2011 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs set

Having endured a long season, the wait is finally over. The 2011 NBA Playoffs, the real season, is finally upon us. In the stacked Eastern Conference, the standings have finally been decided. Let’s briefly break them down.

1 Chicago Bulls vs 8 Indiana Pacers

I personally think this series is a no-brainer. The Pacers are faced with the daunting task of playing the #1 seeded Bulls and their MVP-to-be Derrick Rose. The Pacers come into the playoffs as the only team with a losing record. Add the fact that they lost 3 out of the 4 times they played the Bulls in the regular season, and we’re left with a simple conclusion. The Pacers do have a weapon in Danny Granger, and he’s not to be overlooked. The end result though, Bulls in an easy series.

prediction: Bulls win 4-1

2 Miami Heat vs 7 Philadelphia 76ers

The Miami Heat are coming into the playoffs looking pretty good. With Wade and LeBron leading the way, healthy and peaking at just the right time, the Heat look poised to make a deep playoff run. Their first round matchup isn’t one they should overlook, which is something the Heat have been guilty of often this season. The 76ers, expected to be a lottery team, have come into this season energized by veteran coach Doug Collins. The reality is though, the 76ers just don’t have the right pieces to matchup with the Heat.

prediction: Heat win 4-1

3 Boston Celtics vs 6 New York Knicks

This is one series that seems to have a lot of intrigue. The (relatively) new-look Knicks have finally brought excitement back to New York with the additions of Carmelo Anthony, savvy veteran Chauncy Billups and offseason pick-up Amare Stoudemire. I personally see it this way: The Knicks suck and the Celtics are a dominant team… Simple. The Knicks as a whole seem disinterested in playing any defense, while the Celtics are battle tested and live and die with defense. The Knicks will make this series interesting for a few reasons though. A.) D’antoni’s offense: high pace and high powered, the Knicks can score and for some reason they manage to stick it out in games that they have no business winning. B.) In said games that they have no business winning, they have one of the games ultimate closers in their back pocket, Carmelo Anthony. His clutch gene is matched by few and he really wants the ball with the game on the line. Let’s not even mention that they have Mr. Big Shot on their side. This isn’t one of the clear cut series, but because of experience and crushing defensive ability, the Celtics win this one.

prediction: Celtics win 4-2

4 Orlando Magic vs 5 Atlanta Hawks

This match-up always holds some intrigue. Since the 4 and 5 times are very evenly matched, you often are left with an exciting series. This one should be no different. The Hawks give the Magic trouble and even though the Magic are a better overall team than the Hawks, this is a matchup that frustrates the Magic. With Jason Collins at their disposal (an underrated, excellent defensive player), they manage to bother Dwight Howard into some foolish fouls. This interior matchup often forces the Magic to shoot a bunch of 3’s. While the Magic are a team that loves the 3, you know what they say ‘Live by the 3, Die by the 3’. This series will hinge on which Dwight Howard shows up. The superstar that he is, I full expect him to come out dominant. None the less, this will be a battle of the series, but with home court advantage, this one goes to the more experienced Orlando Magic.

prediction: Magic win 4-2


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