Super Conference Finals Extravaganza!

So the Conference Finals are set. And to anyone thinking conspiracy theory in that Spurs/Suns series, seriously, think again. If the NBA and David Stern were to have their choice of teams in these Conference Finals, these two match-ups are probably the last thing they wanted to see. But here we are, we don't have a Suns/Warriors series. We don't have a Cavs/Bulls series. Though what we do have is four teams left fighting it out for one crown.

Western Conference: San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz

In theory this could have been a Suns vs. Warriors match-up that would have blown everyone away. It would have gone seven. The over/unders would have been set at 310. It would have been out of control. But that's in theory, and in reality that series never had a chance.

Say what you want about the Suns getting screwed over and how their Game 5 suspensions doomed their chances, but the fact of the matter is they had no chance. They had home court, and then blew Game 1 at home. They had all the calls in Game 5 (thanks to Steve Javie's predilection towards calling games against the home team) and lost. Then, in Game 6, with the return of Amare and Diaw, the Spurs shut them down. It was the Spurs’ series (controversial calls or not) for the entire way.

In the same way, the Jazz owned the Warriors. Golden State was the darling of the playoffs, having shocked the (non-NBA watching) World by dropping the Mavs. The Jazz, on the other hand, looked lucky to be in the Second Round because of the Rockets' choke job. But that wasn't the case. The Jazz made quick work of the Warriors, with an impressive with at Golden State, a win that seemed like an impossible task only two weeks prior.

These two teams match up very well. They are both tough and scrappy. Look for the battles inside (particularly Carlos Boozer and Tim Duncan) to be epic, as well as a great backcourt match-up. The difference maker in this series could very well come down to this Jazz team's inexperience. They've been playing over their heads so far this post season. Meanwhile the Spurs are made for this kind of series.

Prediction: San Antonio in 7.

Eastern Conference: Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

And in the J.V. bracket we have a rematch of a playoff series we saw last year. The difference this time around: no one seems to care. And I'm not talking about the fans; I'm talking about the players.

The Cavs slept walked through the first two rounds while the Pistons looked ever so dominant early in their last series, then forgot there were a few more games to play and almost let Chicago right back in the door.

Cleveland has had probably the easiest draw of any team in this year's NBA Playoffs. In Round One they brushed aside a decimated Wizards team. In Round Two they tried only slightly harder than Jason Kidd & The Underachievers to pull off the franchise's first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 15 years.

Of course, this was not enough for the media who don't think LeBron is doing all that he can. They're prepping the kid to be the black A-Rod, calling out his heart and his play down the stretch. Wins aren't enough for LeBron apparently. Now he's got to get to The Finals while putting up 60-15-10 and sacrificing twelve people at every half time.

The Pistons looked fantastic for their first seven playoff games, not losing a game. Then they just decided to take the a few games off and before you knew it, the series was at 3-2 and the Bulls looked like they had at least an outside shot at pulling off the Never-before-done comeback down 0-3. Of course, Detroit quickly put and end to that, with a fairly decisive win at Chicago.

The Eastern Conference Finals' match-up couldn't be more different than that of its Western Conference counterpart. Where the Spurs and the Jazz just battled it out in their respective Second Round series for two weeks, the Cavs and the Pistons have looked like they're on vacation. They also don't match-up nearly as well head to head. The Pistons have a championship caliber team that is heading to their 5th consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs are more-or-less a two man team: LeBron and whoever else decides to have a good night.

Just like the series in the West, this one could go either way, but for completely different reasons. I'm not sure which version of which team is going to show up on a given night. Will it be the business-like Pistons crushing the Cavs? Will LeBron step up and take it to an overconfident Detroit team? We could have a seven-game showdown. Or we can have a Cavs-Nets-like series that Sir Charles can only describe as 'turr-a-bull'. Hopefully it's the former.

Prediction: Detroit in 6.

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