27 May 2012

2012 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Predictions

The 2012 NBA season has come to its final four as four clubs are still alive in the race to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy by virtue of winning the NBA Finals. But to get to the Finals, two teams have to advance from this round, the conference finals. Who advance and keep their championship dreams alive? Here are the B-Flo 360 predictions for the conference finals.

TV Schedule

(2) Miami Heat vs. (4) Boston Celtics
It seems to me that the clear favorite in this series is the Miami Heat, after all they have the advantage in "youth, depth and health" as Ian Thomsen puts it. But I'm not buying into them and here's why.
First, the questions about Chris Bosh's availability for this series remain as he will definitely miss the first game on Monday night. Even though they were able to put away the Indiana Pacers, the lack of Bosh on the court really made a difference and why I feel without him, the Heat cannot win the title. And against an elite defensive club like that of the Celtics, they will take advantage and force LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to settle for pull-up jumpers.
Second, Rajon Rondo was just a boss in the conference semifinals against Philadelphia, showing an all-world game as well as some semblance of a jumper, something I'd thought I'd never see from him. When Rondo is on, he lifts the whole team up and injects them with some serious energy. He will be tough for Miami to slow down and a key reason of why the Celtics will win this series.
Celtics in six

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder
Now this is a series that I have been going back and forth on since I think both of these clubs are damn good and I could see either winning. Both San Antonio and Oklahoma City are so prolific in scoring the basketball, even in a year when scoring is down across the board. But I really think that San Antonio's dominance over Oklahoma City will continue in this series. The Spurs have owned the Thunder over the past three years, going 8-2 against OKC, including 2-1 without Manu Ginobili. They have smacked the Thunder's defense with their potent pick-and-roll attack which allows Tony Parker to score in bunches. The Spurs have also been electric from downtown as well.
But the most defining stat of this Spurs team is that in their last 31 games, they are 29-2 with one of the losses been with their top three guys all sitting. And in their last thirty games, they have outscored their opponents by around 15 points per 100 possessions. That is incredible stuff.
All the Thunder's young talent will keep them in this series but I think the Spurs will ultimately prevail.
Spurs in six

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