Let me start with a word that David Mamet claims to have coined:
I don't think any of us expected the #1 seed, but here we are. Someone send flowers to Ron Artest and JR Smith. Or, scratch JR, we'll deliver those in person in the first round. And then a HUGE win on Sunday; I know they didn't have Ginobili, but that second half was a paddlin' like the Spurs took out the school canoe.
Best of all, we got the exact playoff matchup across the board that I was hoping for. Have you seen the bottom half of the bracket? That very easily could've been us playing the Suns first round, Spurs second round. Now? Nuggets->Jazz->Spurs->Celtics, The Laker Championship Ladder. A tall task, but not impossible by any stretch.
So what do you think about these matchups? Let's ignore the East for the first two rounds, although the Wizards-Cavs series should be watchable.
THE KOBE BRACKET
Lakers (1) vs. Nuggets (8)
Frankly the Lakers should sweep, but the Nuggets shoot their way into one win, and the Lakers throw one away on one of those 4-for-17 Kobe nights where no one picks up the slack. Gotta gotta gotta win the first two at home. Game 1 Sunday at Noon. No jinx, Lakers 4-2.
Jazz (4) vs. Rockets (5)
Rockets have home court advantage. They also have someone named Carl Landry getting significant minutes. I'm selfishly rooting for the Rockets, but only if I don't have to watch them play. I do like Deron Williams, but I'll get to enjoy him driving right around Fish for six or so games next round. Jazz 4-1.
THE MANU BRACKET
Hornets (2) vs. Mavs (7)
Did the Lakers do the Hornets a favor in a way by showing them 'playoff intensity' the other day? If that helps them not be shell-shocked in game 1, they win the series. If the blow game 1 to a fired up Mavs team, Mavs win the series. Which, Mavs 4-2.
Spurs (3) vs. Suns (6)
Yee-ha. This oughta be fun. Will Horry be healthy enough to clothesline Steve Nash? I fucking hope so. These teams hate each other, which probably means the Suns will play like bitches and lose when a flop isn't called at some critical moment. ESPN and I certainly wouldn't mind the Lakers getting the Suns in the West finals, but, Spurs 4-3.