2012 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference 2nd Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Saturday, May 12, 2012 with No comments

The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will meet for only the second time in the playoffs with the Pacers coming out victorious during their first encounter in the 2003/04 season. Most expect this series to be one that will have a very physical tone but this series will be about pure execution. Which team will be able to execute better in their half court sets?

There's no doubt that Danny Granger will take center stage during his first trip to the second round of the playoffs and Roy Hibbert will continue to dominate the paint defensively. As strong as Hibbert is in protecting the rim, the Heat will expose and counter that aggression by having Chris Bosh pull Hibbert from under the rim, leaving slashing lanes for Wade, James, and Chalmers. Despite Indiana's great guard play versus the Magic, defensively, the Miami Heat are leaps and bounds ahead of the Magic.  The Pacers may have heart but
they will lack the necessary firepower to defeat the Miami Heat four times.  Heart alone may allow them to capture a game of two but the Miami Heat will prove to be too strong.

It's becoming to be a mistake to count out the Boston Celtics, I myself learned that lesson when I picked the Atlanta Hawks to defeat them in the first round of the playoffs.  The Celtics moved on in six hard fought game and next the Celtics will host the Sixers who took advantage of an injured Bulls' team to advance to the second round.  These teams faced each other 3 times in the regular season with the home team winning every game which allowed the Sixers to win the series 2-1.  

The Celtics are clearly hobbled, Paul Pierce is dealing with a knee injury that won't be dealt with until the off-season and Ray Allen is still recovering from ankle injuries.  Kevin Garnett has to have found some sort of fountain of youth as he was the driving force in the Celtics moving past the Atlanta Hawks.  If the Sixers gained anything from defeating the Bulls, it would experience because  despite the fact that the Bulls were without Derrick Rose, they put up a strong fight against the Sixers.  This series will again come down to Kevin Garnett and no one on the Sixers being able to guard him.  It will be the classic case of youth versus experience and the experience will move on to the conference finals.