Please see the parts I, II, and III of the Prognosti-Rank series for our picks through the first 3 rounds of the playoffs.
And so, it comes to this. The predicted finals matchup. I'm really not 100% confident about the Western team here, as you may have gathered by this whole exercise. I think if the Grizzlies win against the Spurs, they'll probably be good enough to beat the Thunder, but not necessarily. And I think the Thunder could -- if they steal game one and Durant has a breakout series going up against Kawhi Leonard or Tony Allen -- potentially oust either the Spurs or the Grizzlies. And honestly? I could see the Lakers in here as well, because if Bynum puts it together they're a team that can blow out any team in the league, four times in a row. Home, road, wherever. There are any number of combinations for the final western team standing that makes sense to me. One thing you would've had trouble convincing me of before the season, though, would've been that any of them stood a chance against the Heat (who I've had penciled in as the presumptive Eastern champion since opening night). In my season preview -- "A Lion in Autumn" -- I essentially gave the Heat the trophy. I didn't think any team in the west would have the firepower to beat them. At this point, though, given the vulnerabilities the Heat have shown this year? I'm officially not certain that any of them CAN'T beat the Heat in a series. Continue reading
And so it comes to two. Our intended-to-be three part series preemptively ranking the playoff teams based on our expectations for them was to end tonight, with our predictions for both the final un-predicted 2nd round matchup (Spurs vs Grizzlies), the conference finals, and — at last — the 2012 Gothic Ginobili pick for the team we think will raise the banner (in — spoiler alert — a tough 7 game slog). Or at least, that was what was SUPPOSED to happen. Then I wrote an incredible amount about the prospective finals, looked at my word count RIGHT as I was about to post it, got embarrassed, and realized the only reasonable way to do this was to split it into Part III and a final post examining the matchup. So… yep. Final part comes tomorrow at lunch. Until then, visit Part I for the first 6 teams, Part II for the next 5, and click the jump to identify our last five standing. Continue reading
Continuing from Part I of this series, I’m going to prognosticate which teams will be the best in the playoffs. I started from the predicted worst first-round out, and I'm going to go all the way to the team I think will raise the Larry O’Brien this year. Thus, a prognosticated ranking. A... prognostirank! (I’m still bad at words.) For each team, I’ll do my interpretation of why they should be higher than they are, and why they should be lower than they are. Yesterday, I went over teams 16 to 11. On with part two of our preview, from the 10th best projected team to the 6th best -- in other words, the two best first round losers, and all but the best of our projected second round losers.
I wasn't entirely sure how we should do playoff previews here at the Gothic. I knew how they were going to start, with Thursday's piece about the New Orleans Hornets and how one of my fondest wishes was that there was one underdog in the 2012 playoffs that approached the contest with the dedication and grit with which the Hornets approached their doomed season. That's a start, but certainly not a finish -- I do have picks, after all, and opinions as well. I tried to think of original ways to present my picks, and settled upon this not-particularly-creative way to do it. Here's what I'll do. I'm going to prognosticate which teams will be the best in the playoffs, starting from the predicted worst first-round out to the team I think will raise the Larry O'Brien this year. So, a prognosticated ranking. A prognostirank. (I'm bad at words.) For each team, I'll do my interpretation of why they should be higher than they are, and why they should be lower than they are. Not particularly original, I realize, but it gave me a platform to share my oh-so-dear opinions, and hopefully, it'll be of interest to you guys. On with part one of our preview, from the 16th worst projected team to the 11th worst. Continue reading