Lets get into the matchups:
#1 Miami Heat VS. #8 Milwaukee Bucks
East, best record in basketball, MVP being a lock for
Milwaukee is strong where the Heat are weak, at rebounding. The Bucks ranked fourth in rebounds, the Heat are dead last. This, and if the Heat underestimate the Bucks this could become a series. Don't get me wrong, the Bucks aren't nearly deep enough to win this thing, but they can give Miami a scare. Expect the defense of the Heat, as it had all season against Milwaukee, to dominate this matchup. The Bucks may be able to steal a game, but that's where it will end.
#2 New York Knicks VS. Boston Celtics
Season Records: 54-28 vs 41-40
Season Series: Knicks leads 3-1
Don't take this as me saying that Boston is going to go down quietly, because they won't. With the tragedies that are happening in Boston on Monday and still ongoing up until the minute, there will be some extra fight in this Boston team. The emotion of coming back to the TD Garden after a long layoff with the fans ready to get a distraction from the awful real world they currently live in, that will motivate this team. That and the veteran presence of this team will help them steal some wins from the two seeded Knicks. At the end of the day, the Knicks are far too talented to get bounced once again in the first round. They will have their issues and will have something to work towards, but they are taking this series. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett may be playing their last games together. Carmelo Anthony will finally bring this Knicks team to its first playoff series win in thirteen years.
Series Outcome: Knicks in 6 games
#3 Indiana Pacers VS. #6 Atlanta Hawks
Season Records: 49-32 vs 44-38
Season Series: 2-2
This series is a true tale of two seasons. The Pacers took two losses early in the season while they won the last two meetings they had. Indiana had a bad ending to their season winning only one of their last six games. That combined with the Knicks fifteen game winning streak basically knocked them from having a chance to compete for the two seed. The Hawks also had an awful ending to the season going two and five in their last seven games. Both these teams are cold going into the playoffs so there is no telling which team can get hot and take the series home. They play similar styles with their offense going through their bigs. The Pacers with Roy Hibbert and David West and the Hawks with Al Horford and Josh Smith. Atlanta is going to try to beat a very good defense when trying to score, which they've only been average at all year anyway. The loss of Danny Granger hurts their depth immensely and makes it harder to keep Paul George off the floor at all.
The Hawks have some good players coming off the bench in Lou Williams and Zaza Pachulia who add extra scoring and rebounding to a team that definitely needs it. These two could end up being under-the-radar key players in the series. On paper, everyone wanted to play the Hawks, but I don't see this as being the best matchup for them. I feel as if in the end they will indeed pull it out, but it will be in a hard fought series. I expect Atlanta to take this team down to the wire.
Series Outcome: Pacers in 7 games
#4 Brooklyn Nets VS. #5 Chicago Bulls
Season Records: 49-33 vs 45-37
Season Series: Chicaco leads 3-1
e could have expected. They bolstered their lineup with additions of Joe Johnson and
The Bulls defense and three point shooting can win them games on any given night. That is what is going to make this a series. Everyone is expecting the Bulls to pull off an upset here because they've been here before. The Nets may be inexperienced as a unit, but Williams has four years of postseason experience, Johnson has seven years, Wallace has five, and this will be Jerry Stackhouse's ninth playoff appearance. That is a lot of years of experience to have for an entire unit. Don't underestimate this Nets team, they can ball with the best of them. We only remember that the Bulls just ended the Heat and Knicks win streaks two weeks apart from each other. We don't remember that the Bulls style hurts teams like the Miami and New York, the Nets play a different style. That style will bring Brooklyn to its feet and into the conference semi-finals.
Series Outcome: Nets in 7 games
Tune into Sports Envy tomorrow as we will go over who will be the big winners in the Western Conference Series. The East was all chalk, who will the upsets be in the West?