2013 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference 1st Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Thursday, April 18, 2013 with No comments
The defending NBA Champion Miami Heat will begin their title defense against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat won the season series with the Bucks 3-1 but the Bucks have an explosive backcourt duo, Jennings and Ellis that can erupt at anytime. While Jennings has played well against the Heat this season, Ellis has struggled both offensively and on the defensive end. The Bucks will try to slow the game down against the Heat and play the Heat in similar fashion to how the Bulls did recently. The games will be close but the Heat will have too many options to defend when the game is on the line and despite putting up a valiant effort, the Heat will move past the Bucks in 5 games.

I must admit that this is a tough matchup for me to decide upon.  The Brooklyn Nets will have the home court advantage but they dropped 3 of the 4 games to the Bulls this season.  In a similar fashion to the Miami Heat, the Nets have stars (Williams, Lopez, and Johnson) that can make big shots when needed.  The Bulls play a team style of ball that is hard to maintain throughout the duration of NBA season but they're endured despite being exhausted at times.  With their style of play the Bulls will push the Nets but the Bulls will not be able to overcome the Nets trio of stars and will fall in 6 highly emotional games.  

Paul George has enjoyed his ascension this season as the go to guy for the Indiana Pacers but the next step is turning that into playoff success....is he ready for that?  The Atlanta Hawks endured without Joe Johnson and proved that they can more than an iso offense and Al Horford more so than Josh Smith took over the role of team leader.  The two franchises split their season series with each team winning at home....advantage Pacers.  The Hawks can match the athleticism of the Pacers.....advantage Hawks.  The front court match-up between the two franchises will be a toss up and despite the games having the potential to be very ugly, the trump card for the Pacers is Paul George.  If he can dominate the series the Pacers will move on and perhaps it will be the end of the Danny Granger era in Indianapolis.  Pacers in 5. 

I anticipate this being a bloodbath. Two old foes from the Atlantic division will clash and it should be epic as the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics clash. Both teams are long in the tooth and they both have something to prove. The Knicks want to prove that they indeed should be considered a threat to win an NBA title and the Boston Celtics are akin to a former boxing champion looking for one last huge payday. During the regular season the Knicks won 3 out of the 4 games but coming off of a Conference Finals run a year prior, the Celtics are well aware that this is their last realistic chance at a title run. As great as a defender that Paul Pierce can be at times, he will have his hands full with Carmelo Anthony but Kevin Garnett can put pressure on the Knicks front court with his outside shooting, pulling them out and creating lanes for Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. Coming off of his best stretch ever as a pro, Carmelo Anthony will have to continue that tear in order for the Knicks to move past the Celtics and the Knicks will in at least 6 games.