The super-producer and NBA aficionado shares his thoughts on the upcoming series.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview one of the most influential producers of our era, CardoGotWings. Though unplanned, our conversation eventually veered into the state of the NBA as the interview took place on the day of the league’s trading deadline, a frenzied few hours that resulted in a significant reshuffling of stars. Cardo, was incredibly knowledgeable about all things hoops and as such, I began brainstorming on a pitch for Cardo to predict the playoffs as they unfold in our new signature series, CardoGotWins.
In our debut installment, we asked Cardo to predict the winners of each first-round matchup (Set to begin officially at 1PM EST on Saturday) and give us some brief insight into his picks. Cardo, as usual, didn’t disappoint. Delivering incredible insight and some surprising upset picks. Not to mention a very direct Damian Lillard shoutout. Read on to see if Cardo’s picks match up with yours and check back on Elevator prior to the second round of NBA Playoff action for our second installment of your new favorite column, CardoGotWings.
It’s been a while since we last spoke, but not much has changed atop the charts my g, “God’s Plan” is now #1 for the eleventh straight week. What’s it like to hear that song everywhere you go?
Man, it’s a blessing. My kids, they look at me like “Dad, you know Drake?!”, my daughter asks me that all the time now.
Has anything changed for you in these 11 weeks?
Just my phone going crazy every day, but you can’t be mad at that. It’s like they say, you always one record away from changing your life, and I believe that’s what is taking place right now with that record for me. You know I never had a #1 record before, so I’m still learning how to remain humble with everything. What says more about you than your accomplishments is the way you react and treat others. I’m just focused on being the same dude, just with bigger goals. The humbleness is still there, I’m just so appreciative of everything that’s come my way. I got to watch how I walk and talk now.
I went back to Miami a few weeks ago and that song is playing everywhere I promise you. At the club, on the beach, at church, it’s wild.
Bruh I can’t turn on the radio without hearing that or “Big Shot” these days it’s wild.
Speaking of W’s, last time we spoke it was the NBA trade deadline and you definitely knew your stuff. So we’re going to do a little playoff prediction and analysis with you. I’ll let you know the match-up and you tell me who you think will win this round, why and maybe a player to watch for. Sound good?
Let’s get into it.
So who you got your eye on this year?
You know I got to rock with my Wolves, they clinched the playoffs last night, but shout out my brother Wilson Chandler on the Nuggets too, we were on the phone last night talking about it. I got to rock with my Wolves even though I think they playing the Warriors, which is going to be tough.
I feel that, just a heads up that your wolves are playing the Rockets not the Warriors in round one. That change anything for you?
We playing the Rockets?! Man, we gotta just hope for a good series then as a Wolves fan, try to take them to game 6 or 7. The Rockets look crazy this year though, CP3 wants his ring. You know what they say though, the series is tied right now so anything can happen.
I feel you there, I’ve got to rock with my Miami Heat, but we’re playing the 76ers who have won like 16 straight so it’s tough.
Ya’ll better hope Meek Mill don’t show up at one of these games, he’s out Monday. If that happens do you know lit Philly about to be? Going to be tough to win a game there when they got their hometown hero back, that whole city is standing with him right now. That’s crazy timing too. Not to mention Philly been going crazy with the Super Bowl win, the 76ers haven’t made the playoffs in so long and for them to have the momentum they do with that winning streak, it’s cool to see even if they are the underdogs a little bit.
You think they’ll beat the Heat?
Nah not Miami. With Wade and Whiteside your team looks solid. I could see it being a really tough series for both teams, but I think the Heat will win. The first round is always crazy exciting though, it’s like the start of the real season. Miami has looked really good lately though and I think Spoelstra is a good coach, he’ll have them ready to compete. I think Miami takes it, but you never know until you see how they matchup game 1. The 76ers have some great young players. Simmons is on another level right now too. They’re on their shit right now. They just got Fultz back and he dropped a triple-double his first week back. I’m not going to lie, I know you a heat fan and I’ve got faith in Dwyane pulling through but it’s a scary matchup, their whole lineup is fresh legs you know? Plus, there’s the whole Whiteside-Embiid dynamic. I like both of those guys. Whiteside is funny to me, but he doesn’t take any shit from anybody at the same time, not a cry baby, none of that. He just wants to get after it. Embiid is the same thing, they’re both super entertaining. Should be a fun series for the fans.
What about this Toronto Vs Washington Wizards matchup, I know which team your boy Drake is pulling for.
Oh yeah, Toronto going to take the Wizards out for sure. The Wizards were pretty disappointing this year. I fuck with John Wall, think he’s definitely underrated in my eyes and I think the injury might’ve hampered him a little this season. I think he’ll bounce back and so will that team, but this just isn’t their year I don’t think. The way Toronto is playing right now though they look tough to beat, and if Drake shows up to every game bro it’s over. He might fuck around and win MVP. Yeah, I like the Wizards, but I got the Raptors 4-0 on this one, get the brooms ready.
