15 May 2011

2011 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Predictions

Four teams are still standing and all four want a piece of the Larry O'Brien Trophy. But only two clubs will be able to play in the 2011 NBA Finals and they will have to win their respective conference finals. Who will be those fortunate teams? It's time for my NBA Playoffs Conference Finals picks.
Conference Finals TV Schedule

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (2) Miami Heat
Pretty much everyone and their brother is picking the Heat. It's LeBron's year, they say. Nobody is giving the Bulls a chance. Except for this guy. 
The Bulls have the best point guard in the NBA in Derrick Rose and who will guard him for Miami? Mike Bibby? Mario Chalmers? Rose will go to town on those pitiful defenders. Miami could and probably will have Dwayne Wade or James on him but still, Rose, when he's on, cannot be stopped. 
The Bulls also have a rugged interior, which Chris Bosh will struggle with. Bosh is on the softer side for a power forward and likes to drift out to the top of the key for jumpers. He does not defend bangers like Carlos Boozer too well. And Joakim Noah is head and shoulders better than anybody the Bulls play at center, although his defensive prowess is negated by an offensive no-show like Joel Anthony.
I think this will be an extremely competitive series but I think the terrific defense of the Bulls will be even better than the very good defense of Miami.
Chicago in 7
(3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (4) Oklahoma City Thunder
I'm really starting to think that this is the year for the Mavericks to finally get back to the NBA Finals. They showed me that drive, that determination when they cruised by the wayward Lakers. They are so deep and have a handful of guys that can known the threeball with ease. Dirk Nowitzki has taken his game to another level this postseason and when he's cranking, he cannot be stopped.
I still believe the Thunder are a year away. Russell Westbrook has to settle into the role of Scottie Pippen and realize he is not Jordan, but Kevin Durant is. I have not seen Durant hit that next level this postseason to where he will not be denied when he has the ball. The pieces are there, but next season will be their year.
Dallas in 5

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