With the NBA finals underway, I thought it would be a good time to look back at my picks for the playoffs and see how my prognostication skills stacked up. For starters, I didn’t have Miami or Dallas in the finals, so that was a big swing and a miss. But I think I built up enough bonus points in the early rounds to still come out with some respectability.
Round 1 East winners: Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Hawks.
My picks: Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Hawks.
Analysis: Bam! Four-for-four, baby. Really only the Orlando-Atlanta series was dicey, but I just had a feeling the Magic was falling apart a little as the season wound down.
Round 1 West winners: Dallas, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Memphis
My picks: Portland, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Memphis
Analysis: I did indeed nail the 1-8 upset with the Grizzlies over the Spurs, but somehow I have a feeling I missed pretty bad on Dallas. Just a hunch.
Round 2 East winners: Miami, Chicago
My picks: Boston, Chicago
Analysis: Chicago was an easy enough pick, but I had no idea Boston would run out of gas that quickly.
Round 2 West winners: Dallas, Oklahoma City
My picks: Los Angeles, Oklahoma City
Analysis: Another big miss on the Lakers. But I dare anyone to say they predicted L.A. would be swept out in the second round.
East finals winner: Miami
My pick: Chicago
Analysis: Why is it that Russel Westbrook and Derek Rose turned in about the same type of performance, but Westbrook was slammed and Rose came out pretty much unscathed in the media?
West finals winner: Dallas
My pick: Los Angeles
Analysis: I predicted the Thunder would be exposed as being not quite ready to make the leap. The logic was right, but the team that exposed them was different.
Finals winner: Dallas or Miami
My pick: Los Angeles
Analysis: I really thought the Lakers had one last run in them, especially based on how well they played down the stretch. Alas, it’ll be some other team that wins.
In the end, I went 9 out of 15 in series picks. Not too shabby. Now about the finals. After rampaging through Boston and Chicago, am I the only one who’s starting to think that Miami is becoming a juggernaut? They hassled and harrassed all of Dallas’ shooters last night. And while Dirk went for 27, he never really looked comfortable. Unlike against the Thunder, where Dirk pretty much had all day to face up his defender and decide what he was going to do, the Heat swarmed the German at every catch. His shots looked rushed. At one point, I thought to myself, “Too bad he didn’t miss like that against OKC.” A few seconds later, Jeff Van Gundy made a quip about how Oklahoma City fans probably wished Dirk had missed some shots. I don’t think the Dirk disruption is a case of Miami having better personnel than Oklahoma City to defend him. To me, it looked like better coaching. The Heat have decided they’re not going to wait around and see if Dirk can beat someone one-on-one. I think the Thunder showed how well that works. The swarm tactic worked in game one. We’ll see how Dallas responds Thursday. But after last night, I’m getting a feeling NBA fans may have to get used to seeing the Heat in this position.
Beer news and links:
-McNellie’s OKC will host a Firkin Friday this week featuring a special offering from Mustang Brewing: Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. The keg will be tapped at 6 p.m.
-Marshall Brewing made an appearance on TV recently.
-Tapwerks will host a fundraiser Sunday to assist tornado victims in Oklahoma and Missouri. There will be live music and free food and all tips and donations from that night will go to the Red Cross of Oklahoma and the Joplin Missouri Disaster fund. The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. in the upstairs bar.
-Also in Tapwerks news, they recently added Choc’s Summer Blonde Ale to the tap list, and have a mere eight bottles (maybe less by now) of Redbud Brewing’s Cuvee Two in stock.
-If you’re a beer fan and a Disney fan, like me, then you’ll know what drinking around the world is all about. Here’s a write-up from a blogger who chronicled half of the journey.