|Bringing the Thunder on the Thunder.|
Ever since STOB came into existence we've done some sort of NBA Playoff Preview/Prediction post. This year Ken and I decided we'd go a different route in making our picks. He is going to make his picks based of the mascots of the teams, and his analysis of which mascot would win in an imaginary fight between mascots.
As for me, I'll be choosing my own personal favorite individual player from each franchise's history and then picking the winner based off of who'd win between the two players in their prime, in a game of 1-1. Unlike March Madness, the NBA Playoffs are usually not as hard to predict, the series allow for the favorites to have an off-night or two. With that, our odd way of picking the games may backfire and make us look like idiots, but A) we're used to it and B) the picks actually turned out pretty good.
Ken’s Picks Based Off Of Team Names –
EAST (First Round)
Heat vs. Bucks –
Hands down the Heat will win. Bucks usually prefer the cooler temperatures of the north. That South Beach Heat will just be too much. But, I don’t think it will be a cake walk. If the Bucks get angry and lower their head, the Heat better watch out. Those antlers can be vicious.
Heat in 5
Knicks vs. Celtics –
This is tough one. One is a ball and the other a vertically challenged leprechaun. Now, it seems natural to pick the one that actually is a person, but that is where you would be wrong. See, the ball plays a huge part in the sport of basketball; hell, it’s in the name. Ugh, back and forth I go. I guess give me the guy with the pot of gold.
Celtics in 6
Pacers vs. Hawks –
This one is easy. The car would smash the bird. The Hawk just isn’t strong enough to swoop and scope a car. Now if it was the Atlanta Pterodactyls, it would be a different story.
Pacers in 4
Nets vs. Bulls –
Alright, on the surface, this one seems like a no brainer. Go with the Bull. BUT, a net could easily slow down a Bull. And, since they don’t have thumbs, they will shake themselves dizzy trying to get out of the net. Although, once that Bull gets out, it will be full of anger and rage. Still, I think they will be too discombobulated to do anything of significance.
Nets in 5
West (First Round)
Thunder vs. Rockets –
I can promise you one thing; this will be the loudest matchup of the bunch. Both can really bring the boom. I’m going to go with my gut here and pick the Thunder. Sure, a rocket can be guided, but what if it’s poorly built? A little rain from the Thunder clouds could soak the fuse and ruin the chances of the Rocket even getting launched.
Thunder in 5
Spurs vs. Lakers –
A body of water vs. a boot spur? Okay, I can work with that. Although both provide a very intriguing weapon, I’m going to have to go with the Lakers. Just think, falling into a Lake with heavy ass cowboy boots on? You aren’t going to be swimming anywhere. You will sink to the bottom.
Lakers in 7
Nuggets vs. Warriors -
I’m not even going to waste my time with this one. No way could a little Nugget beat a Warrior.
Warriors in 4
Clippers vs. Grizzlies -
A Grizzly bear is fierce and can adapt pretty well to different climates. No matter what kind of Clipper comes through, the Grizzly will stand its ground. They are strong, mean and pretty quick for their size. So even if hail is involved, they will sprint to a cave a take shelter for a minute or two until it passes.
Grizzles in 5
Heat vs. Nets -
After taking down a Bull in the first round, the Nets will not get past the Heat. A Net does no good when it comes to containing Heat. If anything, the excessive Heat will melt away the Net. The Heat will overpower any amount of Nets you throw at it. Now if it were fish, this would be a different story.
Heat in 4
Celtics vs. Pacers -
Now this is a great match up. One is filled with luck while the other, gas. Unlike the Hawk, the Celtic will have a better chance of beating the Pacer. All they have to do is hotwire the car and drive off. Easy enough if you ask me.
Celtics in 7
Thunder vs. Grizzlies -
I can’t imagine that the Clipper in the first round didn’t attempt to throw some Thunder at the Grizzly. Look how that turned out. The Grizzly will be a little beat down, but it will be strong enough to handle one more storm.
Grizzles in 7
Lakers vs. Warriors -
The Warrior is full of gear and has all the weapons in the world. But the water, that is whole other animal. Have you ever been in a lake? There are so many different types of fish and trash in there that the Warrior won’t stand a chance. Besides, you can’t really beat up water.
Lakers in 6
East (Conference Final)
Heat vs. Celtics -
Once again, the Heat is too hot to handle. The Celtic will do everything he can, even removing all of his little green clothes, but it won’t be enough. He won’t be able to carry his Pot O’ Gold in the scudding Heat. It’s a shame too. I really wanted to see the little guy dance. Heat in 6.
West (Conference Finals)
Lakers vs. Grizzles -
Ahhh, the so far resilient Grizzly might have met its match. Sure, the Grizzly can swim, but what other damage could it possibly do to a Lake? Take a crap in it? Eat all the fish? It won’t matter. The Lake will stand strong and after facing two storms, the Grizzly will just be too tired to forge ahead.
Lakers in 5
Heat vs. Lakers -
Mother Nature is having an internal struggle here. Water vs. Heat, which will prevail? If I had to guess, I’m going to say the Heat. If you have ever been to Miami, you know the heat can become unbearable. Not only that, the overwhelming Heat will dry up any lake in its path. That’s just the way it works. Sure, it might rain and help the lake out a little, but it will evaporate and just become another mirage.
