DNB's Playoff Preview And Award Winners

This is the first playoffs we have had a Staff here at the Dino Nation Blog. So we all chime in on who we think will win in the Playoffs. In my pre-season preview I said it would end up with Cavs over Lakers. Last season I was one of very few that can say I called the Finals in the pre-season as the Magic did in fact lose to the Lakers. So we have 8 series as well as NBA Awards picks to get to so let's get started.

Eastern Conference- (1)Cleveland vs (8)Chicago

Picks: (Anas) Cavs in 4 (Danielle) Cavs in 5 (James) Cavs in 5

We all agree that Cavs are moving on and it won't take long. Anas even getting out the broom for the Bulls. For each series will give you some Keys to the series, X-Factors and a reason to believe for the team we don't pick. Well at least we try.

X-Factor- The Cavs have been resting and the Bulls have been fighting till the final day to hold off the Raptors. Will Cleveland be rusty and cough up a game to the Bulls? Possible. Will the Bulls win this series? Not possible.

If The Bulls Shock the World How Do They Do It- Play like you don't care what happen- the under dog likes to play this way to win- No Pressure-(Danielle) Also the Bulls have experience of taking the Celtics to the limit last year. At least they have been in this spot before, to add on to Danielle's point of nothing to lose. That may not be the case for Bulls Coach Vinny Del Negro thought.

(2)Orlando vs (7)Charlotte

Picks : (Anas) Magic in 6 (Danielle) Magic in 5 (James) Magic in 6

The Magic have a roster that might just be able to upset the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Bobcats are a hungry team that are coached by the war-tested Larry Brown. This could be over in five but I think the Cats claw their way to a couple of wins-(Anas) For whatever reason the Magic have had trouble over the years with less talented Bobcat teams then this one. Charlotte has not been buzzing this much since the Hornets 1st trip to playoffs. Look for a retro experience like the old days of the hive.


- Vince Carter (Magic), Stopping D12 (Bobcats) -(Anas)

How do Bobcats do the unthinkable?- Capitalize on the juice between Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace. - (Danielle) In addition to that play superior perimeter defense and take away the Magic's best weapon beyond Dwight Howard the 3-Ball.

(3) Atlanta vs (6) Milwaukee

Picks- (Anas) Hawks in 5 (Danielle) Hawks in 6 (James) Hawks in 5

Brandon Jennings, he could throw the game in the Bucks favour if he shows he’s ready to play the big game.- (Danielle) But that being said the Hawks are a group that have been to players for several seasons in a row as a group. They have the experience the Bucks don't have. Not to mention without Bogut, Hawks have a huge advantage inside. Sorry Milwaukee none of us here, Fear The Deer!!!


: Guard play must be superior for the Bucks to have a shot.-(Anas) Also for the Bucks they can not allow the Hawks to to score in transition so keeping turnovers to a minimum a must.

What will make us Fear The Deer?

- Play hard and consistent without Bogut. Count on Jerry Stackhouse to provide the experience and insight into both the playoffs and Hawks. -(Danielle) Like I said as well take care of the basketball. But in the end this was a great match-up with Bogut. Without him it presents all kinds of issues for the Bucks including rebounding.

(4) Boston vs (5) Miami

Picks- (Anas) Heat in 7 (Danielle) Celtics in 7 (James) Heat in 5

First series we have some disagreement on. So here is Anas likes the Heat and Danielle the Celtics.

Miami heads into the playoffs winners of nine of their last ten. The Celtics’ run is done and D. Wade will pull this one out for his team- (Anas) Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo - they will want to play from the inside out since they have been inconsistent offensively -(Danielle) For my 2 cents Boston has been terrible down the stretch and I have 0 confidence in them. Maybe I am bitter they didn't help the Raptors. Not really why I am picking them to not only lose but get embarrassed in doing so.

X Factor

- Simple- Celtic Pride and is there any?

For Miami to Win

- Wade needs to have a spectacular series. Anas had mentioned Micheal Beasley as an X-Factor option. He along with a few others need to step up and help carry the offensive load.

For Boston

- Rondo needs to play out of his mind and it will be interesting to see how Miami looks to defend him. Rondo has not looked good of late and in this aging version of the Celtics they go as Rondo goes. Short of K.G, Ray Allen and Pierce finding the fountain of youth this will not change.