Alright, next up we got the Celtics going up against the Milwaukee Bucks
Damn, I know the Celtics the favorite in this one, but with no Kyrie that’s going to be tough. No Kyrie at all and you have to deal with the Greek Freak? The freak is about to go crazy on them, they can’t match-up with that. I’ve got to go with the Bucks on this one. I would say sweep, but I don’t want to count them all the way out because they got a good coach (Brad Stevens) over there and they’re a solid team even without Kyrie. I got the Bucks winning though.
Now, the last matchup for the Eastern Conference is Lebron James and the Cavs Vs. The Indiana Pacers. I feel like I know the answer to this one, but Cardo who you got in this one?
Yeah, that one is already over for them. Pacers might as well start booking their golf trips and shit because playoff Lebron is a whole different level. Lebron’s mindset changes when it comes to playoffs every year. They might’ve had an up and down year as a team, but Lebron can put a team on his back in the playoffs like only a few I’ve ever seen. It’s his 15thyear and he just played all 82 games for the first time, the man is a beast. I think he’s going to dominate for another 3-4 years too.
I think a lot of people agree and that’s why his next deal is so important. I can see him leaving Cleveland again.
Oh I think he’s dipping bro. The Cavs just aren’t the best organization, from top to bottom and it’s clear he doesn’t get along with the owner. I don’t want to blame Tyrone Lue for being the coach that he is, but he just doesn’t have the juice like that anymore. Anyway, I want to see Lebron go to Houston or the Lakers, personally.
Yeah everyone keeps saying that he might join the Lakers, which would be wild.
Man, if he joins the Lakers dog do you know how much money that man would make? He’d be in every commercial you saw, every billboard you drove past, I can see it happening. If he does decide to dip, NBA twitter is going to lose their damn minds.
That’s half the fun though. Alright, let’s move over to the western conference. First up we got your Wolves going against the Rockets. How are you feeling about this one?
Man I think we got to hope for a good series, I’m not even trying to play myself and say that we’re going to take that one. You know those boys already got their brooms ready, those Houston niggas look tough right now. So as a Wolves fan I’m scared but at the same time I believe in Coach Thibodeau, we got Butler coming back, I don’t know what’s going on with D. Rose right now, I think the whole squad looks pretty stacked right now. I’m just hoping we can get some solid experience from this. That said it’s T-Wolves all day and every day.
This is probably a good time to get your thoughts on this MVP race going on, who you got?
Phew I’ve got to give to Russ again man. He’s out here busting his ass every night, after he got that triple-double the other night to make sure he’ average one for the year it was a wrap for me. There’s a lot of dudes having great years though, I could definitely see Lebron and Harden getting a lot of votes, but for me personally, it’s Russ. Even though you could make a case for a lot of guys this year. I think Damian Lillard is super slept on too, he’s having an incredible year and without those 3 I just mentioned he’d probably be the top dog right now.
All good picks, speaking of Dame, have you heard his bars? Man can spit.
Oh, of course, he for real. I sent him some beats before too.
Yeah, I don’t know where it went or if you know maybe he didn’t get the email or whatever, but I sent him some.
We need that to happen.
Cardo: Yeah if he sees this interview or something, listen, Damian, I’m looking for you bruh, let’s work. I’d love to work with him.
Alright, speaking of Dame, who you got in the Portland Vs New Orleans Series?
That’s a great matchup. I think that might go to 7 games. Even without Cousins, Anthony Davis goes crazy. It’s superstar versus superstar there, that’s going to be fun to watch. Portland always makes it to the playoffs, but it seems like they haven’t been able to win the big games when they need to the last few years. I think the Blazers get the W this year, but Davis going to be back in the playoffs soon.
I agree, that one could go either way. We’ve only got a couple matchups left here, so who do you have winning the Warriors Vs Spurs in the first round.
Yeah I think the Warriors are going to kill the Spurs. Even without Steph, that team just as too much talent to match up with especially if Kawhi isn’t going to suit up. (Note: Following our interview, it was reported that Kawhi Leonard will in fact, play in the series). I love Coach Pop, he’s one of the best to do it, but I don’t see it happening for them this year. The Warriors have looked a little shaky without Steph these last 15 games though, so if Kawhi does play I think it’d be a competitive series. Without him though, they just don’t have the juice to match up with the champs.
Alright, down to the last matchup of the first round, we’ve got your MVP pick- Russel Westbrook & the Thunder going against the Utah Jazz. What are your thoughts on the matchup?
The Jazz have been playing they ass off, it’s crazy. They got their best team since the Stockton/Malone days in my opinion, that kid Donovan Mitchell is special. But I don’t think any of that is going to matter, because Russ isn’t about to let any of that shit happen. Russ is one of the most competitive dudes in the league, not to mention Paul George and Melo. They’re going to push hard and take this series I think. They’ve been there before and this all new to the Jazz. We going to see though, that’s’ why they play the games.