2014 NBA Playoff Predictions

Here’s my playoff picks. To be honest, my original prediction for the finals at the beginning of the season was Miami-Houston. Looking at the first round matchups and potential matchups in later rounds, I’m going to change my West pick to another Texas team, the Spurs.

Western Conference thoughts:

I’ve got to go with the Spurs coming out of the West again. Gregg Popovich has done a fantastic job with his team this season and would be very surprising if he did not win coach of the year.

The Spurs were the best team in one of the toughest Western Conference’s in recent years and have the talent, experience and rest to get there again. Getting 30 wins on the road isn’t too shabby either. The biggest hurdle for the Spurs though, might be the potential second round opponent with whom they have lost the season series 4-0 to and is also my dark horse to win it all, the Rockets.

The whole Asik drama seems to have died down, at least for the remainder of this season and I still think the Rockets are going to be a matchup problem for a lot of teams, particularly the Spurs.

Not moving Asik might cost the Rockets down the stretch since they simply don’t have the depth to beat a lot of teams. But they do still have enough talent to win and will need to rely on starters playing heavy minutes in order to have a chance. They’re still one of the best rebounding teams and one of the best offensively, so you can’t count them out.

There’s going to be a lot of really great matchups in the West and potential for an upset, particularly in the Thunder-Grizzlies matchup as well as the Clippers-Warriors one.

Eastern Conference thoughts:

Looking at the East, if the Heat continue to struggle like they have in the last month or so, it’s difficult to see them even getting to the finals. But considering Indiana, the best team in the East has also struggled as of late, they might make it by default if the Pacers get knocked out early.

The Bulls and Nets have had the Heat’s number all season long, but I don’t think that will be the case in the playoffs if they end up facing each other. I think LeBron and company are simply too good of a team to lose a seven-game series (with home court advantage) to anyone in the East except for the Pacers.

Dark horse pick in the East would be the Bulls. Like mentioned, they have been able to beat the Heat a couple of times this season and they’ve also got a couple of wins against the Pacers. It’s a long shot, but if anyone in the East aside from the Pacers are going to take out the Heat, I think it’ll be the Bulls.

Again, there’s some potential for upsets here if Brooklyn beating Toronto is considered one. In fact, perhaps Toronto winning against Brooklyn is the real upset considering all of their experience and of course, that’s the matchup that the Nets wanted. Second round, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bulls beat the Pacers in a seven-game series either.

First Round:
1. Pacers vs 8. Hawks. Pacers in 5.
2. Heat vs 7. Bobcats. Heat in 5.
3. Raptors vs 6. Nets. Raptors in 7.
4. Bulls vs 5. Wizards. Bulls in 6.

1. Spurs vs 8. Mavericks. Spurs in 5.
2. Thunder vs 7. Grizzlies. Thunder in 7.
3. Clippers vs 6. Warriors. Clippers in 7.
4. Rockets vs 5. Blazers. Rockets in 5.

Second Round:
1. Pacers vs 4. Bulls. Pacers in 7.
2. Heat vs 3. Raptors. Heat in 4.

1. Spurs vs 4. Rockets. Spurs in 6.
2. Thunder vs 3. Clippers. Thunder in 7.

Conference Finals:
1. Pacers vs 2. Heat. Heat in 6.
1. Spurs vs 2. Thunder. Spurs in 6.

NBA Finals:
1. Spurs vs 2. Heat. Spurs in 7.

Masai Ujiri first trade as Raptors GM- An overwhelming Success

bargs3

Deep breath. The wait is finally over. Andrea Bargnani, one of the major setbacks of the Bryan Colangelo era has finally been dealt to a new team.

Hard to imagine, given that just a few months ago, Bargnani’s trade value had plummeted to rock bottom. It could literally not get any lower than it was. Or so we thought…

However, somehow, some way, Masai Ujiri made it work, and got rid of the player that Raptor fans wanted out of Toronto.

Lots of credit needs to be given to Ujiri for this move. Not only did he move Bargnani without taking back any massive contracts in return (such as the rumoured Carlos Boozer deal at this past year’s trade deadline), but also managed to steal three draft picks from the Knicks in the process. Well done Mr. Ujiri.

Now, on the surface it looks as if the Raptors did take back some decent sized contracts in Novak, Camby and Richardson.

