2008 NBA Playoffs Conference Semi-Finals So Far

Just like the first round, the East still doesn’t have anything interesting. All the more entertaining games are in the West where the basketball just feels like it’s on a different level. Three of the four series going on are tied up although I wanted both the Lakers and Hornets to win their respective Game 4’s.

Boston Celtics v. Cleveland Caveliers

I want to know how the hell the Celtics won an NBA-leading 66 games in the regular season. Seriously. They seem completely incapable of winning on the road and they lose to teams that shouldn’t give them so much trouble. And I don’t understand why people say Boston plays great defense. They went to seven games with Atlanta for chrissakes. And they’re scoring so low against Cleveland and they barely got their last win, with James playing horribly. Tonight I even saw a surprising stat – Boston lead the league in wins on the road. Seriously?

I called Boston to go to the finals but Boston just doesn’t look like championship team at all. Sure they have home court advantage the whole way but what are they gonna do? Play 7 games every series? They’re bound to lose one at home. My feeling is that Boston’s performance in the playoffs is a failure by coach Doc Rivers. Plus Boston doesn’t really have that one guy you can’t count on down the stretch, late in the 4th quarter, when the game is on the line.

Really this series can go either way, but even if Boston beats the Cavs, they can’t beat Detroit if Billups is healthy.

Prediction: Cavs in 7. (Result: FAIL – Boston in 7)

Detroit Pistons v. Orlando Magic

Billups was out for Game 4, yet the Pistons managed a 1-point win in a come-from-behind victory against the Magic on their home court. I think the Magic are down for the count. I don’t think Detroit needs Billups for the rest of this series, which I think will end after Game 5. They should rest Billups in anticipation for the next series. Actually they can have Billups play if the team really needs him and if he’s able to, but in a limited manner. If Chauncey Billups is healthy, I think Detroit has the best chance of reaching the finals. If Boston makes it past the Cavs, they’re not going to beat Detroit.

Prediction: Pistons in 5. (Result: Money!)

LA Lakers v. Utah Jazz

I still don’t get how home court gives makes some teams play so differently. It’s the same regulation basketball court, just in a different arena. Is it psychological? Does the cheering (or booing crowd) really have such a large affect? Utah went 37-4 at home this season but I really wanted to see LA win one in Utah. I’d say Fisher and Odom were the MVP’s for the Lakers in Game 4. Fisher with the 3’s and Odom with his own three and that follow-up layup after Kobe’s miss.

This series may well become a hard grind through 7 games if Kobe’s back continues to affect him. He was really missing a lot in the 4th quarter that last game. His drives look rather forced too. But if Kobe’s healthy, I’m predicting LA is going to take Game 5 and then come out really strong in Game 6 in Utah.

Prediction: Lakers in 6. (Result: Money!)

New Orleans Hornets v. San Antonia Spurs

The Hornets played pretty bad in Game 4. There really wasn’t any time where I thought they could get back into it. Spurs were shooting pretty well – the team shot 61% in Game 4. Not much else to say, I only watched about half the game in bits and pieces.

Prediction: Hornets in 7. (Result: FAIL – Spurs in 7)

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