Western Conference- (1) Lakers vs (8) Thunder

Picks (Anas) Lakers in 6 (Danielle) Lakers in 6 (James) Lakers in 6

Well there you have it Lakers in 6. Good night everyone tip your waitress. Just kidding but we all see this one the same. Anas does a good job of summing this one up.

The Thunder may be young and thin upfront, but Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA. With that said, I don’t doubt for a second that the Lakers will win this series.-(Anas)


- Thunder- Experience = 0, Lakers- Kobe's Health

How could Thunder Roll and SHOCK the CHAMPS and the NBA?

- Push the tempo and control flow of the game. Play relaxed since they are not expected to do anything against the Lakers - getting LA’s defense into foul trouble wouldn’t hurt either.-(Danielle) Only one point to add to the great points made by Danielle. Be Physical especially with Kobe. OKC needs to come out swinging almost literally if they want to take out the Champs.

(2) Mavericks vs (7) Spurs

Picks (Anas) Dallas in 7 (Danielle) Dallas in 6 (James) Dallas in 7

Was Anas looking at my test answers? We seem to agree on a lot. But what we all agree on it this will be a long series. But why? It is 2 vs 7 and the Spurs are old and have best days behind them right? True perhaps but Dallas since being 2 wins from an NBA title have never been the same in the playoffs. Maybe that is why Mark Cuban's team was active at the deadline getting some pieces from the Wizards. Arenas and his jokes with guns have helped 2 teams in their playoffs. The Cavs with Jamison and these Mavericks. Least Mark Cuban hopes so.


- Danielle and Anas both say Manu. I will add the devil you know. These two are in state rivals and no doubt Dallas is just a tad envious of the Spurs success. Motivation to send them packing? Will see. On the other side do the Spurs fear the Mavs at all? Probably not.

How Spurs win?

- Parker out plays Kidd by a wide Margin. Yeah I agree Manu needs to be large. Along with help for Tim Duncan inside. Maybe David Robinson can come out of retirement? If not Bonner and the other so called post people need to step up. Also landing the first punch would be huge. If the Spurs can get a lead in this series doubt will creep in for Dirk and his Mavs.

(3) Suns vs (6) Portland

Picks (Anas) Suns in 5 (Danielle) Suns in 6 (James) Suns in 5

3 Canadians all picking the Suns and Steve Nash....Shocking I know. But in order to go against Canada's greatest baller Portland has to at least have a healthy Brandon Roy and they don't. Danielle looks to Nash and Stoudemire to be key. Nash and Stoudemire being strong. Nash is the conductor of the game and they need to take control early.-(Danielle) Amare has been one of the best players in the league coming down the stretch. Will this be his last ride with the Suns? That is a question for July. The Question here is will he advance with Nash and the answer is yes.


- Again Danielle and Anas agree on Marcus Camby as an X-Factor. I say forget Camby Roy isn't health, even Camby of 10 years ago isn't helping the Blazers.

How Can Blazers Win?

- Keep up their “don’t give up” attitude. They lost Oden and Przybilla in December and kept truckin’. Also, play physical and throw off Nash and Amare, make them play uncomfortable.-(Danielle) That says it all nothing to add.

(4) Nuggets vs (5) Jazz

Picks- Nuggets in 7 (Everyone)

This is the one series I can't get a feeling on it. I think it is no secret since George Karl has left due to his health concerns the Nuggets have not been the same. Jerry Solan will be there as he has for 20 years or what every it is now for the Jazz. He has to worry about how health the one half of his 2k version of Stockton and Malone is. Boozer has vowed to play in this series but how good can he be. George Karl may be able to return to the bench for round 2 will that motivate or just add pressure on a Nuggets team that at the start of the year saw themselves as the team to knock off the Lakers and go to the Finals. This series is toss up as a 4 vs 5 match-up would suggest.

X Factors

- Nuggets motivated or under pressure, Jazz- Health of Boozer and How do they match-up with Melo? You want a player? J.R Smith is always a wild card for me.

How Do The Jazz Win

- Jazz Coach Sloan needs to keep his boys in check. Playoffs mean emotions can run high and you don’t want focus to go with it.-(Danielle) I agree with Danielle the Nuggets have a lot of guys that can get under your skin. Lead by that Birdman with all his tattoos and funky hairstyles. The Dennis Rodman of the 2k in some ways. Obvious health is the other issue.

