2010/11 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference 2nd Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Friday, April 29, 2011 with No comments
It was the Power of Belief that allowed the Hawks to dethrone the citizens of the Magic Kingdom and it was also the Power of Belief that allowed the Pacers to give the Bulls one of the toughest 1st round playoff battles ever.  Now the Hawks and the Bulls are set for their second round match-up with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals at stake.  The Bulls won the season series 2-1 with one of those wins being on Atlanta's  home court.  To get to this point, Hawks Head Coach Larry Drew allowed Dwight Howard to have his way with his Hawks while the Hawks player shut down the rest of the team; in essence guard 4 to let one dominate and usually in the NBA one can't beat five.  The Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose pose a more serious threat to the Hawks than the Magic did but the Hawks have more firepower than the Bulls if utilized correctly.  The Pacers blueprint for playing the Bulls so tough was by stopping Rose and making his teammates defeat them which was the opposite of the strategy the Hawks used against the Magic and Dwight Howard.  If the Hawks decide to utilize the Pacers defensive scheme on Rose, they may have a shot to make the series extremely tough for the Bulls but that's only if the Bulls roll players continue their lackluster play into the second round. This will no doubt be another defensive struggle for the Hawks but it will be one that they'll lose.  Derrick Rose will prove to be too much for the Hawks and Carlos Boozer should make a statement as the Bulls move on in six grueling, ugly games.

The next series is personal:

Anytime the Heat and Celtics face off it's Armageddon, the winner of this series will not be the team that won but rather the team that survived.  The 2010/11 version of the Miami Heat was forged back in 2008 as the Celtics big three were formed.  The seeds were planted then as the Celtics went on to win the championship.  Now the two power houses will face off in the most anticipated second round playoffs battle of all time; again it's personal and it will be seven games of pure, primal, animalistic hell.  Last season the Celtics defeated Wade first and then Lebron in the playoffs, forcing the two to join forces with Chris Bosh as an extra addition.    Defeating Boston was always the goal, winning the NBA title is secondary because there was no doubt that this match up had to take place first.  With that being said the winner of this series may very well go on and win this years Championship.  This series is only personal for me because I respect the Celtics perhaps more than any other team sans the Heat of course.  To quote Ric Flair, "To be the man, you have to beat...the man!"  The Celtics are the "man", "that" team....you know "that" team in the hood that runs everyone off of the court time after time, after time...that is until the new kids on the block finally and shockingly dethrones them.  Miami has the best road record in the NBA and combining that with home court advantage is deadly for the Celtics.  The Heat will survive, the number of games doesn't matter, margin of victory doesn't matter; this is about survival...simply put the winner, the Heat, will walk off the court while the Celtics will be carried off the court having given the Heat all they could handle.