Because I can't possibly bring myself to write or even comment on the complete breakdown the Twins displayed tonight I'm going to need to find something else to write about as an outlet for my rage because, let's face it, if Mrs. W goes to the doctor for pain medication after falling down the stairs again some questions are going to be asked. Since I know iff there's one thing everyone in the world cares about it's the NBA Playoffs (which start Saturday), so let's break these matchups down. Not super in depth or anything because I'm actually not all that NBA smart, believe it or not, and I don't know much but I know I love you and that may be all I need to know.
#1 Chicago Bulls vs. #8 Indiana Pacers: First off I'm completely stunned that the Pacers made the playoffs. I had no idea this kind of thing had happened. I thought they simply transformed from the thug life of Stephen Jackson, the craziest son of a bitch in all of sports, and Ron Artest into the blinding whiteness of Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, and Tyler Hansbrough and that was that. But apparently having Darren Collison and Danny Granger, despite the presence of Roy Hibbert, is enough to get you into the NBA Playoffs. Where they will get destroyed by the Bulls. Chicago in 4.
#4 Orlando Magic vs. #5 Atlanta Hawks: This is a total mis-match because there are four good teams in the East, of which Orlando is one of them and Atlanta is not. And who is going to stop Dwight Howard? Al Horford? Please. The Hawks only chance is if Howard does that thing where he just seems not all that interested in dominating and just kind of stands around while Jameer and Redick and Penny chuck up threes all day. Even if that happens, Orlando is probably still the favorite. Magic in five.
#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 Philadelphia 76ers: The Heat are vulnerable for sure, partially because I still think they're going to struggle a bit, alpha dog wise, and LeBron has essentially proven to be the Rory McIlroy of NBA playoffs, but there are a couple reasons that upset won't happen here. The first is Dwayne Wade, who is still the type of player who can single-handedly win a series, and the second reason is that Philly's leading scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker is Elton freaking Brand. Somebody like Jodie Meeks or Lou Williams or even Jrue Holiday could heat up and scare 'em, and that'll probably happen in a game or two, but I don't think the Sixers can really threaten Miami. Heat in five.
#3 Boston Celtics vs. #6 New York Knicks. This is the match-up where I see an upset brewing. Just having playoff basketball at Madison Square Garden is going to give them a huge jolt (don't forget that at its heart New York is a basketball town), Carmelo and Amare are going to get theirs, and the Celtics really haven't been the same since they traded Kendrick Perkins. If the Knicks can get anybody to step up and be their third scorer (Billups or Fields seem the most likely) they will knock off the Celtics. Which is good because I'm really sick of these dorks and Boston fans deserve to have something bad happen to them. Knicks in six (Knicks +300 to win the series is an oustanding value bet).
#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies. Nice to see Memphis in the playoffs, proving that was once an apparent basketball wasteland can revive itself and become a semi-promising playoff team. Of course, they aren't saddled with a regime that didn't hire their new coach before a draft where they had two top picks, then took two point guards with those picks, and then hired a coach who is committed to running an offense that not only doesn't emphasize a point guard but actively ignores the position. Great job, a-holes. Anyway Memphis is probably going to be a little feisty (Zach Randolph is at least 50/50 to start a minor scuffle), but they won't be able to seriously scare San Antonio. Spurs in six.
#4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets. This doesn't feel like a 4/5 matchup - at all. It feels more like a team with no stars taking on a team that is on the verge of becoming a groin grabbingly good team. Denver's best player is probably Ray Felton, who is a nice player and all, but he'd be like the third or fourth wheel on OKC, and thanks to the Perkins trade the Thunder are now perfectly constructed to make a run at the title this year, especially if James Harden plays with his head out of his ass. These guys are only -220 to win this series, when I'm thinking they should be more like -400 or -500. Good bet.
#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #7 New Orleans Hornets. The latest Kobe "controversy" shouldn't matter to the team, just as it shouldn't matter to anybody else because honestly you people are just looking for something to get upset about. If you want to be upset about anything, try dealing with people who try to make small talk all day long. Seriously, if someone at your work is offering free food and you don't really know them, either quickly and quietly grab the food and be on your way or just pass on it all together, don't decide to make chit-chat so you feel better about being a fatty because honestly it just makes my skin crawl when you make me talk to you about absolutely nothing. And this happens all the time. I've got the creepy crawlies going up my back just thinking about it. Lakers in six.
#3 Dallas Mavericks vs. #6 Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers are shaping up to be a pretty popular upset pick because of the matchup (nobody on Dallas can handle Aldridge), and to be honest I took Portland for a little bit because the odds are decent at +180, but I think Dallas takes this one. First of all, as much trouble as the Mavs are going to have with Aldridge, nobody seems to be mentioning how much of a match-up problem Dirk is. Maybe it's because he's always a match-up problem and has been for like 15 years or maybe it's because he seems like such a dork, but he should have an oustanding series. Secondly, one of other big reasons the Blazers are a popular pick is that they've been "rejuvenated" by Gerald Wallace. What? This guy sucks and has simply been putting up good stats on bad teams because nobody who plays gives enough of a shit to guard him because they know his team sucks. Now he's suddenly going to carry a team to a playoff upset? Sorry, but no. Mavs in seven.
It all gets started Monday, and I highly recommend watching. I don't watch much NBA during the season on account of it being stupid, but the playoffs are whole different animal and I'm honestly like a drunken monkey with a fistful of Chuck E. Cheese tokens waiting for it. If you have a chance at any point, check it out, particularly if you used to love the NBA but now hate it. It's very good.