That does it for Playoff Picks for Round 1. Now how about the Regular Season Awards? Here are the Staff Picks with some explanation as to why we picked who we did.

6th Man

Jamal Crawford

- He provided instant offense for an excellent Hawks team and finally proved that he’s a winning player.(Anas)

Jamal Crawford

- He’s been around and doesn’t play like the 6th man but a “starter” coming from the bench. He’s ready to contribute and should be interesting to watch in the playoffs.(Danielle)

Jamal Crawford

- I will make in Unanimous. This was by far one of the most under rated moves made this season. He is an added weapon to the Hawks that has pushed them to the point of been on the verge of being considered an elite team in the NBA. (James)

Defensive Player of The Year

Dwight Howard

- Apparently Anas felt this was a no brainer cause there was no comment. (Anas)

Dwight Howard

- Raptor fans only need to look at Hedo Turkoglu's defense with Raptors to understand why Dwight deserves this award. He is a presence unlike anything the NBA has sense since the younger days of Shaq. Patrick Ewing has thought him well. If Ewing had the athletic abilities of D-12 he may have won a ring. (James)

Ron Artest

- Hands down. So many teams (including Denver and Carmelo Anthony) don’t like him and that’s a compliment to a defensive player. It means he’s doing his job to get inside your head and throw you off your game.(Danielle)

Most Improved

Kevin Durant

- He may be an MVP candidate but this year he’ll have to settle for being the most improved player.(Anas)

Kevin Durant

- The toughest jump for any player to make is from NBA Superstar to NBA Elite Player. Durant has done it with his first scoring title and leading his Thunder to the playoffs. If not for the guy the call the King he is the league MVP. (James)

Marc Gasol

- And not just because he’s Pau Gasol’s brother. He gets better with every dribble and will soon catch his brother if he keeps at it. (Danielle)

Coach Of The Year

Scott Brooks

- He would like to thank Kevin Durant and me for this award. Kevin Durant is obvious but why me? I picked him for this award in the pre-season. I am pretty sure no one else was. Now many are and enough will for him to win this award. Getting the Thunder to post season in the West is quite the accomplishment. He has his young team believing in themselves and playing great basketball. (James)

Scott Brooks

- You don’t pick a coach like Phil Jackson just because his team is stacked, you pick a coach that turns something out of nothing and make a team better because he’s there. He took a roster that was all over the place and was the defining thread who pulled things together.(Danielle)

Scott Skiles

- The Bucks earned the fifth seed in the East with a rookie point guard. I have a feeling that had a lot to do with the coach. (Anas)

Rookie Of The Year

Brandon Jennings

- I seriously considered choosing Tyreke Evans but Jennings helped bring his team into the playoffs. Plus, you gotta give love to a rookie who had the highest single-game point total in the league.(Anas)

Tyreke Evans-

I have been extolling his virtues since the beginning of the season. That’s the difference between him and Stephen Curry. He’s had it all season - a class act all the way.(Danielle)

Stephen Curry

- There was a time when I considered this was Jennings award to lose. I then felt Evans took that title away. But now with a late charge the son of Dell has mad me a believer. Season went another month I may have changed my mind again. The difference for me was seeing in person Curry tear apart the Raptors. I admit it may have made me bias. No doubt this is the closest 3 way race for Rookie of the Year I can recall. Jennings, Curry or Evans win I would have no issue with any of them. That is a complement to all 3 and the great seasons they each had.


Lebron James

- He’s not the scorer Kobe is but he is more versatile than Kobe is. He may even play point guard if you need him to - not his favourite position but he will give his team what they need.(Danielle)

Lebron James

- Back to Back MVP honours. Look I could tell you why he deserves it but just watch the guy and you see it. So instead I will say that he needs to start getting better gifts for his team when he wins these. Those cameras were whack. Although he wants to be a Billionaire and safe to say he plans on winning a lot of these so maybe I get it. King James is just that. No other player has an argument that is even worth talking about. That is saying something considering the year Kevin Durant had and others. (James)

LeBron James

- Do I really need to explain?(Anas)

No you do not. This is the first time we have worked as a team on something here on Dino Nation Blog I hope you enjoyed it and enjoy the Playoffs without the Raptors once again. O.K try to enjoy the playoffs with out the Raptors once again.

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