Lakers, Spurs Easy Picks; but Who Will Be the Other Two Teams to Advance?

I wrote about the Eastern Conference playoffs Wednesday and am going to give a hurried synopsis of how I think the first round will go in the West. 

I confess I do not know as much about the West.  I'm from Indiana, so many times it depends on who's playing the Pacers as to what I learn from the other teams.

Anyway, a couple of these rounds will certainly be easy to predict, but one or two is not so certain. 

We start with a first round matchup of Spurs and Grizzlies.  I first started focusing on the NBA at the age of 12, when my Knicks lost in the Finals of the lock-out shortened season of 1998-99. 

I watched the Knicks advance to the Finals after being an eighth seed, only to lose in five games to the Spurs. 

I'm not sure if Patrick Ewing would have made a difference or not, as the Spurs had David Robinson (aging, yes, but still) and second-year player Tim Duncan.

Three championships later, the Spurs have an aging, but still effective Duncan with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.  It is important to note that Duncan's numbers were "only" 13 and 9, but that he also played just 28 minutes per game. 

A solid fourth scorer in Richard Jefferson also runs the wings.  This team is guaranteed 50 wins year in and year out and have grabbed the No. 1 seed. 

The frontcourt is very impressive, with Duncan being arguably the best power forward ever.  Or at least, the best at making the bank shot.  Antonio McDyess is a fantastic spot up shooter, with Matt Bonner being the same from long range. 

The wild card here might be the second year man in DeJuan Blair.  The backcourt is very impressive.  And while Manu Ginobili is injured, he plays through many injuries and I would be shocked if he missed more than one game. 

And the Spurs continue to have a knack for finding talent in odd p...

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