2012 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference 1st Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Friday, April 27, 2012 with No comments
Bulls/Sixers, the 1/8 match-up; I must say that the Sixers will play the Bulls well due to the Sixers being extremely athletic but the Bulls are bigger.  With the Sixers being soft on the inside, the Bulls bigs should have their way around the rim.  As intriguing as this match up is, the Bulls are the most consistent team and at this time the Sixers don't boast enough fire power to keep up with the Bulls over a seven game series.  The Bulls will win easily here.

It's not surprising that the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic are facing each other in the playoffs but it is a surprise that the Pacers are the third seed and the Magic are the sixth seed. Before the season even began, many would have picked the Magic to land one of the top 4 seeds but no one could have predicted the drama that was Dwight Howard. The Pacers'
huge addition David West brought a toughness that the team lacked in recent years and second year wing Paul George continued his growth with impressive play. The Orlando Magic however will have to face the Pacers without franchise center Dwight Howard and despite playing hard, Magic opponents are shooting above 50% with Howard out of the lineup. This series should not and will not last long the Pacers will move on to the second round.

Beginning in 1996 and lasting until 2000, the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat battled each other in the playoffs for four grueling years. The Heat was the first battle while the Knicks won the following 3 with all four series lasting until the deciding game 5 or 7....times are different now. Since replacing coach Mike D'Antoni, the Knicks have played inspired basketball and over the last month, Carmelo Anthony has played his best basketball since joining the Knicks at mid season last year. The Miami Heat are on a championship path and anything less will mean failure. This series will bring star power and passion but the Heat will have too much fire power for the Knicks and despite the fact that the Knicks have played better defense since Mike Woodson became head coach, the Heat are the superior defensive team. The Heat will move on but I have a feeling that this series will last 6 games as Carmelo Anthony is talented enough to lead the Knicks to two wins.

Upset Special

The Atlanta Hawks played the spoiler role this time last season as they eliminated the Orlando Magic from the playoffs in what many considered a huge upset and this season's playoffs the Hawks will again play the spoiler. The Hawks will face the Boston Celtics and for the past few years many experts have written the Celtics off.  After a slow start to the season, the Celtics had one of the better records in the NBA after the All-Star break and now many are picking them to make one last run....I am not.  Despite the fact that the Hawks home court crowd leaves a lot to be desired, they still have home court and the are the bigger, younger team and it's simply their time to make a deep postseason run.  The Celtics have too many questions, will Ray Allen be inserted back into the starting line-up, can Rajon Rondo contend with the Hawks defense, can Kevin Garnett contend with Josh Smith.  The Hawks will advance.