However, only one year of Richardson is guaranteed, and the Raptors have the option to buyout Camby for much less than his contract is actually worth. Since he’s also at the point of his career where he wants to play for a contender, it’s more than likely that he would welcome some sort of buyout. So, really, it was a Bargnani for Novak and picks trade, which is still a great deal for the Raptors.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write something positive about the Raptors. But, this is definitely a big positive for a team looking to completely change the identity of the team.

Now with the former General Manager Bryan Colangelo gone, and his former right hand man Bargnani out of Toronto for good, the team is finally given itself a new identity in less than a month.

If this is what we can come to expect with the Masai Ujiri era in Toronto, then we’re all in for a treat. I hope that Ujiri has what it takes to continue to make trades like this, because this certainly shouldn’t be the last major trade that he makes this offseason, if you know what I mean.

One down, many more to go (hopefully).

2013 NBA Draft Recap

bennett

First off, what a crazy draft! It’s too bad that the drafts weren’t always this unpredictable. But, I must say, that this was probably one of the more entertaining drafts that I’ve seen in a long time, maybe ever.

For a draft that lacked star talent, it sure made up for it in craziness.

Sorry I wasn’t able to put out a second mock draft in time. But in all honesty, it wouldn’t have been much different than the first. Anyways, here are some my thoughts on this year’s draft.

Best Picks:

3rd- Otto Porter. Probably one of the more well-rounded players of the class, and he’s only 20 years old. Porter improved a ton from his freshman season, which only helps add to why this was a good pick for the Wizards.

Now, Wizards fans probably have a lot to be happy about now, regarding the future of their team. With a core of Wall, Beal, and Porter, they have something going there. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Wizards make a run for the playoffs next year. Really like the core that the Wizards have going here. They just need to add a young big man and this might be a team to watch for in a couple of seasons. It’s quite possible that Porter ends up being the best player from this class when it’s all said and done.

6th- Nerlens Noel. It would have been really interesting to see a future of Noel-Davis in New Orleans. But at 6th overall (via Jrue Holiday trade), Noel is a good pick no matter who takes him. The Sixers made a good trade to get him, and were even able to keep their 11th overall pick in order to take Michael Carter-Williams.

On the whole, not just with this pick, I feel that the Sixers made good moves to solidify their rebuild status in a loaded 2014 draft. Good for them for realizing that the team they had was really not headed anywhere, so they blew it up without wasting any more time.

7th- Ben McLemore. He was rumoured to be a top pick for quite a while. So, for the Kings to get him at 7th overall, I think that is great value. With Tyreke Evans potentially on his way out, McLemore may get his shot at a starting role right away.

Questions about McLemore’s assertiveness or passion still remain, but his upside is worth the risk. Especially in a draft where there really are no “sure things” and at 7th the risk is very minimal, if any.

9th- Trey Burke. Was rumoured to potentially go as high as 2nd to the Orlando Magic because of their need for a PG. However, teams decided not to take any point guard until the 9th pick.

Now, with no competition in the way of the starting job, Burke should be able to come in and contribute right from the start of the season. It’s hard to imagine that anyone else except for Burke will be the starter for the Jazz at point for next season.

For that reason, he’s my early pick to win the Rookie of the Year award next season as of now.

12th- Steven Adams. The Thunder got a big man that they can develop, and also has the potential to be a good NBA player. The Thunder have lacked an interior presence for some time, so if Adams develops, they may have the guy that they’ve been waiting for.

The question will be though, is how long will it take to develop the young big man? The Thunder are obviously ready to contend for championships right now. So, Adams will need to develop as soon as possible to help them out with that.

But, as long as the Thunder have Perkins and Ibaka, they should be fine with giving Adams limited minutes to start.

25th- Reggie Bullock. Was one of the best, if not the best three-point shooters in the NCAA last season. So, the Clippers got a wing who can defend and hit the three with consistency. Something that will be useful for Chris Paul, who looks like will resign with the Clippers.

Considering the lack of depth at the position, and the fact that Crawford is a much better 6th man than starter, it wouldn’t surprise me if Bullock eventually becomes a starter at some point. Maybe even as early as next season.

29th- Archie Goodwin. Was a highly rated prospect from the 2012 high school class. However, after a pretty mediocre year at Kentucky, his stock plummeted and almost took him out of the first round. He’s not much of a shooter, but his athleticism and ability to get to the rim could make him a very useful player.

