Obviously based on my projected records. One thing is for certain: the title is the Lakers' to lose. They are far and away the most perfectly constructed team in the league. Something would have to go drastically wrong for Phil to not get his 12th ring. Anywho...
1. Miami Heat (62-20)
2. Orlando Magic (60-22)
3. Boston Celtics (56-26)
4. Chicago Bulls (53-29)
5. Atlanta Hawks (54-28)
6. Milwaukee Bucks (52-30)
7. Charlotte Bobcats (40-42)
8. Washington Bullets (39-43)
9. New York Knicks (38-44)
10. Indiana Pacers (38-44)
11. New Jersey Nets (35-47)
12. Philadelphia 76ers (30-52)
13. Detroit Pistons (29-53)
14. Toronto Raptors (23-59)
15. Cleveland Cavaliers (22-60)
(All five Southeast teams made it. Yikes.)
Miami Heat over Washington Bullets 4-0
Orlando Magic over Charlotte Bobcats 4-1
Don't think Charlotte has the same magic as last year, pardon the pun.
Boston Celtics over Milwaukee Bucks 4-3
Jennings vs Rondo will be very interesting. And the Bucks can compete with Boston's depth, and they're younger. A 50-win Bucks team is probably the last matchup Boston wants to see.
Chicago Bulls over Atlanta Hawks 4-2
Derrick Rose averages 30 and 15.
Chicago Bulls over Miami Heat 4-3
Rose and Noah are infinitely better than Miami's counterparts at the 1 and 5. Miami would get more calls than the '06 Finals, though, so this wouldn't ever happen. Still...
Boston Celtics over Orlando Magic 4-2
Pretty easy, unless Dwight really does become an offensive juggernaut.
Boston Celtics over Chicago Bulls 4-3
Remember that opening round series a couple years ago, when Rondo and Rose (and BG) battled for seven games and it was awesome? Me too.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (60-22)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)
3. Dallas Mavericks (58-24)
4. Utah Jazz (55-27)
5. San Antonio Spurs (52-30)
6. Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)
7. Denver Nuggets (47-35)
8. Memphis Grizzlies (45-37)
9. Golden State Warriors (44-38)
10. Houston Rockets (42-40)
11. New Orleans Hornets (42-40)
12. Phoenix Suns (41-41)
13. Sacramento Kings (36-46)
14. Los Angeles Clippers (35-47)
15. Minnesota Timberwolves (24-58)
Los Angeles Lakers over Memphis Grizzlies 4-0
Battle of the Gasols. While that matchup is a lot closer than people realize right now, this wouldn't be a series AT ALL. Though the Grizz do have one of the best starting fives in the league.
Oklahoma City Thunder over Denver Nuggets 4-2
Assuming Denver's roster is intact and healthy, this'll be a good series. Durant vs 'Melo will always be a treat.
Dallas Mavericks over Portland Trail Blazers 4-2
Slow vs fast. If Oden is somehow healthy for the playoffs, watch out. This would be verrrrry interesting.
San Antonio Spurs vs Utah Jazz (7 games)
Utah FINALLY gets to host a playoff series... against a Spurs team that knows this could very well be their final shot at a title. Easily would make for the best series of the first round.
Los Angeles Lakers over Spurs/Jazz 4-3
The Spurs would be a great opponent, and if the Jazz are, in fact, good enough get past San Antonio they would be as well. Lakers still win, but another great series.
Oklahoma City Thunder over Dallas Mavericks 4-2
Dallas is too old to compete with OKC in a seven game series. I think Rodrigue Beaubois will have a big impact for them (if he really is getting an expanded role once he's healthy), but not enough to beat Durant, Westbrook and co.
Los Angeles Lakers over Oklahoma City Thunder 4-3
You want it to happen. I want it to happen. The gods want it to happen. Most importantly, David Stern wants it to happen. Hopefully everyone gets what they want.
Los Angeles Lakers over Boston Celtics 4-3
What a way to send us all off into the lockout. Why will there be a lockout? Because the owners are complaining about losing money and in the same breath giving MIKE CONLEY 45 MILLION DOLLARS. Rajon Rondo "only" got 55.