2013 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Sunday, May 05, 2013 with No comments
The Indiana Pacers played down to their opponents when they faced the Atlanta Hawks in the first round but they will rise to the occasion against the New York Knicks were almost upset by a proud Celtics team. The Pacers are seemingly healthy and emerging star Paul George continues his ascension. The Pacers can battle with the Knicks down low with Hibbert and West but West can also step out of the lane and knock down the 17 foot jumper which will be an advantage for the Pacers.

Amar'e Stoudemire may return to the Knicks once this series begins but despite the franchise trying to spin it otherwise, there has been chemistry issues between Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire. The Knicks would be wise to bring Stoudemire off of the bench and play him as little as possible to work him slowly into the lineup. At this point in time no one knows how serious Anthony's left elbow injury is and that could affect the series for the Knicks in a negative manner.

George Hill is an emerging point guard for the Pacers but the Knicks have the advantage here with Raymond Felton and backup Jason Kidd. Both are "big" guard who will cause issues for the Pacers smaller guard lineup. With that being said, Paul George will have to take his game to a higher level to combat the relentless scoring of Carmelo Anthony and average MVP like numbers across the board in order for the Pacers to move past the Knicks. The Knicks have the home court advantage and will move past the Pacers in game 7.

The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat split their season series 2 games apiece and the Bulls stopped history when they stop the Heat's 27 game winning streak. Playing the entire year without former MVP Derrick Rose, no one gave the Bulls a chance against the Brooklyn Nets in the 1st but they prevailed. The Bulls are a hard nosed bunch and are very well coached. By the time Game 1 begins, the Miami Heat would have had 7 days off. Rust could be a factor during Game1 for the team as a whole and also for guard Dwyane Wade who hasn't played since game 3 of the Heat's 1st round match up with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bulls have the size advantage in the post to pound the Miami Heat and the Heat has the size/skill advantage on the perimeter.  Both teams are great defensive units with the slight edge going to Chicago.    The Bulls are riding a wave of confidence coming off of their upset win over the Brooklyn Nets but the Heat will pose a far more dangerous threat.  Soon to be named MVP LeBron James is at playing at a all time great calibre and Dwyane Wade should have recovered from his knee pain with the time off that the Heat enjoyed.  Despite the fact of the whispers that Derrick Rose will make his triumphant return in this series, the Bulls will not survive with Nate Robinson being the go to guy late in games versus the Heat defense.  It will be a very difficult 5 game series but the defending champions will move on and face another old foe in the form of the New York Knicks.