Friday, April 16, 2010

Eastern Conference Playoffs Preview

Welcome to the NBA playoffs. After a slight hiatus, the TWTWTNBA returns to give snippets of what to see in the playoffs.

Eastern Conference Playoffs:

1 - Cleveland (61-21) vs 8 - Chicago (41-41)

Most people expect the Cavs to steamroll the Bulls. Then again, we said the same thing about the Celtics last year against these Bulls and look at how many games in that series were ESPN Classic-rewatchable.

Key player to watch out for: Lebron, obviously, but Mo Williams needs to be the #2 that he is. Plus, we need to cue the Godfather music. For the Bulls, Derrick Rose needs to be at the range of his 2009 playoff performance. And Flip Murray has to approximate a good Ben Gordon day.

Prediction: Cavs in 5.

2 - Orlando (59-23) vs 7 - Charlotte (44-38)

Larry Brown completes the rebuilding cycle, with the Bobcats securing their first winning season and with that, their first playoff berth. Remains to be seen if he will return to the scene, although he has indicated he will. Let's see if the Magic can make their return trip with all their upgrading.

Key players to look out for: Crash and Captain Jack will carry the load, but how Raymond Felton and DJ Augustine play is paramount. Oh, and they have no chance if Tyson Chandler is out. As for the Magic, it's all about Matt Barnes, because he will be guarding both Crash and Captain Jack.

Prediction: Magic in 5

3 - Atlanta (53-29) vs 6 - Milwaukee (46-36)

This would have been fun, if Andrew Bogut did not suffer this. And who knew that the Hawks would escape the 4-hole. Do you #FearTheDeer?

Key players to look out for: Jamal Crawford will be winning the 6th Man of the Year. John Salmons looks like he will get rewarded. Oh and will Brandon Jennings shoot well? He shot just under 28% against the Hawks, his worst among all the teams.

Prediction: Hawks in 4.

4 - Boston (50-32) vs 5 - Miami (47-35)

Let's see if the PGA Tour can one-up the One-Man-Band. All the rumblings about the Celtics being in their last legs may be true. For Pat Riley's sake, they need a really good push in order for the MV3 to stay in South Beach.

Key players to look out for: Nate Robinson was acquired to provide a little oomph on their bench. He has averaged only 6.5 pts, 1.5 rebs and 2 assts since the All-Star break. We all know about Sheed. As for the Heat, someone has to help out Wade. It would naturally be Michael Beasley, but his numbers have tailed off since the All-Star Break.

Prediction: Boston in 7. Miami is like the marinade for the Celtics, who would then be barbecued by the Cavs in the next round.

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