Eastern Conference Playoff Previews

The matchups in the Eastern Conference were set in stone Monday night thanks to Philadelphia losing to Orlando and the Celtics losing in Washington. They are as follows:
1. Chicago  vs. 8. Indiana
2. Miami  vs. 7. Philadelphia
3. Boston  vs. 6. New York
4. Orlando vs. 5. Atlanta
Let’s preview!
Chicago Vs. Indiana
Reg. Season H2H: Bulls 3-1
Good news for the Pacers: Bulls were 15-1 against central division. But guess who won that lone game?!
Bad news for the Pacers: Everything else. The Pacers would need a career performance from just about the entire roster. …just to win one game. But why keep writing. You know the outcome. 
Prediction: Sweep.
Miami Vs. Philadelphia
Reg. Season H2H: Heat 3-0
I had such high hopes for Dougadelphia. Near Valentine’s day, I begged them not to fall in love within .500. The Sixers stood at 36-34 when I mapped out a scenario that gives them the fifth seed in the East. And yet, here we are. Philly is 41-40, facing the Miami Heat in a 2-7 death matchup and staring at another first round playoff exit square in the face. The Sixers knew if they could hold on to the sixth seed they could make some legitimate noise in the playoffs against a vulnerable Celtics team. After beating the Hawks to pull within 3 games of the fifth seed, the Sixers managed to win only 4 of their next 10, including two gut-wrenching overtime losses to Sacramento at home and in Milwaukee. Many will talk of the Sixers climb out from the Atlantic Division basement, overcoming that 3-13 start, the development of their young players, and/or Doug Collins’ well-deserved candidacy for coach of the year. It is all justifiable praise for a young, overachieving team the coach genuinely cares for. But let’s not forget that there was an opportunity on the table that the Sixers simply could not take advantage of toward the end of the season. Such a shame.
Prediction: Heat in 5.
Boston Vs. New York
Reg Season H2H: Celtics 3-0
9 questions
  1. Will Shaq make it to NY?
  2. Can the Celtics big men create one semi-productive center?
  3. Will Jeff Green successfully fill the James Posey role of 2008?
  4. Can Rondo make his free throws if/when it matters?
  5. Who will win the Pierce vs. ‘Melo matchup?
  6. Will the Knicks play defense?
  7. Will Stat outplay KG?
  8. Will a first round exit spell the end of the Doc era in Beantown?
  9. Can Chauncey survive a 7-game series?

4 X-Factors

  1. Toney Douglas
  2. Jeff Green
  3. Big Baby Davis
  4. Shawne Williams

5 predictions

  1. Rondo obliterates Chauncey for 47 minutes.
  2. Chauncey hits a game winner.
  3. Rondo bricks a crucial free throw
  4. Amare and Melo play lockdown D
  5. Other 7 Knicks Don’t.

0 percent chance of being wrong playoff prediction:
Celtics in 6

Orlando Vs. Atlanta
Reg Season H2H:  Atlanta 1-3
The only good thing about this series is that one of these teams will be eliminated immediately. I don’t see a scenario where either of these two teams create any sort of problems for the the Bulls or Heat in the later rounds of the playoffs.We know that Atlanta folds up shop when the team they’re playing puts up an 8-0 run. The Magic on the other hand have Dwight Howard and shooters who are either washed up (I’m looking at you Hedo), injured (J.J. Redick), or defensively challenged (Hedo, Redick, Arenas, Ryan Anderson). Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson (Saint Joseph’s!) form a nice combination and will ultimately wear down a Hawks team that lacked heart and desire all season.
Prediction: Magic in 6

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s