It’s time once again for postseason greatness in the NBA.
Here are the Eastern Conference series:
(1) Miami Heat vs (8) Milwaukee Bucks
(2) New York Knicks vs (7) Boson Celtics
(3) Indiana Pacers vs (6) Atlanta Hawks
(4) Brooklyn Nets vs (5) Chicago Bulls
Break Downs and Predictions:
(1) Heat vs (8) Bucks:
This series hardly requires any breaking down. Simply put, the Miami Heat are out of the Bucks’ league.
It’s possible that the Bucks may come within ten points of the Heat in one or two of the games, but even that is being optimistic.
Prediction – Miami wins series 4-0
(2) Knicks vs (7) Celtics:
Much like the “2-vs-7” match-up in the West between the Spurs and Lakers, this series is very likely going to the final seventh game.
The New York Knicks have seen MVP level play from star Forward Carmelo Anthony and stellar support from J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler.
The Celtics have been coping with the loss of All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo to an ACL injury. Stepping up to fill the void has been Avery Bradley. Forward Jeff Green has provided much needed scoring and will likely be the “X-factor” in the Knicks series.
Because both teams have formidable scoring threats as well as defensive abilities, I would give the edge to the better head coach. Doc Rivers is one of, if not the best coach in the East.
Prediction – Boston wins series 4-3
(3) Pacers vs (6) Hawks:
They should call this series the “under-the-radar” series.
Both the Indiana Pacers and Atalanta Hawks have done simply just enough over the course of the season to make the playoffs without turning many heads or making any waves.
This strategy worked well for the Pacers last season as they proved the first real test on the Heat’s road to their championship, nearly stealing the series while Dwyane Wade struggled and Chris Bosh recovered from injury.
The Hawks pose no such threat to the Pacers who, even without Danny Granger, should handle Atlanta without much issue.
Prediction – Indiana wins series 4-2
(4) Nets vs (5) Bulls:
The Chicago Bulls surely thought they’d be going into the first round of the playoffs this season with a healthy Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL in the first round of last year’s playoffs.
That, however, is not their reality as Rose continues his rehab months after being cleared by team doctors to return to action.
The Brooklyn Nets pose a large challenge for the shorthanded Bulls with All-Star Center Brook Lopez and elite Point Guard Deron Williams enjoying home court advantage.
The biggest chance the Bulls stand at beating the Nets is by exploiting their physical play. The X-factors for Chicago will be Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson.
Prediction – Chicago wins series 4-3
That wraps up the Eastern Conference first round match-ups. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.