NBA Playoffs 2012 Predictions: Projecting the Postseason's Final 4 Teams

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 12: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls drives past LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat at the United Center on April 12, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Heat 96-86 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Even though the NBA season has yet to be completed, it's never too early to begin speculating on which teams will dominate in the postseason. 

The 2012 NBA playoffs are right around the corner, and I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to watch it all unfold. 

All the star players will take their games to a higher level, which will result in fantastic games throughout the postseason. 

The playoff seeds have yet to be made, but we already have a good idea as to what they'll look like. 

With that said, here's who I'm predicting as the final four teams in the 2012 NBA playoffs. As always, feel free to drop a comment and give your predictions as well. 


Miami Heat 

Despite being in second place in the Eastern Conference right now, come playoff time, the Heat are going to be the most dangerous team.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will once again be tough to beat in the postseason. All three will turn it up a notch, blowing through the first couple rounds. 

This team is too talented to go down early, so don't expect any shocking upsets over the Heat. 

Miami is on a mission, and it will not be denied. 


Chicago Bulls 

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 28:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls looks on from the bench against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on March 28, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Just like last year, the Bulls will struggle in the playoffs, but they'll find a way to claw through it all and reach the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. 

Once again, both teams will put on an impressive show that leaves fans talking for days. They've had some intense battles during the regular season, and the playoffs won't be any different. 

Derrick Rose will need to stay healthy for Chicago to get this far, but he's a tough competitor and will fight through the pain if he's feeling any right now. 

Chicago vs. Miami will easily be an epic showdown. 


Oklahoma City Thunder 

DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Kevin Durant #35 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder stand next to each other on the court in the fourth quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The status of James Harden is uncertain, but I think he'll end up playing in the playoffs, even if he does have to wait until the second round. 

They may be young, but the Thunder know how to play. Oklahoma City is loaded with star power, and Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins will all be tough to stop in the postseason. 

The Thunder are the real deal, and opposing teams in the Western Conference need to beware.

The path to the finals isn't easy for the Thunder, but they have the talent to get the job done. 


Los Angeles Clippers 

The chances for the Clippers to make a deep run and get a shot at playing in the championship game will depend on the playoff seeds. 

Right now, they're in fourth place in the Western Conference, which means if they win their first series, they'll have to face the winner of the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 8 seed. 

That should be the Clippers up against the Spurs, but then again, San Antonio lost in the first round a year ago, so anything can happen. Either way, I have the Clippers surprising everyone and reaching the Western Conference finals.  

They've got what it takes to beat Memphis in the first round and then upset the Spurs in the second round. Look for Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to rise up and do the unthinkable. Unfortunately, the Thunder will spoil their Cinderella run. 

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