Despite his mediocre lone season at Kentucky, I still believe that Goodwin has the potential to be a really good NBA player. The fact that the Suns (via Golden State and Oklahoma City) were able to snag him at 29 is great value.

If the Suns are patient with Goodwin, this could turn out to be a really good pick for them. Since the Suns seem to be in a rebuild mode anyways, I don’t see how he won’t get an opportunity to develop over the next few years. So, he will be an interesting player to keep an eye on.

Least Favourite Picks:

1st- Anthony Bennett. Sorry Anthony. I always like to support the Canadian players, but I have to honestly say that I didn’t really understand this pick. In my opinion, it was not only a reach, but a pick which also doesn’t fill a position of need for the Cavaliers.

I can’t see Bennett being a SF in the NBA, and with them already having Tristan Thompson on the roster playing the same position and who has shown great improvements last season, it doesn’t make sense. Thompson looks like he can hold down the PF position long-term.

That’s not a knock on Bennett that he’s not deserving of number one, it’s just that I don’t believe that he fits with the Cavaliers roster specifically right now.

I do believe that he can still go on to have a great NBA career and be a solid player, but as of right now, I don’t see how that happens with the Cavs. Unless the Cavaliers have plans to make major trades before the season, I still say that Porter, Len or Noel would have been a better fit for this team.

4th- Cody Zeller. It’s obvious that the Bobcats need a better inside presence. But, I do not like this pick at all. The Bobcats need to draft for potential right now, and I think they made a mistake my passing on the potential of both McLemore and Noel who not only fill a position of need, but also arguably have the highest ceilings in the draft.

Zeller, despite his athleticism, doesn’t have the same upside as either player I just mentioned. This was really just a “safe” pick, a player that should make an immediate impact for the Bobcats, however, he’s likely not a player that will turn into an all-star in the future, which was something that the Bobcats needed to take a chance on.

5th- Alex Len. I know, considering that the Cavaliers almost took him first overall, it would seem like the Suns got a steal at fifth. However, I wasn’t really a fan of this pick either, for the exact same reasons as the Charlotte pick.

Obviously being the pick directly after Charlotte, Noel and McLemore were still on the board and in my opinion were both better picks for this team. Again, scouts are saying that Len has one of the highest upsides in the draft; the long-term upside of both Noel and McLemore is probably greater than the upside of Len.

McLemore would have been a good fit with the up tempo style that the Suns play, but, if the Suns wanted a centre, I think they would have been better off with Noel.

Potential Second Round Steals:

Allen Crabbe
Tony Mitchell
Jamaal Franklin
Mike Muscala
Peyton Siva

2013 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Kentucky

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Nerlens Noel

2. Orlando Magic
Trey Burke

3. Washington Wizards
Otto Porter

4. Charlotte Bobcats
Ben McLemore

5. Phoenix Suns
Victor Oladipo

6. New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Bennett

7. Sacramento Kings
Michael Carter-Williams

8. Detroit Pistons
Shabazz Muhammad

9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Alex Len

10. Portland Trailblazers
C.J. McCollum

11. Philadelphia 76ers
Cody Zeller

12. Oklahoma City Thunder
Steven Adams

13. Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Schroeder

14. Utah Jazz
Shane Larkin

15. Milwaukee Bucks
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

16. Boston Celtics
Kelly Olynyk

17. Atlanta Hawks
Jamaal Franklin

18. Atlanta Hawks
Mason Plumlee

19. Cleveland Cavaliers
Rudy Gobert

20. Chicago Bulls
Gorgui Dieng

21. Utah Jazz
Tim Hardaway Jr.

22. Brooklyn Nets
Giannis Adetokoubo

23. Indiana Pacers
Allen Crabbe

24. New York Knicks
Lucas Nogueira

25. L.A. Clippers
Sergey Karasev

26. Minnesota Timberwolves
Tony Mitchell

27. Denver Nuggets
Isaiah Canaan

28. San Antonio Spurs
Reggie Bullock

29. Oklahoma City Thunder
Archie Goodwin

30. Phoenix Suns
Jeff Whithey

Masai Ujiri – The New Man in Charge

RAPTORS MASAI UJIRI

Well, after a couple weeks of rumours, and back and forth negotiation, the Raptors finally got their new man in charge of basketball operations. The guy that the supposed “search firm” had pointed out as the best choice to fill the position, and the first choice by new MLSE President Tim Leiweke.

