Sports: Bracketology NBA Style

So the field of 16 has been set, and frankly while I’m thrilled that the 66 game marathon is done, I’m not optimistic about most of the first round.   I expect all four top seeds in the East to prevail (yes, that means I think Atlanta will beat Boston, though that series should be a battle).

In the West, there are two brackets.  The 2-3-6-7 side with the Thunder, Lakers, Nuggets and Mavericks should be fun, but most likely will lead to the OKC-Lakers series that everyone who is not a fan of the Nuggets or Mavericks is eagerly awaiting.

The real action for me is on the other side of the Western bracket, the 1-4-5-8, featuring San Antonio versus Utah and Memphis vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.  The San Antonio-Utah series has all the hallmarks of a walkover, a 50-16 veteran club versus a young 36-30 one, but think about last season.  Memphis upset San Antonio thanks to the play of agile bigs like Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.  Utah can take a similar approach with waves of bigs, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, threatening to overwhelm the Spurs.  I don’t expect an upset but after perhaps a game for Utah to get its sea legs, this should be a competitive series.  The Griz are the most underseeded team in the postseason (I could see them coming out of the West), but the Clippers won’t be an easy out, especially if Chris Paul is 100%.

Let the fun begin!

Martin Johnson wrote a weekly NBA column for the New York Sun from 2003-’08, and for from 2008-’10.  His sportswriting has also appeared in the NY Times, Wall St. Journal and the Atlantic Monthly.


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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