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  1. #16
    Cancer Wally450's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gotterdammerung's 2024 NBA Playoffs Picks!

    I wouldn't mind a Baston Dallas Finals.

  2. #17

    Default Re: Gotterdammerung's 2024 NBA Playoffs Picks!

    Dallas Mavericks @ Minnesota Timberwolves

    If Luka Doncic averages a 30 point triple double, and Kyrie Irving shoots better than 23 ppg and 7 apg, and the Mavericks' bigs hold their own versus the Timberwolves' oversized frontcourt, they can win this series.

    Doncic is averaging 27.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, & 9.1 apg in the playoffs. He won his first regular scoring title (33.9 ppg), and has been excellent consistently, but he's scoring less this year than in 2021 and 2022 (35.7 ppg and 31.7 ppg respectively). The decline in scoring is partially due to better players around him as well as a few nagging injuries.

    Irving, besides a couple of good games vs OKC, hasn't been an All-Star, much less an all-time great his reputation is supposed to be. He averaged 15.7ppg, 6.2 apg, and 2.3 rpg, far below his overall playoff numbers. For all his great ballhandling skills, for the Mavericks to win, Irving must continue his defensive efforts & be the second option on a championship team.

    The main difference between missing the playoffs and advancing the WCF is due to the midseason acquisitions in PJ Washington & Daniel Gafford. They have size, rebounding and toughness. Including rookie Lively, the Mavericks have a paint presence on both sides of the floor, but they'll be hard pressed to limit Karl Anthony-Towns, Gobert, and Reid.

    The Wolves' size allows them to control the paint on both ends & because Anthony Edwards will offset Doncic, they will win this series. They can throw a bunch of long-armed rangy defenders on Irving, just like what OKC Thunder did with their younger and bigger perimeter defenders. Now the Wolves are a much better defensive team than the Thunder. They won't shut down Doncic, but they have enough wing defenders & enough paint deterrent to prevent him from going nuclear.

    Ignore all the hype about Edwards, and pay attention to his game: he is a 3-level scorer who is a skilled and willing passer, and he is an enthusiastic & effective defensive player. That means he has the tools to be an MVP candidate, but let's not compare him to someone with absolutely NO skillset weakness and transformed a moribund team into a dominant era-defining one.


    Minnesota in 6

  3. #18

    Default Re: Gotterdammerung's 2024 NBA Playoffs Picks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally450 View Post
    I wouldn't mind a Baston Dallas Finals.
    Looks like Kyrie Irving is on a revenge tour, heading straight for Boston.

  4. #19

    Default Re: Gotterdammerung's 2024 NBA Playoffs Picks!

    Dallas Mavericks @ Boston Celtics

    If Luka Doncic is efficient and productive (25 plus point triple doubles), and Kyrie Irving remains an effective second option, & the Mavs’ young bigs control the paint, they can win the Finals.

    Doncic is the true “Magic Johnson with a jumpshot” as opposed to earlier candidates like Lloyd Daniels or Toni Kukoc. He is the most productive passer, rebounds like a center as a guard, & an unstoppable scorer. However, what made Magic great wasn’t his numbers or hype, but his ability to win 5 NBA titles. That’s the next level for Doncic.

    Irving has been excellent in the playoffs. When he’s on the floor with Doncic, opposing teams are stretched to their breaking point: Doncic & Irving absolutely must be guarded anywhere within 25 feet from the basket. And five other Mavs are shooting at least 35% from threes int he playoffs. Both Gafford & Lively the Second are shooting over 60% from the field thanks to easy buckets due to defensive attention paid to Doncic, Irving and the three point bombers.

    However, because Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown are even better two-way duo than Doncic & Irving, and the Celtics have the best, most versatile starting lineup, they will win the Finals. Both Tatum & Bronw are bigger than Doncic & Irving, and they are much better defensively. Holiday, White, & Horford are excellent defenders. When Kristap Porzingis returns from his calf injury, it’s likely the Celtics will bring him off the bench to preserve the continuity they developed in the last 10 playoff games he missed.

    Holiday scores, rebounds, passes and defends at an elite level, and has championship experience. He fills whatever role is necessary. White is a bigger and younger version of Holiday. Horford is old, no longer as mobile as he once was, but he can still summon a great game once a week or so.

    The Celtics were historically great in the regular season: their 11.3 ppg scoring differential trails only four other teams in league history: the 1972 Lakers (12.3 ppg), the 1971 Bucks (12.3 ppg) the 1996 Bulls (12.2 ppg) and the 2017 GSW (11.6 ppg).

    
Despite being the most dominant team this year, the Celtics do have weaknesses: they stubbornly jack up over 40 threes per game, even when they have better matchups inside the arc. Also they tend to take their foot off the gas pedal once in a while (double digit home playoff losses to inferior opponents in Heat and Cavaliers).

    It is possible that the Mavericks will stay in every game, and even win 4 of them, due to Doncic and Irving’s awesome closing abilities. But the Celtics should win in a seven game deathmatch.

    Boston in 7

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