Obviously by now it’s no secret that Masai Ujiri will be the new Raptors General Manager, having signed a five year deal worth about $15 Million. Now, it is definitely exciting to lure the former executive of the year award winner from this past season. However, for those who don’t quite remember, Colangelo had won an executive of the year award before coming to Toronto. He then won another executive award as a member of the Raptors. Now, look how that turned out.

Being the executive of the year on a former team, and your current team for that matter means nothing unless you can continue to carry on those results into the future. Unfortunately for Colangelo, his two awards didn’t help him out with the Raptors team.

Not to jinx it, but the last thing that the Raptors need is Colangelo 2.0 of all hype, and no results to show for it. But the similarities between the two are very much the same.

From a team that only saw regular season success, a team who had no “superstar” player to build around (after Melo left), to a team that really didn’t play much defense. The Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns of the Colangelo/Ujiri eras have some striking similarities. The two teams are almost identical if you ask me.

Coming in to the Raptors organization though, one thing is for certain. That after winning such a prestigious award and having given a huge raise, Ujiri will face some high expectations. Again, just like Colangelo when he became the GM of the Raptors.

To be fair, I’m not going to doubt the Ujiri era already. I’m willing to give anyone a chance. Just like many other Raptor fans, I’m happy to see someone else making the front office decisions from now on. However, I think it’s fair to have some cautious optimism given that us Raptor fans have been through this before.

Moving on, here are some things that I’d like to see from the new Raptors management moving forward.

1. Get rid of Andrea Bargnani. First and foremost. Do just about whatever it takes to get rid of him without taking back another bad salary in return. Amnesty him if you must. But, Bargnani needs to go, and there’s no other way around it. It’s a shame that they had to wait until the point where he has virtually no value left, but at this point, amnesty may be the best option to prevent taking back something even worse.

Even if the Raptors are going to tank next season, for the sake of all of us fans, please get rid of him as soon as possible.

2. Try to get a first round pick. Either this year or next year, or both. The Raptors need to find a way to get involved on draft night, and any first round pick will help build for the future.

This draft may not be good for a “star” player, but you’re always going to find good players in every draft. A few late first round picks in particular that I like right now are Archie Goodwin, Reggie Bullock, and Myck Kabongo. Not projected to be star players, but players that I think have the potential go on to have good careers. All three should be available either in the late first round, or early second round.

It should be easy to come by, assuming that the team is set on moving towards another rebuild. There are players on the roster who probably will bring back a first round pick in return, so that will be my next point here.

3. Trade DeRozan, Gay, Lowry. Obviously, it’ll be hard given the massive salary of Gay, and the recent extension to DeRozan. However, I think that there are teams out there who would be willing to take on at least one of these players.

Dallas in particular, who also happens to have a first round pick available. Being a Mavs fan as well, I don’t necessarily want them to give up a 13th pick for these guys. However, I see it as a very realistic option if they strike out in free agency. With their point guard situation very weak right now, you can bet that they’ll have their eye on Lowry this summer if and when he becomes available.

This will also free up roster space in order to let Ross be the starting SG for the forseeable future.

4. Try and snag a young player with potential, like Thomas Robinson. The Rockets are desperate to create more cap room to spend on free agents. So, it would make sense to try and take advantage of that, and even come away with a talented young player in return.

One offer that I’ve come up with, that I think works for both teams is a one-for-one deal of Kyle Lowry for Thomas Robinson. The Rockets simply decline Lowry’s team option, while getting rid of Robinson’s $3.5 Million salary next season and costs them nothing. The Raptors get a former 5th overall pick with the potential to be a good player down the road, which is perfect if they choose to take the rebuild direction. I really like this idea, and hope that it’s something that Ujiri has in mind.

5. Tank away for the next couple of seasons. The Raptors need an infusion of star talent. As any basketball fan knows, the 2014 draft is likely the best chance right now for the team to add a player of that calibre.

Anyone who thinks that this team is “close” to something, well, I guess you’re sort of right. If the end goal you’re striving for the same as Colangelo’s was. Which was to simply to get to the playoffs with years of mediocrity and first round playoff exits. But, the team needs to strive for more than that.

