The NBA Playoffs have finally arrived, and much like the 1998-99 lockout season, we've seen some unusual things thanks to the lockout. Injuries have been the primary fallout of this schedule compressed season, with Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert both tearing ACL's, and Amar'e Stoudemire getting so frustrated at the lockout that he punched a fire extinguisher severing tendons in his hand. But while this lockout has had it's own unique struggles in comparison to the last lockout season in 1998-99, there could also be a certain repeat of events that can't be ignored.
First off, last time there was a lockout season, the Spurs won the NBA Championship. Back in 1999, David Robinson finally quenched his thirst for a championship, and in the process brought the Spurs their first NBA Championship. Perhaps by pure serendipity, the Spurs are once again playing the best basketball in the NBA and maybe on their way to another championship in a lockout season.
Secondly, last time there was a lockout, the #8 seeded New York Knicks upset the #1 seeded Miami Heat in the first round. This season, the #8 seeded Philadelphia 76ers have a 2-1 lead on the #1 seeded Chicago Bulls in the first round. We may once again see the #8 seeded team out east upset the #1 seed. Oh, but it gets even more interesting than that. If you remember, the 8 seeded Knicks in 1999 went to the NBA Finals where they eventually lost to the Spurs. Now, to suggest that the #8 seeded 76ers will reach the NBA Finals in 2012 is crazy right? Well, not exactly. You see, provided they eliminate Chicago, they'll be paired with the Boston Celtics, who for much of the season they were out-playing for the division title before sliding back to the 8th spot. Suppose the Sixers get hot and eliminate the Celtics, and then find themselves facing the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Do you not start to think Deja Vu in the Eastern Conference?
The Chances of the Pacers reaching the East finals isn't at all crazy. Their size and depth is exactly what Miami is trying to avoid. Indiana beating Miami and Philadelphia beating Boston are both legitimate possibilities. From there, take a wild guess who wins a 7 game series between the 76ers and the Pacers. It's a coin toss. So, by flipping a coin, we conclude the 76ers knockout the Pacers and are all the way in the NBA Finals.
Meanwhile, back in the Western Conference, the Spurs finish their rampage through the West, and voila, we have the Spurs in the NBA Finals facing the 8 seed from the East, who would this time be the Philadelphia 76ers. To complete this all off, the Spurs win the NBA title like it's 1999.
Does this all sound too crazy and far fetched for you to comprehend? It may at the moment, but mark my words it could all happen, and don't say you didn't hear it from me first. Will the Spurs really win the NBA Championship? In my opinion, I don't see who's gonna stop them. I mean let's be real. If San Antonio plays as well as they've been playing as of late, they'll win the Western Conference title, and likely the NBA Championship. Will the Sixers really win the Eastern Conference title? Well, history says they could, and they have the team to maybe upset Boston or Atlanta in the next round, and there's a solid chance they could avoid Miami altogether. I say why not?
Regardless of what happens in these playoffs, it's fun to speculate and have fun guessing a what would happen. A Spurs/Sixers Final may seem like a pie in the sky to some, but maybe it's what the basketball gods have in store for us. We shall see.