Dont count out Memphis, better team than you think. Celtics put together a few games and they're there.
NBA 2014-2015 Season Thread - Page 442
The playoffs are all about matchups. If Memphis played Dallas in the first round last year instead of the Spurs, we might be talking about the Spurs as defending champs instead. Who knows.
All I know is Memphis matches up well with everyone in the west other than maybe the Lakers, since their size advantage would be offset. I definitely wouldn't be surprised to see them in the conference finals.
Match ups matter but it isn't all about that. The Lakes has no match in size but they lost to Dallas last year and who their bigs? Chandler and Dirk? Lakers finally plugged the hole in their rotation by getting Sessions yet they continue to lose. So no, it isn't all about match-ups, if it is, the Lakers with Kobe, healthy Bynum, Pau, MWP and Sessions should be undefeated because you really can't match that much offense and defense. Bulls wouldn't be winning so much either if it's all about match-ups.
lakers lost because they could not match up with Dirk offensively and Chandler defensively, you just say that yourself. I do expect the Lakers to go far in the playoffs for the reasons you just mentioned and I don't expect the Bulls to go far for the same reasons. The regular season does not matter a whole lot in the playoffs.
The Lakers didn't really have a matchup advantage last year against Dallas. Dirk and Chandler had enough size (we're talking two 7 footers here) to matchup against Bynum and Gasol. And don't forget that Bynum was nowhere near the offensive force he is this year and Pau was going through a miserable slump.
If anything, Dallas had the advantage because the Lakers were one of the worst teams in giving up 3 pointers last year and Dallas shot the lights out on them.
And the regular season is a whole other beast than the playoffs. Matchups don't matter as much because teams have less time to prepare and need to rest their guys more. The Lakers aren't undefeated because the other 5 guys they play everyday stink. That doesn't matter as much in the playoffs because the game slows down and the bench shortens.
And the regular season is perfect environment for the Bulls. They are super deep and play consistently great defense. That wins you games in the regular season. But come the playoffs, they're not going to make it passed the conference finals because all Miami needs to do is stop Rose. And Miami just so happens to have two of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
Chicago = LeBron era Cleveland.
On defense, Pau defended Dirk like crap but Bynum should be able to dominate in the paint defensively as Chandler. Was he? Nope!. Pua is a good defender too but did he had lapses on leaving Dirk open? Many times.
On hindsight, it's easy to say Dallas had the advantage but before that series, everyone was picking the Lakers and your crazy if you predicted Dallas would go all the way before that. The team imploded for some reason, Pau got extra soft and Bynum acted like an idiot but seriously, look at the match-ups on paper, the Laker should have been an overwhelming winner of the two.
In the Finals, did Lebron, Wade and Bosh really had a match in Dallas? Not really. Lebron choked and Wade has to carry the team by himself so they failed. Roster-wise, you can't even say Dallas is very deep, they pretty much compressed they roster to 8-9 guys in the playoffs.
Again, think about the match-ups w/o knowing the outcome and you'd see that it isn't all about that. Again, how many predicted Dallas the chip last year even when the playoff started? Practically no one.