IT'S PLAYOFF TIME!
Another regular season of NBA basketball is over, now the real season begins. I am going to preview each match up, but first I'll start with the Eastern conference first.
In the East, only about half of the series will be somewhat close. The Celtics (1st seed) will take on the Hawks (8th seed). This shouldn't be much of a challenge for the Celts. They have already gone through this season with ease and they have the home court advantage. Sorry Hawks fans; like I said about the Sixers, this is more of a playoff experiment for the Hawks. One win would be an incredible feat. I wish the Hawks luck, but don't expect any one of these games to be an ESPN classic.
The Cavs (4th seed) will once again face the Wizards (5th seed). This match up has more fire than it has every year. If you didn't know, Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson called LeBron overrated. This is going to anger a superstar and you don't do that to someone like LJ. Stevenson does get hot at times, but his consistency is not near as high as LeBron's. I want to see Bron Bron switch onto Stevenson and do something like Kobe would do. Take on someone and play them really tough. Force him to take bad shots, run down the shot clock and force some turnovers. LeBron will get his message across soon enough. This series should go six or seven games, the Cavs will come out on top. Not really because they are the better team, but because LeBron will want to prove that they are the better team.
Orlando (3rd seed) will face the Raptors (6th seed). Two big men standout: Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh. Five or six games sounds right for this, the Magic will win. They each have microscopic amounts of playoff experience, but the Magic have a much better squad. They are deep and the Raptors haven't been as good this season. Home court is big in this series; that's where the Raptors will win some games. I want to see Howard be a monster on each end and send the message that the Magic are going to be great for years to come.
Lastly, the Pistons (2nd seed) will take on the Sixers (7th seed). They are serious as a team, but sadly this should be done in five or six games. They don't have a chance beating them in Detroit, but they can make some noise at home. I like this Sixer teams and this will be a true showcase for them.
We got through the semi-minor league, now it's time for the Western boys.
LA (1st seed) will host the Nuggets (8th seed). High scoring match up, the Nuggets have been hot of late. They should be able to get one game in Denver, two if they're lucky. LA is going to be willed by the play of Kobe Bryant. Bynum probably won't be back, but the Lakers can get through this series without him.
The Jazz (4th seed) hope to send the Rockets (5th seed) home packing. I love this series. The reason the Jazz will be victorious is first they are a deeper team and second they've got home court. It seems like they can't lose there and I don't care how good any team is, Utah's crowd is rockin. Six or seven games and the Jazz probably win it in a close fight.
San Antonio (3rd seed) will face the Suns (6th seed). This is one the most dramatic rivalries in either conference. I have to pick the Spurs, regretfully. I like the new look Suns, but the Spurs will move on because of Manu's movement to top scorer on the team. Seven game series for sure, might go down as one of the best first round series ever.
The Hornets (2nd seed) compete against the Mavs (7th seed). Six game series, Mavs win. I really like the Hornets, but experience will prove better in this series. JKidd will finally really show up. This should be a nice coming out party for Paul as well.