Eastern Conference 1st Round Review

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So, I think it’s pretty well known around the United States and the world the Bobcats are the favorites to come out of the East…..uhhhhh anyways, here goes my predictions!

 

In the 1 vs. 8 match-up we feature the defending champs taking on a Milwaukee Bucks team lead by Brandon Jennings who said Milwaukee will win in SIX. Brandon, I’m sorry, but you just signed your death wish. As if Miami needed any more fuel headed into the playoffs other than losing the what could have been the longest win streak ever recorded, or defending the title. Milwaukee has some talent in Monta, Jennings & Ersan but simply put they have no chance to win the series and I’m not even giving them a game.

Series Prediction: Break out the broom, Miami 4-0 Sweep.

 

In the 2 vs. 7 match-up, New York vs. Boston, KG vs. Melo, LaLa tasting like honey-nut cheerios, this series has some bad blood between the two teams. The Knickerbockers, coming off a 54 win season and winning 16 of there last 18 games, are finally looking like they’re going to be full strength headed to the playoffs. Both Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler are both expected to be back for game one and that is great news for the Knicks seeing how they’ll both be checking KG at different points of the game and they can keep KG in check big-time.  The Knicks shot and made the most three pointers in the entire NBA, so they’re going to need to continue to drain the three ball if they’re looking to make a deep run in the playoffs. For Boston, this could end quickly. The only advantage they have is there head coach in Doc Rivers and out of respect for Doc, I believe Boston may win a game or 2. No Rondo, KG struggling and outside of Pierce and Jeff Green, there isn’t much offense for the Celtics. If KG continues to struggle this series may be a real quick one; his struggles may lead to Jeff Green seeing more doubles and not letting him get anything going either.

Series Prediction: Knicks close it out in 5 at MSG 4-1.

In an intriguing match-up the Indiana Pacers(3) take on the Atlanta Hawks(6) who gave away the 5 seed on the last 2 days too the Bulls. Atlanta had actually taken the series in the regular season 2-1 but both wins for Atlanta had a healthy Lou Williams, who is now out for the season. Each team has 2 big guns; Indiana has David West and Paul George, potential most improved player in the NBA and Hot-Lanta has Josh Smith and Al Horford, who’s arguably been the best all around Center in the East this season. West has shown he can dominate Atlanta this season scoring 21+ and shooting 53 percent in the three games they’ve played head to head. Besides the big guns the Pacers have, I believe the 2nd ranked defense in the NBA they put forth will be too strong for a Hawks team that can go stagnant offensively often, especially if Smoove is trying to do it all himself in 1 on 1 sets. Jeff Teague has to make sure he keeps everything smooth, including Smoove, if Atlanta is going to win this series.

Series Prediction: Hawks will fight, but ultimately, Pacers in 6 POSSIBLY 7.

 

This last series, could potentially be a great 1st round series…that is if Joakim Noah can play. The Chicago Bulls, who stole the 5 seed the last day of the season are facing the 4 seeded Brooklyn Nets who are in there 1st playoff appearance ever as a team. The Bulls actually won the season series 2-1, winning in Brooklyn, but the Bulls learned they may be without there All-Star Joakim Noah. With Noah in the lineup, the Bulls are simply more physical than Brooklyn and between Noah, Boozer and Taj Gibson Brooklyn may not be able to handle all that physical play in a 7 game series. The Nets X-Factor has to be Joe Johnson, though. Joe, who made $19 Million this season has to perform like an all-star that he has been and claims to still be.  Joe shot only 42 percent from the field and averaged below his career mark with only 16 points per game. With D-Will and Brook Lopez playing at extremely high levels on the offensive end, it’s important to shut down Johnson if you’re the Bulls so you don’t have 3 of Brooklyn’s players all dominating at once. On the flip side, Nate Rob, we’re going to need you little big fella. I can’t imagine this Bulls team being a playoff team without Nate Rob this year or any higher than the 8 seed. The Bulls have possessions on offense where they simply break down completely and Nate is the type of player that when things break down, he’ll make something happen. Especially if Jo isn’t in the lineup Nate will need to come up HUGE. But the Bulls have an X-Factor themselves and it’s second year player Jimmy Butler. in 20 starts this season, Butler has averaged 14 Points and 7 Rebounds while his shooting splits were 45 percent FG’s, 45 percent 3PT’s and 78 percent from the FT Line all while playing PLUS defense. Jimmy has been an excellent surprise for the Bulls and he most likely will draw the Joe Johnson and Deron Williams defensive assignments all through out the series and I expect him to perform excellently. With that being said, the series in my opinions lies on the tear in Joakim Noah’s foot.

Series Prediction: IF Joakim can play 30+ minutes a game – Chicago Bulls in 7.
If he cannot or if he doesn’t play, Brooklyn Nets in 5, possibly 6.

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