals
Warriors with home-court against the Cavaliers. Warriors 4-2.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

2014-15 NBA season predictions in review

I did much better this year. See my predictions here, and actual standings here. To sum up, I went 19-11 across all teams, and 7-1 on my top picks. To be fair, I called half of them as 1/2 picks, so I really went 5-1 on my top picks. Still, pretty, pretty good. This brings my 3-year record to 51-39 overall, and my top picks record to 12-5. Woo!
On the less important prediction vs. actual win total question, I had 2 exactly right (Washington and San Antonio), and on 7 was off by 1 or 2 (Brooklyn, Detroit, Philadelphia, LA Clippers, Portland, Dallas, and Sacramento). I also was way off on both top seeds (17 for both Golden State and Atlanta), and the two worst teams (16 off for Minnesota, and a whopping 24 for the Knicks). Interesting. The average error was 6.8. I'll take it.

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