The NBA Western Conference playoffs are going to be extremely entertaining.
Everyone is making their own predictions so I thought I'd throw in my own two sense. If they come true, maybe I will get some respect around here.
I tried to keep them as unbiased as possible but I love the Dallas Mavericks and have a little crush on the Utah Jazz.
The Utah Jazz have screwed themselves into the eighth spot.
We all know what that means.
Although everyone is predicting the Lakers to beat the Jazz in four or five games, I don't think it will be that easy.
If we rewind back a month or two, everyone had the Jazz as the team that could advance deep into the playoffs.
Here's some things to think about:
Carlos Boozer likes money. Everyone remembers Boozer ditching Cleveland for money. He says he will opt out of his contract this off-season so you know Boozer wants to erase his image as an injury prone player and replace it with an image of a dominant power forward. Boozer will have a heck of an offensive series, but maybe not a great defensive one.
You better believe Deron Williams will play lights out. I feel sorry for Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar.
Jerry Sloan knows what he's doing. Sure, he's angry the Jazz have to play the Lakers in the first round but the man is a genius.
The Energy Solutions Arena is the closest thing to Hell in this world.
I don't think the Lakers will have an easy road but the Utah Jazz can't stop the Lakers' offensive play. It will be a high scoring series. But no sane person can bet against the Lakers.
Prediction: Lakers in six games.
The first thought that came to my head was Peja Stojakovic trying to guard Carmelo Anthony. Then, I remembered the Hornets have James Posey.
Carmelo Anthony will torch Peja Stojakovic. James Posey will come off the bench and do a nice job on him though.
We all know Chris Paul is going to have a great series and put up insane numbers. What Paul needs is David West to have a great series.
Although I think West will have a decent series, I don't think West will have a great series because of Kenyon Martin. I think K-Mart will play him well.
The other factor is Tyson Chandler. Nene and Chris Andersen can jump with Chandler. Tyson's ankles still are not 100 percent as well.
Too bad the Nuggets have J.R. Smith and Chauncey Billups to pick up the slack. Smith is on fire. He's the kind of guy that can win the three-point shootout and dunk contest. He has potential and he is certainly showing it.
Billups will post up Chris Paul and make him work a little. Billups won't turn the ball over to Paul and might get him in early foul trouble. Billups really knows how to get the ref to blow that whistle.
Prediction: Nuggets in six games
Warning: This prediction may be incredibly biased towards the Dallas Mavericks.
It's 2009 and the Spurs like odd years.
Tony Parker will absolutely put on a show. He is going to make a home in the paint, with occasional grocery trips to the perimeter for jump shots.
JJ Barea and Antoine Wright will mostly get the assignment of guarding Parker and they might be able to keep him under 25 points one game.
But will he get any help?
Tim Duncan will have a great series too. His knees are not 100 percent and he's old. Saying that though, there's a reason some consider him the greatest power forward to ever play the game.
He is going to have a good series but I think Erick Dampier will do a good job on him.
Let's be honest.
Roger Mason cannot pick up Ginobili's slack. You can even add Matt Bonner to the mix and it still isn't possible.
One important thing Ginobili does is draw fouls by attacking the basket. While Mason might hit plenty of threes, he cannot draw fouls.
Lots of teams have the Mavericks as their sleeper team and for good reason.
The Mavs have been on fire.
Dirk Nowitzki is putting up great numbers. He finished off the season with a 30 point and 15 rebound effort. He is simply the best international player ever.
Jason Terry is most likely going to be the Sixth Man of the Year. The jet has had a heck of a year and he promises the best is yet to come.
Josh Howard is playing well after returning from injuries. He is playing defense and cutting to the basket. That's exactly what the Mavs need from him.
Jason Kidd is showing his case for why the trade last year was a good thing. He finished off the season with a triple-double and has really improved his three point shooting this year.
Can Tim Duncan guard Dirk Nowitzki?
I don't think Gregg Popovich wants that because Duncan will be worked on defense and offense.
Bonner isn't known for his defense and Nowitzki can torch him. Maybe Bowen can check him? That will leave Howard free though, to expose Finley.
Prediction: Mavericks in six games
The Portland Trailblazers went out and got themselves home court advantage by smashing the Nuggets.
I must admit, I did not think Portland would be this good.
Brandon Roy is extremely skilled, but his job will be hard against Shane Battier or Ron Artest. Luckily, the Blazers have plenty of other options.
Lamarcus Aldridge is overlooked because of Roy but he will have a great series.
Rudy Fernandez will hit three's and dunk the ball.
Travis Outlaw will hit his shots and attack the basket.
Steve Blake will hit three's and run the team while Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden will slam some, hitting the boards.
The Houston Rockets don't have variety of offensive options. They do have Yao Ming though.
Other than that, no one shows up on a consistent basis. Artest and Brooks have not been consistent in scoring. Battier cannot create his own shot and Landry/Scola often get their points on hustle plays.
Sigh, if only T-Mac was here.
The Rockets do have some excellent defense and will make it hard on Portland. But I don't think the Rockets have enough offensive power to finish off the job. Yao Ming will have to wait another year to get out of the first round.
Prediction: Trailblazers in seven games