2012 NBA Playoffs Begin Saturday
Start your engines and rev ‘em up. The 2012 NBA Playoffs kick off this Saturday, April 28.
This year, be prepared for the unexpected. The first round will certainly have some bracket busters.
The top title contenders in 2012 are the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. Each team has an MVP-caliber player and exceptional coaching, as well as the hunger and ability to win. It will be a fight to the finish.
Miami – MVP candidate LeBron James, alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, were all expected to walk away with the title this season. Hopefully, they’re all used to the expectations and pressure by now. The only question will be whether James is ready to lead them there, especially down the stretch.
Chicago – Reigning MVP Derrick Rose is still recovering from back and groin injuries, but his team hasn’t seemed to notice. The Bulls have continued to put up points and earn dominant victories, even in the midst of Rose sitting on the bench. With the best record in the league this year, the Bulls will have home-court advantage throughout the entire 2012 playoffs.
Oklahoma City – Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have a lot to prove to the world this season. Especially after Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) recently cold clocked James Harden with an elbow; they’ll both be licking their chops for an opportunity to shut down the Lakers (or whoever else) stands in their way. The Thunder may be the most dangerous match-up this postseason.
Los Angeles – Kobe Bryant is hungry for his sixth ring, but they got swept in the second round of last year’s playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks. He better bring it this time around or the Lakers will be phased out early.
San Antonio – Even as the top seed in the Western Conference this postseason, it would still shock many basketball analysts if the Spurs were able to go the distance.
Clearly, the teams above have what it takes to win the NBA Championship.
Just as long as they don’t cross paths with the sleeping giants: the Indiana Pacers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Indiana – The Pacers have quietly earned the three seed in the Eastern Conference, knocking off the likes of the Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks in the process. With a lineup that features David West, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert; the Pacers will be tough to keep up with.
Memphis – The Grizzlies are no stranger to postseason success, defeating the top seeded Spurs in six games in the first round of last year’s playoffs. If Rudy Gay comes to play every night, the Grizzlies will be hard to handle.
Who knows? So let the games begin.