As Leiweke himself has said, he intends on doing more than simply making the playoffs. He intends on building a team that can compete for championships in Toronto. That’s not going to happen with this roster as is.

2013 Raptors Season Recap

jonas

As I did last year for the 2011-2012 NBA season, here are my thoughts on the 2012-2013 season as it is set to conclude.

All in all, it was a pretty disappointing year for the Raptors. I was pretty optimistic that with the team’s offseason moves that they could finally make a push for the playoffs. Not that I agreed with that direction, or that it was the right decision to begin with, but I did feel as though the team had improved enough to potentially get there this season.

However, those playoff aspirations were all but over after an unexpected 4-19 start to the season. Although, for what it’s worth, there still looks to be some bright spots for the team’s future, one of them being Jonas Valanciunas.

My 5 Likes for the 2012-2013 Raptors season:

1. Jonas Valanciunas. I admit, I was critical of Valanciunas when he was drafted because I felt the team was better off with a point guard. However, I’ll gladly eat my words with this one.

Right off the bat, Jonas became the starting center for the Raptors and looked very impressive for a rookie. Often times, it was Jonas who actually looked like the best player on the court for the Raptors. Which is why it’s still a mystery to many, including myself, as to why coach Casey didn’t play the rookie during the fourth quarter of games when he clearly should have.

Even when Jonas wasn’t in foul trouble, Casey opted for a front court lineup of Bargnani and Johnson to close out games versus Johnson and Valanciunas. However, that should change soon as he gains trust from the coaching staff moving forward.

While we won’t really know who the best player to pick from the 2011 draft will be for at least a few more years, Jonas is proving to be a really nice pick. He’s still learning, but the potential, and work ethic is clearly there to become a special player.

2. Owed pick to Oklahoma City is now out of the way. Well, technically it’s not official just yet, as we’ve yet to see the draft lottery results. But, given that the Raptors currently sit at the 12th pick going into the lottery, it’s very unlikely that they end up moving all the way up to the top three.

So, with that said, at least the Raptors can blow up the team and go all-in for an Andrew Wiggins tank next season. If they decide to do that, which I sure hope they do.

3. Improved defense? Well, according to a report, the Raptors starting five is amongst the top in the league defensively. This definitely came as a surprise to me. Aside from Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors don’t have that many players in the starting lineup who excel on the defensive end.

One thing I might add though is that I can only imagine how much better the starting unit would be defensively if Landry Fields was starting in place of DeMar DeRozan. In my opinion, it would work for a couple of reasons. One being that the defense would improve since Fields is a much better defender and rebounder than DeRozan. Secondly, I think that DeRozan has the ability to become a very good player in a sixth man type role which in turn would help out the second unit.

4. Ed Davis. Finally got his chance to start. It was clear during his short stint as a starter (to me at least) that he is more than capable of being an everyday starter in this league. The Bargnani injury finally gave Davis the opportunity to not only prove that he deserved that spot all along, but also proved how much of a better fit he was at the position than the guy who he had lost that spot to for his entire career, Andrea Bargnani.

However, obviously it doesn’t matter much now anyways. Unfortunately the Raptors Colangelo traded him away for to get “his guy” Rudy Gay. Whenever Davis does get his chance again to start, whether it’s in Memphis or on another team, I think he will continue to prove that. Simply put, I don’t think that trading him away was a good idea.

5. Colangelo is demoted. After much speculation surrounding Tim Leiweke and Phil Jackson, it is official that the Colangelo era is finally over. Now, it’s pretty clear that Phil Jackson won’t be joining the Raptors front office; however, it’s good that MLSE has finally decided that a front office change is needed.

After all we’ve been through (seven years of mediocrity, and really nothing close to what he did with the Suns in Phoenix), it’s probably best for the team to move on from Colangelo, and try something new.

Now, I will admit, the Suns were one of the more exciting teams to watch way back then, but it was obvious they were never going to win a championship playing the run and gun style. I’d always rather watch a boring team that has a chance of winning, rather than an exciting one that looks good losing.

My 5 Dislikes for the 2012-2013 Raptors season:

1. Dwane Casey’s coaching strategies and rotations.
After his first season as head coach, and the impact he had on the team, it looked like Dwane Casey was the Raptors saviour.

