Thursday, April 14, 2011

AC'S Spotlight: The NBA Playoffs, analyzing the Eastern Conference Series

The Western Matchups have yet to be determined, but that doesn't mean we can't find out what's going on in the East. 4 series going, let's get it on!

#1 Bulls vs. #8 Pacers

I've been trying to think about what team the Chicago Bulls remind me of, and I'm still thinking. They're a frenetic and great defensive team led by the MVP Derrick Rose. They have a lot of frontcourt depth, and they're a decent offensive team. I feel like I should be saying more for a team that could have homecourt throughout the playoffs. I've always had this sinking feeling though that they might run into some trouble because they might have difficulty scoring. What if Rose gets doubled in a close game? Who's making the shots? Boozer and his questionable playoff career? Deng maybe? I don't know but I feel like at some point down the road they'll get exposed.

For the Indiana Pacers, it's been a season of ups and downs. They started off with Jim O' Brien as the coach, then he got fired, (thank god for the Pacers) and Frank Vogel has the Pacers playing a lot better.

The only chance the Pacers have is to control the tempo of the game. The Bulls want to play a halfcourt game and get in transition off their defense. The Pacers need to force the issue and make this a back and forth high scoring game. If they can do that, this series will be more of a fight then we expected. That being said, Bulls with homecourt are too talented.


#2 Heat vs. #7 Sixers

The best thing that could've happened to the Heat was this regular season. You would think that they got some experience from all the scrutiny and all the high profile games that they both won and lost. I believe that this series and matchup is tailor made for them. Lebron and Wade and Bosh will all play well in this series due to the Sixers defensive principles.

To go into detail, the Sixers don't like to double team. The problem is you have two of the 5 best 1 on 1 players in basketball on the same team, and they're both hungry to prove people wrong. I expect the Heat to have a good showing on both sides of the ball, and to send a message to the rest of the Eastern Conference. Philly has had a great season and that should not be understated, they're just going up against a tough matchup.

Heat in 5.

#3 Celtics vs. #6 Knicks

The Celtics come into this series with a little bit of a bad taste in their mouths. Their peers, the Bulls and the Heat basically smacked them around not only by beating them but disrespecting them as well. The Celts are the definition of a team, but a team who's chemistry is definitely not the same after the noted Kendrick Perkins trade. They still have the Big 4 and a world of experience. They have a defensive mentality, and that's why eventually they'll wear down their opponents, the New York Knicks.

The Knicks don't play any defense, or at least not enough for me to consider them to actually win this series. The only way they win this series is if they play defense and jump ahead in the series and win a 6th game at MSG. I just don't see it happening. A) Carmelo and Amare will both be forced to work on defense, B) If Rondo is aggressive and attacking the Knicks have no one to keep up with him, and C) If Shaq gives the Celtics anything, the size will be too tall of a task.

Any Knick fan should be happy that they're back in the playoffs. It will be good to see this group get some experience going forward as they'll be together for awhile. They're just going up against a team that has done it before WAY too many times to think that they'll fold. The Knicks will make this a series though.

Celtics in 6.

#4 Magic vs. #5 Hawks.

I start this by saying I don't like the Atlanta Hawks because they're just blah. They need to change that team, the roster has been essentially the same for the past 4 years and they're stuck in limbo. They're really not going anywhere either, I don't know if you've seen them tank the season but they've looked terrible. They're just really.... average.

Orlando on the other hand has Dwight Howard who has played like an MVP because he's the best defender on at team that plays none. Poor guy, the only way the Magic lose this series is if Dwight is in consistent foul trouble. I'm sorry that there are some people who think that Jason Collins is the answer to D12. The Magic will lose a couple of games because they're not as good as they used to be, but they'll win this series. I have no idea why people think all of a sudden that the Hawks are going to show up.

Magic in 6.

I'll get into the West shortly.
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