John: I like San Antonio in the West because they have been on such a hot streak. They figured when April comes it is their time of the year. The Spurs have all these key veterans like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker so, they have been there and done that for many many years. There is something about them because they never seem to fluster and they have a height advantage over Houston. Dwight Howard from the Rockets doesn’t play to his height because other guys out-work him. Houston was my pick before, but Howard needs to step up or else I don’t see it happening. The Memphis Grizzlies have also been struggling lately and the Golden State Warriors will not even go to the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors don’t have the size or strength to get inside and pound the ball from close. This is why I like San Antonio to win the West again and in the East I am sticking to my original pick from last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers. There is something about LeBron James and how he matches up against the Chicago Bulls every year. I also think the Atlanta Hawks, who are at the top of the Eastern Conference, will also not make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks are equipped for the regular season, not the playoffs. The four teams I think will be the most dangerous come playoff time are: San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Washington Wizards.
Russell: I like San Antonio, too, from the West because I don’t think Golden State can beat them. They couldn’t beat them last year or the year after before? that and not so long ago the Spurs beat them good. They always have problems with San Antonio and that is why they fired Mark Jackson (former Head coach of the Warriors). So if they lose again are the Warriors going to fight fire? Steve Kerr, too? Other than the Spurs I think Houston but Howard might not show up. Last year they were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers so, I am not sure about the Rockets. I predict the Western Conference Finals to have the Spurs and Memphis because I like Zach Randolph. In the East, its hard to go against Cleveland because LeBron is on a tear. They are the team to beat now but if they slip, my Bulls will be there. Another team I will be afraid of in the East is the Wizards. You don’t want to play the Wizards in the playoffs or the Dallas Mavericks from the West because they are teams you can’t figure out. My Finals prediction is Cleveland and San Antonio.
Vince: In the West I feel Golden State is going down because I don’t think they are going to pull it off. I also think the top seeds in both Conferences (Warriors and Hawks) are not going to make any noise in the playoffs. I always called teams that are solid and have no center a donut. The reason why is because they have no center or big man in the middle. You have to have a center and some people say the Bulls were a donut when they won championships but, no, they didn’t. They had Bill Cartwright and Luc Longley. These guys were not the centerpieces of these basketball teams but at least they played solid defense and took up space. For the Warriors, sorry, but Andrew Bogut and Warriors Al Horford – these guys can’t get it done. These are guys, I think, are not going to stand out to make their teams power through the playoffs. In the West the Spurs know how to play come playoff time. They tear through opponents so it is hard to choose another team. Memphis does know how to turn it up come playoff time and Dallas is still a question mark. The thing about the West, it’s like a war zone so whoever comes out wins and I think the Spurs are that team. In the East it is hard to pick against Cleveland but I am a Bulls man. I pick the Chicago Bulls and this is why, Derrick Rose will rise to the occasion. He will do something the Bulls haven’t done since 1998 and that is go to the NBA Finals. I don’t know if they are going to win but I believe the Bulls will go to the Finals. It is hard to pick against LeBron and the Cavs but the thing about him is if you find a way to beat him, you can win. There is a way to beat (LeBron) you just have to find it. I believe if you shut down Kyrie Irving with the help of Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks, LeBron James will not score 40 points a game to beat the Bulls.