However, I am starting to question his coaching abilities this season. He often seemed to be out-couched by the opposing team, often matching them as opposed to making opponents pay with mismatches in their favour. These situations became clear in games where the Raptors simply could not hold leads in the fourth quarter because of matching instead of using advantages.

Another unusual situation in my opinion was when he would constantly sit rookie Jonas Valanciunas in the fourth quarter of games, despite playing great, and rarely utilizing Ross for the wing defense and perimeter shooting which he was supposed to bring in right away.

Another key to note about the team was that they really were nothing close to the level of intensity or defense of the previous season. I’m not sure if it’s simply a new strategy, or if the 29 other teams simply came into 2012-2013 more prepared than the Raptors.

But here’s another theory about that. Maybe the Raptors looked so good defensively because Andrea played less than half of last season…coincidence? Probably not, but that brings me to my next point.

2. Andrea Bargnani. Surprise!(not). Came nowhere close to his now famous “13-game stretch” of last season. Whatever Andrea did last season, he clearly did not do coming into this year.

Although it really shouldn’t surprise anyone as to why he played so poorly. If you remember from the pre season, Andrea was out of shape from taking the entire summer off. Looking at him struggle this season, not just with shooting consistency but simply lack of effort, you have to agree by now that Andrea has overstayed his welcome in Toronto. So, for the sake of every Raptor fan left, let’s get rid of him now, please.

So, yes Andrea’s performance this season was a huge disappointment. But what I find equally disappointing is the reluctance to trade him, despite apparent opportunities to do so at the trade deadline.

3. Andre Drummond. Take a look at how he’s impacting the Detroit Pistons. It still bothers me that the team took positional need over potential. All questions surrounding Drummond look to be answered as of now, and, there is little speculation, if any that Drummond looks like a legitimate NBA center.

I had wanted Drummond since I saw him at UConn. However, because of the team getting too many wins, which consequently led to getting a lower pick, I just didn’t think that it was possible. I never expected that he would fall all the way to us at 8th, given that he had been the second pick, next to only Anthony Davis for quite a long time.

With Drummond, Valanciunas and a high pick next season in the 2014 draft, the Raptors would have had a very promising future to build around.

4. No first round pick this season. It’s not official just yet, but there is a pretty good chance that the Raptors give their first round pick to the Thunder (via Rockets trade) this year.

Now, I said at the beginning of the year that the Raptors giving up a late lottery pick for Kyle Lowry was a good move. I also thought that the Raptors would be a borderline playoff team. However, make no mistake about it, the Raptors trying to make the playoffs was a bad move. Now, as a non-playoff team, not having a lottery pick to look forward to this offseason is definitely not a good feeling.

As I mentioned previously, it’s definitely a good thing that the pick is given up this season, versus next season or beyond.

5. Confusion. With Colangelo being demoted to a non-basketball role, which guarantees a new person will take charge of the Raptors, it still remains a question as to what direction Mr. Leieke will take with the team.

Given the very little flexibility of the Raptors in its present state, it’s tough to say how or even where they even start clean up the mess left by Colangelo.

If there is a positive in this though, it’s that here are some pieces that can be moved, and some that may even bring back first round picks. However, I have no idea if this will be a quick rebuild, or simply tear it down and start over. I’m really hoping for the latter.

But, does MLSE have the patience to go through another rebuild, even though that’s clearly the best option for this team moving forward?

2013 NBA Playoff Bracket

2013playoffs

Eastern Conference

First Round:
1. Miami vs 8. Milwaukee
2. New York vs 7. Boston
3. Indiana vs 6. Atlanta
4. Brooklyn vs 5. Chicago

Second Round:
1. Miami vs 5. Chicago
2. New York vs 3. Indiana

Conference Finals:
1. Miami vs 3. Indiana

Western Conference
1. Oklahoma City vs 8. Houston
2. San Antonio vs 7. L.A.L.
3. Denver vs 6. Golden State
4. L.A.C. vs 5. Memphis

Second Round:
1. Oklahoma City vs 4. L.A.C.
2. San Antonio vs 3. Denver

Conference Finals:
1. Oklahoma City vs 3. Denver

NBA Finals:
1. Miami vs 1. Oklahoma City

NBA Champs: Miami Heat