2011 NBA Second Round Playoffs – Predicting the Unpredictable

Update:

1. The Big Three in Miami went up 2-0 over the Big Three of Boston. As the next two games shifted to The Garden in Boston, the Heat took one game there and finished off the Defending Eastern Conference Champions in five games.

2. Dirk Nowitzk, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic and J.J. Barea took on the whole Laker Team in Game 4. And in the end, it was not even close. The Defending Western Conference Champs was swept 4-0. So it’s final no Laker Parade this year.

3. After stealing a game from each other’s home court, the Atlanta Hawks managed to tie their series with the Chicago Bulls at two games apiece. The Bulls went on to win the next two games to seal the deal in six games.

4. The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies went on a grueling battle for seven games, until Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunders blew away the Grizzlies in their final game at home.

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The 2011 NBA Regular Season was ho-hum for the most part. But since the Playoffs started, every fan are now paying attention, as it has slowly but surely turned into one of the more exciting if not the most unpredictable NBA Playoffs in years.

Now, compared to the First Round where Top Two Seeds in the West both lost their opening games at home, the Top Two Seeds who survived to go to the Second Round, once again lost their opening games.

In the East, it was the 4th Seed Atlanta Hawks who was able to pull off a convincing upset of a higher seed. Now, in the Second Round, the same lower seeded Hawks now come face-to-face with the Top Seed. But even though the Hawks played only eight players, they again did the unthinkable. They won big at Chicago.

So like in the First Round, the games of Second Round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs are again must-see.

As far as upsets are concerned so far, there has been seven games where the lower seed have won the first game of their series. And we already saw two of the more dominant teams in the NBA in recent years, one in the West and one in the East out in the First Round — Duncan and the Spurs and Howard and the Magic — a changing of the guards, if not of the centers and the forwards.

Now let’s look at the Match-ups for the Second Round.

In the East

Top Seed Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks

Predictions for this series is that the Bulls can sweep the undermanned Hawks or at most win it all in six games.

Chicago has 2011 Season MVP Derrick Rose and home court advantage.

And an unofficial source said that Rose will win the Most Valuable Player Award for the regular season.

Then game one comes around and the Hawks upset the Bulls, like they did in the first round with the Orlando Magic. And Rose appears to be hurt again.

Battle of the 2nd Seed, Miami Heat vs. the 3rd Seed, Boston Celtics

Predictions for this series are mixed and almost everyone is expecting it to be close and to go the full seven games.

Boston is the defending Eastern Conference Champion but Miami has the new Big Three in the East.

Miami being the second seed, surprisingly has home court advantage and is slightly favored.

But with Miami winning as convincingly as it did in game one of the second round, many NBA fans are still surprised, especially the Celtics fans.

In the West

4th Seed Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 8th Seed and 1st Seed Slayer Memphis Grizzlies

Predictions for this series is mostly that it is going to the higher seed. But it might be a long and hard fought battle.

But apparently somebody forgot to tell the Grizzlies as they again took the home court advantage away from their higher seed opponent in their own home court. Surprise, surprise, the Grizzlies are up 1-0.

Battle of the 2nd and 3rd Seed, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks

Unlike a similar battle of the same seeds in the East, predictions for the Western Conference counterpart is overwhelmingly for the defending Western Conference Champion and Two time Defending NBA Champions, the LA Lakers. And it was expected to be over in six, even five games.

LA has Kobe and the Mavs has Dirk, both of the best closers in the league, but the Mavericks has historically not been that successful over the Lakers in recent years.

Well we can throw out the statistics, because it did not happen in game one and not in LA as Dirk and the rest of the team took the home court advantage away from the Lakers.

So after all the first games of the second round, who are you choosing?

And do you think we might be looking at a Memphis Grizzlies vs. an Atlanta Hawks Finals down the road?