Heat in 6
Ben's Picks Based of Franchise's Favorite Players Imaginary 1-1 Match ups -
EAST (First Round)
Heat vs. Bucks
1-1 Match up - Dan Majerle (Heat) vs. Michael Redd (Bucks)
Good shooting match up in round one. Unfortunately for Michael Redd, I love Dan Majerle and this is my imaginary world. Dan Majerle has the size advantage over Redd, while Redd has the quickness and handles. Shooting wise, the career numbers for Majerle show 35% shooting from 3, while Redd is at 38%. Nevertheless I go with Majerle in the one-one match up, he is too strong for Redd and backs him in on possessions in which he doesn't just chuck threes from 5 feet behind the line. Majerle (Heat) in 5.
Knicks vs. Celtics
1-1 Match up - John Starks (Knicks) vs. Dee Brown (Celtics)
Great match up here, these two are very athletic and both could shoot it from deep. The difference for me in this match up will be heart. John Starks has a fire, and it's that fire that really will push Starks over Brown in a long series. Starks (Knicks) in 7.
Pacers vs. Hawks
1-1 Match up - Haywoode Workman (Pacers) vs. Mookie Blaylock (Hawks)
Great match up in terms of names. Again positional wise, the match up is perfect again. Blaylock is much more talented offensively though. Workman was more of a distributor, but I loved his name. I loved Blaylock's name too though, and he was more skilled. Blaylock (Hawks) in 6.
Nets vs. Bulls
1-1 Match up - Kerry Kittles (Nets) vs. Jud Buechler (Bulls)
What? You thought I'd go with Jordan? Uh, no, I admittadly was a Pippen guy, but couldn't go with him either...cause Derrick Rose is out...so had to go lower level for the Bulls representative. Nobody says "lower level" like Jud Buechler. Kerry Kittles guards Buechler on the perimeter like a hawk and doesn't allow Jud to get off any outside shots or get to the rim. Kittles gets his offensively. Kittles (Nets) in 6.
WEST (First Round)
Thunder vs. Rockets
1-1 Match up - Shawn Kemp (Sonics/Thunder) vs. Pete Chilcutt (Rockets)
Kemp is good. Pete was a great guy. Kemp (Thunder) in 6.
Spurs vs. Lakers
1-1 Match up - Sean Elliott (Spurs) vs. Sedale Threatt (Lakers)
Sean Elliott was a stud. Threatt really improved throughout his career. Sedale's lack of size is going to be a real detriment in this match up and in the end will seal his fate. Elliott (Spurs) in 7.
Nuggets vs. Warriors
1-1 Match up - Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Nuggets) vs. Tim Hardaway (Warriors)
Another money match up and one I truly wish I could have seen in their prime. Both players are extremely talented offensively, quick, solid shooters, can create for themselves, and more. Who is going to get stops? Gotta go with Hardaway, he was skilled at getting steals and nabs enough to get by Rauf. Hardaway (Warriors) in 7.
Clippers vs. Grizzlies
1-1 Match up - Loy Vaught (Clippers) vs. Bryant Reeves (Grizzlies)
Tough match up for both here. Big Country can take Vaught inside and get whatever he wants. Vaught can use his mid range and then once he gets Reeves to respect it, go right by him with his quickness. Vaught was a strong 6-9 and has enough size to limit Reeves here and there. Vaught (Clippers) in 7.
East Semi-Finals -
Majerle (Heat) vs. Kittles (Nets)
Kittles and his high socks have a good shot at taking out my favorite here, but he is my favorite. I think "Thunder Dan" comes out in this match up. Majerle has 35 lbs and an inch in height on Kittles and was surprisingly good defensively in his day. Kittles puts up a fight, but Thunder Dan move on. Majerle (Heat) in 6.
Starks (Knicks) vs. Blaylock (Hawks)
Mookie comes out firing and is the aggressor early, but again it's Starks with the heart that comes out on top. Starks has all the skills to stay with Mookie and the size when needed to take Mookie to the inside. Starks (Knicks) in 7.
West Semi-Finals -
Kemp (Thunder) vs. Vaught (Clippers)
Size match up again is perfect. It's the athleticism that gives Kemp the edge in this match up. Vaught is no slouch, but Kemp is on another level of...well about anyone. Kemp (Thunder) in 6.
Hardaway (Warriors) vs. Elliott (Spurs)
It's a match up of quickness vs. length and athleticism. Elliott to me may have enough athleticism and length to stay in front of Hardaway. His handle will be challenged by Hardaway, but he'll be able to back him in to spots he wants to get and once there able to get off any shot he wants. Elliott (Spurs) in 7.
East Conference Final -
Majerle (Heat) vs. Starks (Knicks)
Can Dan keep it going? Toughest match up by far. Size again will help Majerle here as well as his perimeter defensive skills. Though Starks is quicker, Majerle will be able to give him some room but still get out with is length to challenge any shots from Starks. Majerle wins again. Majerle (Heat) in 7.
West Conference Final -
Kemp (Thunder) vs. Elliott (Spurs)
Elliott has a tough one here. I don't think anyone wants to take on Shawn Kemp in a match up. Kemp will have to give Elliott some room on the perimeter to avoid getting blown by. Elliott will have to give Kemp a shot to the nuts to avoid getting run over and dunked on inside. Elliott tries to stay in it with deep threes but in the end, the efficiency that Kemp is able to score inside is too much. Kemp (Thunder) in 7.
Majerle (Heat) vs. Kemp (Thunder)
A rematch in terms of franchises, but not so much in terms of 1-1 match ups in Kemp and Majerle. I think it's safe to say, that these two have never matched up for much longer than a quick switch of a pick n roll and honestly I don't think Majerle ran a lot of pick n roll so even that may not have happened. For me this is about who I like more, let's be honest, Majerle isn't a great 1-1 player, but here he is in the Finals. So it's obvious then that Kemp, though more physically gifted, has no chance here. Majerle (Heat) in 6.
Heat still win it all no matter what I guess.