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The 2022 NBA Playoff Predictions – Conference Semis

76ers: Ben Simmons? You didn’t drag poor Ben Simmons along did you? He’s not up to the challenge.
Celtics: He sticks out like a sore thumb. We’ll find him.
Nets: The hell you will. He’s got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Ben’s got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the Larry O’Brien already.
Ben Simmons:
With no upsets in the first round, we all got them all right, except for Dallas-Utah, where Jarrod was the only one to pick the Mavericks. Although picking the Celtics in 7 (which we all did) almost counts as getting it wrong! Let’s see how we go in the second round…

Eastern Conference

1 Miami Heat v 4 Philadelphia 76ers

Troy Goostrey: I think Miami will do this fairly easy.  They have the settled team and playoff tested guys all set to make a run back to the Finals.  Too much for Philly here.  Miami will manage to implode in one game – maybe after a nice night of Geno’s Steaks in Philly, just leaving them flat the next game!  Otherwise I think they cruise past Philly like they will cruise past Harden’s D…  Heat in 5
David Ashman: With Embiid looking shaky with his injury (yep another one), the Heat will capitalize and suffocate the beard. In fact they may as well shave the beard as Harden will not get going at all. Jimmy Buckets will be all over him and the Sixers will collapse again. Heat in 5
Jarrod Cotton: Embiid is a big out for the Sixers, I don’t think Philadelphia can recover when/if he get back. The Heat are solid where as Harden is not. Heat in 6
Jesse Cotton: I had already written this one up in my head before the playoffs even started. By the second round Embiid would be gassed and Harden would be a no show. But now it’s worse, Embiid could miss the entire series. One thing’s for certain though, Harden will still be a no show. Heat may as well give Udonis Haslem some minutes. He’s only played 58 games in the last 6 seasons, just call him a coach already Miami! Heat in 4
"I'm looking for a fight. Where's Spoelstra?" - Jimmy Butler
"Using the same quote....AGAIN!" - Andre Iguodala

2 Boston Celtics v 3 Milwaukee Bucks

Troy Goostrey: *Match up of the semi’s for sure.  The defending champs with the best player in the league at the moment (sorry Jokic, Embiid!) versus the most switched on team.  Giannis is the complete package, too big in the post for the defenders who can keep up with him, to agile for the big defenders who can match his size.  Boston’s swarming D will make life super difficult though and I think they will close out and do enough on everyone not named Giannis to get over the line.  But this is a real humdinger…Celtics in 7
David Ashman: This series will be huge for both teams looking to get back to the Eastern Conference finals. The Bucks want the win to get a chance for back to back finals and the Celtics need the win to try and stay relevant in the East. The way the Celtics have been playing this will be very close. I just think with Middleton injured, the Bucks will struggle from the outside. But this will be a close one and a great series to watch. Celtics in 7
Jarrod Cotton: This series is going the distance because the Bucks are going to miss Middleton and the Celtics look complete. Boston wins unless Giannis has another level in him. Celtics in 7
Jesse Cotton: This could be the real eastern conference finals, the defending champs against the most in form team in the comp. Without Middleton the Bucks will find it tough as Jayson and Jaylen will have as much trouble with Grayson Allen or Wes Matthews as MJ did with the glove. But the Bucks won’t go quietly. Milwaukee could have had home court here if they had played their guys in the last game of the regular season against Cleveland. They chose not to, and now we’ll see if it will bite them in the arse. I say yes. Poetic justice. Celtics in 7
"2020s? Check" - Semi Ojeleye
"2010s? Check" - Greg Monroe
"2000s? Check" - Ray Allen
"1990s? Check" - Gary Payton
"1980s? Check" - Fred Roberts
"1970s? Check" - Dave Cowens
"1960s? Check" - Wayne Embry

Western Conference

1 Phoenix Suns v 4 Dallas Mavericks

Troy Goostrey: *How do Dallas keep this interesting?  Doncic playing all-world every minute of every game?  Maybe.  Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie flipping a switch and playing amazing all series?  Unlikely.  Phoenix to cruise here and get old man CP3 some rest before a tough conference final match up. Suns in 5
David Ashman: As impressive as the Mav’s coming back and winning their series, the Suns will be too much. Expect more of the veteran play from CP3 and Devin Booker ready to fire up and cook the Mavs defence. The Suns will be ready to get back to Western Conference finals for the barn burner against the Warriors. Suns in 5
Jarrod Cotton: The Suns gets back on track with Booker’s return winning in seven. Luka will be a hard out this year maybe his last second round elimination for a while. Suns in 7
Jesse Cotton: The Suns back at full strength should be able to handle the Mavs fairly easily, as long as Ayton doesn’t foul out in 15 minutes with 6 turnovers and 2 points. CP3 and Booker will just want this more, especially after the disappointment of last year and the focus they’ve shown this year to be the best team in the league. This will go to show Utah and Danny Ainge just how far off they really are. Suns in 5
"I told you I'd be back" - Jae Crowder
"I told the Suns I'd be back" - Steve Nash
"I told the Mavs I'd be back" - Jason Kidd

2 Memphis Grizzlies v 3 Golden State Warriors

Troy Goostrey: Heart really wants King Ja and the Grizz to take this out, but I can’t pick against the Warriors with all their key pieces back.  Hopefully Memphis make it a good series and can learn and build for next year.  Steph, Klay and now Poole can’t all be kept quiet at once.  Morant to have a couple of big moments along the way, but ultimately Warriors in 6
David Ashman: It will be a tight series, young Grizzlies team and a more experienced Warriors team. As much as I’d love to see Ja with some more cock back dunks over people, the Warriors experience will move them to Western Conference finals. Unless Draymond Green does more boneheaded moves and causes issues, the Warriors should see this through to a win. Warriors in 6
Jarrod Cotton: This is where the Grizzlies meet a seasoned playoff team. Memphis will learn valuable lessons but the Warriors are moving on. Warriors in 6
Jesse Cotton: You have to lose before you can win, so they say. This iteration of Memphis hasn’t got this far before, so they won’t be going any further just yet. Especially going up against the battle tested Warriors who just know how to win. Gary Gary Payton getting into the Gary Gary Beers to celebrate. Warriors in 6
"AGAIN!" - Andre Iguodala

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