No. 1 Kings vs. No. 8 Jazz
No. 2 Spurs vs. No. 7 Sonics
No. 1 Nets vs. No. 8 Pacers
No. 4 Hornets vs. No. 5 Magic
No. 3 Celtics vs. No. 6 76ers
No. 1 Kings vs. No. 8 Jazz series
Watching the Jazz in the playoffs is kind of like
watching the 80-year-old man next door to me go
jogging: I'm proud of them for still being able
to do it, but scared at the same time that they're
going to keel over from a coronary. The Jazz have
no chance of winning - I just hope Stockton and
Malone don't hurt themselves.
No. 2 Spurs vs. No. 7 Sonics series
When the Spurs win the NBA title, it won't be
because they have the best player in the NBA -
Tim Duncan. They'll have only The Admiral to thank
for letting Shaq kick his ass all these years
and hurt his big toe in the process. Nate McMillan
did a great job to lead the Sonics this far, but
stocking up on second-tier foreign centers won't
work against the twin towers.
No. 1 Nets vs.
No. 8 Pacers series
Forget about Byron Scott getting coach of the
year - Nets GM Rod Thorn should be getting the
accolades for swindling Phoenix into trading
probable MVP Jason Kidd for an overhyped ball
hog. But after the Nets let Yale grad Chris
Dudley slip away, they'll have nobody left to
outsmart Reggie Miller, who will lead the Pacers
to one more finals before he's done.
No. 4 Hornets
vs. No. 5 Magic series
Maybe Shaq should go back to Orlando, like he
mentioned a while back. The Magic seem to like
picking up All-Stars with career-threatening
injuries. With T-Mac's back, Grant's gimpy foot,
Mike Miller's bum ankle and Shaq's faulty toe,
the Magic could be the best team ever - on paper.
No. 3 Celtics
vs. No. 6 76ers series
Too bad they tore down the Garden, because this
woulda been a nice turn-back-the-clock series.
Imagine the old "PHILA" jerseys, short
shorts and some Cons being sported in the Spectrum
and the Garden. Order a cheesesteak from East
Coast, crack a Yuengling and show Philly some
assistant sports editor
I only wish that
what once seemed to be impossible could now
come true. Can the Jazz really upset the mighty
Kings? I can only dream. Forty-year-old John
Stockton is playing like he is 35 again, but
that is still 12 years older than Sacramento
point guard Mike Bibby. In this case, I see
the youthful Kings beating the old and weary
The West will be decided on a back and a toe.
Can David Robinson's back hold up and can Shaq
deal with the pain in his toe? If either of these
injuries persist, their respective teams will
have early exits in the playoffs. Here is my fearless
prediction: Robinson's back will continue to give
him problems, and Shaq's toe will be strong enough
for another ring.
While most series
are decided upon the play of the players, this
series is really a battle of the coaches - Byron
Scott of Los Angeles Lakers fame and ex-Detroit
Piston Isiah Thomas. It's "Showtime"
against the "Bad Boys" once again.
I see a replay of the '88 finals, when the Lakers
beat the Pistons in seven games.
Does it really
matter who wins this series? There is no way
either of these teams will make any noise in
the next round. How bad is the Eastern Conference
this season when a 44-38 record gets you the
No. 3 seed? The Lakers are the No. 3 in the
West with a 58-24 record. Anyone else see a
difference in the conferences?
I predicted the
Celtics to be in the finals on April 5 after
the C's, as ESPN has been calling them, destroyed
the Lakers 99-81 in the Fleet Center. But this
series will be decided on which town has the
better food: Philly cheesesteaks vs. New England
clam chowder. I'll take a good bowl of chowda'
Vlade Divac said
the Jazz were finished before game two. Whoops
- the Jazz won 93-86. However, what Vlade meant
to say was the Jazz were done after game two.
With John Stockton and Karl Malone's average
age reaching the average number of wives per
Utah male, it was amazing they even finished
the 82 regular-season games. Utah is done in
With The Admiral
out for game three, the series tied at one,
and the teams heading to Seattle, do I smell
an upset? No. Tim Duncan is still the second-best
player in the league, behind Shaq, and he will
carry the Spurs into the second round. This
just gives the Sonics a chance to run the series
to five games.
With the best
record in the East, it would be hard to pick
against the Nets. Plus, they drafted Phoenix
native and former UA star Richard Jefferson,
who finished second in the Rookie of the Year
voting (with only three votes). You have to
be rooting for Jersey.
It's the series
that no one really cares about, not even the
people in Orlando and Charlotte. I'll have to
take the Hornets. Wouldn't it be great to see
them go deep into the playoffs and then jet
for New Orleans next season?
With the Patriots
coming off their surprising Super Bowl win,
the Red Sox in first place and the Bruins battling
in the NHL playoffs, how can you pick against
Beantown? Not only will the Celts win this series,
but you can also expect to see them in Los Angeles
for game one of the NBA Finals. Lakers vs. Celtics
- that has a nice to it.
Led by C-Webb
and former UA star Mike Bibby, the Kings are
probably the best team top-to-bottom in the
playoffs. However, Malone and Stockton have
been bringing their dirty style of play to the
playoffs for years. Even with top newcomer Andrei
Kirilenko, the Jazz are still lacking the X
factor created by the ultimate pasty gangsta,
These are two
teams that have been so close and so far throughout
the past several years. The Sonics have Gary
Payton and Vin Baker. The Spurs have Tim Duncan
and David Robinson. The Lakers have Shaq and
Kobe. I'm not a basketball expert (I just play
one in this fish wrap), or a big fan of the
purple and gold, but I'lll go with a proven
Who cares? Lakers will beat either
Jason Kidd was
the league's MVP this season, but he could never
get past the first round in Phoenix. Jermaine
O' Neal dropped 30 on the Nets in game one,
but he is inexperienced. While many Wildcat
fans might want to root for the Nets because
of star rookie forward Richard Jefferson, you
must also remember that head coach Byron Scott
played at ASU.
The Hornets are
so bad Charlotte has dismissed them to New Orleans,
which might be a good thing. I mean, take your
pick: Mardi Gras or NASCAR. With T-Mac's return,
the Magic will make this more of a joke than
the upcoming Daily Wildcat Trivial Pursuit tournament.
Orlando will win the next two games big, and
the Design desk will win big on Friday.
Led by Paul Pierce,
the most underrated player in the NBA, the Celtics
have more than enough to get past the 76ers.
While Boston has enough to beat the lowly Sixers;
time will only tell if they can bring Beantown
their second professional sports championship
of the year. But what do I know? I've spent
the last week playing Tiger Woods 2002 for Playstation