Home > Basketball, Sport > Playoff time! Will there be a new champ? (East Side)

Playoff time! Will there be a new champ? (East Side)

It’s time for the NBA playoffs. 16 teams start off with hopes of winning the title, and 15 of those teams will end their season with a loss.

This year, there are more teams who have a shot at holding the trophy than in a long time. This should make for a very exciting playoffs.

Now it’s prediction time.

Eastern Conference

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Indiana Pacers

This is a complete mismatch. The Pacers are a reason why many people believe that the NBA playoffs has too many teams. Simply put, a 37-45 team shouldn’t make the playoffs.

The Bulls are simply the better team here. They have the best player, a better coach, and a better bench. Danny Granger gets what he wanted all along a shot at the Bulls. Bulls might slip up and lose a game at most, but I don’t see that happening.

Bulls in Four

(2)Miami Heat vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers

Another mismatch. The Heat should feel very happy about this matchup. There’s a reason why the Heat won all three games between the two this season.

The Heat hold major advantages at the Shooting Guard and Small Forward positions with Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. With Iguodala hampered by injury throughout the season and Elton Brand has been the 76ers most consistent player. These two players are solid, but nowhere near the level needed to cause the Heat serious issues.

To make this a series, the keys here will be the edge at point guard for the 76ers with Jrue Holiday and their superior bench. I don’t see this edge being big enough though to give major concern to the Heat.

Heat in Five

(3) Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

Finally! That’s how Knicks fans feel about making the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Celtics are happy that the playoffs has finally arrived as well, so they can start their journey back to the finals.

The Celtics, if they’re on their game, are a terrible matchup for the Knicks. As the old adage says, “defense wins championships.” The Celtics are one of the top defensive teams in the league, and the Knicks are very inconsistent on defense.

This series has a chance of being extended because the Knicks have the best player in the series, Carmelo Anthony. If Anthony shows up and plays good defense against Paul Pierce, the Knicks can cause some problems for the Celtics. Unfortunately for the Knicks, Chauncey Billups isn’t as quick as he used to, and will struggle to keep Rajon Rondo in front of him.

The Knicks will steal a game somewhere in the series, but the Celtics killer instinct will be too much for the Knicks.

Celtics in Five

(4) Orlando Magic vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks

The 4/5 matchup always brings intrigue. The Hawks, this season have matched up a lot better than in previous seasons against the Magic, holding a 3-1 series edge. The Hawks generally step their game up against quality competition.

The Hawks don’t like to double team Dwight Howard. This helps them guard the long-range shooters of the Magic. This means that Dwight Howard is likely going to have a big series, statistically speaking.

The Magic have the best player in this series, but the Hawks probably have the four best players after that. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith will cause the Magic matchup problems. Johnson will be able to get wherever he wants on the court. Smith is a freakish athlete and the Magic simply aren’t a very athletic team, besides Howard.

The Hawks are a very inconsistent team, and this will be their eventual downfall.

Magic in Six

Eastern Conference Semis

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (4) Orlando Magic

This has the potential of being a fantastic playoff series. Two great players surrounded by solid supporting casts. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard are both MVP candidates and will show it in this series.

The Magic don’t match up well with Derrick Rose, but nobody really does. Rose is able to get into the paint at will and finishes in traffic. A major key to this series will be, since Rose is able to get to the paint at will, whether Howard stay out of foul trouble. If he can’t, this will be a short series.

Ryan Anderson is a particularly tough matchup for the Bulls, as the last regular season matchup showed. Joakim Noah is the anchor of the Bulls defense and doesn’t like to come out of the paint which is why Anderson will be a major factor in the series. The Magic will likely have Howard and Anderson on the court at the same time to cause such matchup problems.

The Bulls are the deeper team and have enough big men to throw at Howard, so they’ll eventually prevail.

Bulls in Seven

(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) Boston Celtics

This is the matchup which every pundit had being the Eastern Conference Finals matchup, but it’ll happen a round earlier.

This has the potential at being a classic playoff matchup, with the established team vs the up and coming team. The Heat have the two best players in the series, but the Celtics have the deeper team and the more experienced coach.

If the Heat play defense the way that they did in the last matchup, the Heat will win the series. However, I don’t see the Heat consistently being able to play at that level. The Celtics have enough experience to make adjustments and be able to take advantage of the Heat’s major weakness at Point Guard with Rondo.

The key to this series though is the Kevin Garnett/Chris Bosh matchup. Historically Garnett has dominated Bosh. However, Garnett is getting older and Bosh is becoming more efficient. If Bosh plays well throughout the series, the Heat will win.

Heat in Six

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (2) Miami Heat

This matchup is likely going to the first of many playoffs series between these sets of players.

The Bulls play great team defense which helps them defend Wade and James. However, both players will still have big series against the Bulls. The issue with the Heat against the Bulls is that Bosh doesn’t matchup well with Noah as his 1-18 game earlier in the season showed. The rest of the Heat team can’t get their own shot, so they’ll be dependent on James and Wade’s ability to create shot opportunities for them.

The Heat are a pick-and-roll and isolation based team, things which the Bulls matchup well against, but I see the Heat making adjustments and being able to take advantage of their superior athletes in James and Wade.

The Heat are a very aggressive team on defense and love to trap the pick-and-roll which will try to stop some of Rose’s aggressiveness and force others on the Bulls to beat them. The Bulls have some decent shooters, but only one great one, Kyle Korver. If the Bulls are able to shoot the ball well from the perimeter, they will beat the Heat.

The Bulls have an edge with their “bigs” and the Heat with their wing players. Who has the ultimate edge though?

I see it being the Bulls with their superior home court advantage. The United Center will be rocking for sure!

Bulls in Seven

via Sportsbetting

There you have it, I see the Chicago Bulls making it to the NBA finals.

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