I am very excited about the NBA playoffs, and for one very simple reason...
I went to my first Magic game before they had played a regular season game (it was a pre-season game in Tallahassee.) I've lived through the betrayals of both Shaquille O'Neal and Tracy McGrady. Now we have Superman. Nobody is talking about Orlando, and that is perfect.
Now I have to admit that Boston scares me. I really think Orlando can handle Detroit in the second round, but Boston... I also think Orlando could do well against any team in the West, but Boston... People don't seem to realize that Boston just had a historically good season. If Orlando wasn't so awesome this year, I would be rooting for Boston big time, as Kevin Garnett is one of my all time favorite players to watch.
Back in the West, everybody around here is pissed that Golden State didn't make the playoffs despite having a much better record than most of the teams in the East. It's a good reason to be upset, but Golden State controlled their own destiny. If they would have beaten Denver, at home on April 10, they would almost certainly be in the playoffs and Denver fans would be the ones pissed about the Atlanta Hawks being in the playoffs while their Nuggets were not.
Finally, here are some predictions:
First Round Winners: Boston(4), Detroit(6), Orlando(5), Washington (6)
Second Round Winners: Boston (4), Orlando(7)
Eastern Finals: Orlando (7)
First Round Winners: Lakers (6), Dallas (7), Utah (5), Phoenix (6)
Second Winners: Phoenix (6), Utah (6)
Western Finals: Utah (6)
Utah, like Orlando is much better than people realize. Phoenix traded for Shaq so they can deal with San Antonio and the Lakers, but they won't be able to deal with Utah.
NBA Finals: Orlando over Utah (6)