Basketball Magazine

NBA Playoffs: Beard and Stache Fact Or Fiction Questions for the East and West

By Beardandstache @BeardAndStache

NBA Playoffs: Beard and Stache Fact or Fiction Questions for the East and West

Photo: Getty Images

- Troy Ballard and Adam Parker

Cya Denver, Utah, Memphis, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando and New York!
The NBA Playoffs are a gauntlet filled with hard fouls, enough emotional intensity to fill a sorority, clutch shots, lights-out performances, men are separated from boys, and the greats can make their mark on history.
However, of the same tune, the NBA Playoffs can be a disaster with players under-achieving in the clutch (LeBron), teams unraveling at the seams, prowess being tested, and the inevitably worst case scenario -- the sweep.
The second-round has narrowed the race to the Finals down to eight teams -- Heat, Sixers, Celtics, Pacers, Lakers, Thunder, Spurs and Clippers -- and Troy and Adam have taken the liberty of breaking down both the West and the East in the newest fact or fiction piece!
#10. Evan Turner is the new star of the Philadelphia 76ers

Troy: FACT - Iggy may still get the star recognition in Philadelphia, but Evan Turner is the man. Given his struggles as a rookie, he has come up huge in his sophomore season, especially in the playoffs. This kid has iced three games alone this postseason, and by next season, he could be an All-Star.

Adam: FACT - This kid did it all at Ohio State. He was the offense. He did have a rough rookie campaign and had trouble cracking the rotation, but he's rebounded nicely in his sophomore season and become arguably the team's best player. What a difference a year makes. The Villain has arrived.

#9. The Philly vs. Boston series will go seven games

Troy: FICTION - Boston is both too old and too good to go seven games against a young Sixers team. The Celtics will either fall apart from fatigue or run Philly right out of the series early on. It will be one of those two scenarios, and it will happen long before seven games.

Adam: FICTION - Every series theoretically has the potential to go seven games. This won't be one of those times. Six games at the most. One of these teams will get the upper hand before long. Right now, they're just kind of feeling each other out.

#8. If the Celtics do advance, it will be because of Rajon Rondo (Grand Theft Rondo)

Troy: FACT - As much as I love the Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, they are not going to be the ones responsible for any kind of deep playoff run. Rajon Rondo has been working overtime all season as a walking triple-double, and frankly, he's the only reason the Celtics haven't been eliminated yet.

Adam: FICTION - Rondo is great, no doubt. But in order for him to be great, his teammates -- most notably Boston's Big Three -- have to hit shots. Rondo will be a contributing factor, but he's not an all-world scorer who can be relied upon to carry the Lion's share of the scoring duties. The fate of the Celtics rests on the shoulders of the Big Three.

#7. The loss of Chris Bosh is more than Dwyane Wade and LeBron James can handle

Troy: FICTION - In the Heat's first game without Chris Bosh, LeBron James played a large portion of the game at power forward -- and it didn't work that well and Miami lost. However, there will be a transition period while the team adjusts to not having Bosh on the floor, and in the end, Dwyane Wade and James will prevail.

Adam: FACT - Despite what my cohort and King James-homer would like to think, LBJ and D-Wade can't do it without Bosh. The lack of any real offensive threat in the paint coupled with the inconsistent play of the role players will kill the Heat in the end. If James and Wade go all basketball Super Saiyan and prove me wrong; more power to them. That being said, I just don't see it.

#6. The Indiana Pacers are the sleeper team of the year

Troy: FICTION - I love Indiana. I really do. The team has a great set of role players that work really well with one another and have excellent chemistry on the court. However, the NBA is a superstar driven league, and the fact is, the Pacers have none.

Adam: FACT - I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think the Pacers could make a run in the East. Why not? You saw how much the Heat struggled against the likes of David West and Roy Hibbert in the paint without the presence of Chris Bosh. Bosh isn't likely to return for this series, so what's to say the unheralded Pacers couldn't pull the upset?


#5. The San Antonio Spurs will sweep the injury-laden LA Clippers

Troy: FICTION - The Spurs are going to win this series, there is little doubt about that, but a sweep is pushing it. I fully expect Chris Paul magic to take hold in at least one or two games and allow the Clippers to avoid being swept.

Adam: FACT - I think the Clippers are done. The honeymoon phase is over. The Spurs simply are too talented, too deep, and too savvy to let a Clippers squad whose best offensive tactic is the transition alley-oop to beat them. Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have been around the block many times over. They won't be impressed or intimidated by the Clippers' high-flying flash. Instead, they'll simply smack them down and grind them into dust.

#4. Chris Paul must transition from Laker-Killer to Spurs-Killer for LA to advance

Troy: FACT - As mentioned above, I love Chris Paul and especially his playoff magic, but I don't see it. Even if he does go HAM for the rest of this series, the Clippers don't have enough firepower and the Spurs are too fundamentally sound to have a breakdown.

Adam:FACT - The bulk of the Clippers' half-court offense is run through the pick-and-roll. Sure they have their fast break opportunities, but they'll be few and far between against a veteran group like San Antonio. CP3 is going to have to average close to a triple-double if "Lob City" expects to advance.

#3. Derek Fisher will win another ring before Kobe

Troy: FICTION - I do like the OKC Thunder to win the West, but I don't see them winning the whole enchilada. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been lights out, but like previous years, inexperience on the biggest stage is going to catch-up with them. Now, if D-Fish comes back next season, that's a different story.

Adam: FACT - It all goes back to how I answered the first question. Since D-Fish now plays for the Thunder and I fully expect OKC to come out on top, that puts D-Fish in position to win another ring before Kobe. If they can get past San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals, I don't see even the Miami Heat, especially the Chris Bosh-less Heat, to be much of a threat. 

#2. Kobe is a one-man army when it comes to carry the LA Lakers to playoff wins

Troy: FACT - Name one other player (aside from Steve Blake and Andrew Bynum in that first game) that has made consistent and solid contributions? Can't think of any? Neither can I. Kobe has been on his own in LA for a few seasons now, it's just more obvious now because the West is better than ever.

Adam: FACT - The games we've seen so far are evidence enough in my eyes. He doesn't necessarily have to be "The Guy" every night as Gasol and Bynum do make solid cameo contributions from time to time; but ultimately, we can't kid ourselves. It's all on the Black Mamba's shoulders in the end if LA is to return to the top of the mountain.
#1. The Lakers still have a chance against the Oklahoma City Thunder

Troy: FICTION - I never want to count the Mamba out.. but.. this is another situation entirely. The Thunder are a better team 10-fold compared to the Lakers, and I wouldn't even be surprised if OKC pulled off the full sweep.

Adam: FICTION - I know what you're all thinking. How can you bet against the Mamba?!? Heresy! Blasphemy! Kobe is a cold-blooded killer! I know; I've heard it all before. Hell, I've said it all before. But the fact of the matter is, Kevin Durant is the same way.
Not only that, but the trio of KD, Russell Westbrook and James Harden has outperformed the trio of Kobe, Bynum and Gasol thus far. I hate to say it, but considering that the Thunder -- who already have the advantage of youth on their side -- also came into the series the more rested of the two squads, I ultimately see OKC "cutting the head off the snake" en route to the Western Conference Finals.

Be sure to follow Beard and Stache on Twitter @BeardAndStache, and also Troy @TroyBallards and Adam @Adam_Parker43, Like our Facebook page HERE!

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog