Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Preview

No. 1 Cleveland vs. No. 8 Detroit

This is a matchup of two teams who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Detroit is that team that had a dominating run with a group of talent that gave them a Championship in 2004. With their stars aging they are going to be rebuilding their team within a few years. The Cavaliers are riding LeBron James as far as he can take them. With only a few years left on his contract it is unknown if James will stay in Cleveland but the Cavs have finally built a strong enough supporting cast that could lead Cleveland to the Championship. Home court advantage throughout will help Cleveland as they are 39-2 on their home court, Cleveland should win this series easily and move deep into the playoffs.

No. 4 Atlanta vs. No. 5 Miami

Atlanta is a team that typically flies under the NBA radar. Last year they gave Boston all that they could handle all season and took the Celtics down to the wire in the playoffs. This will be the battle of two stars Atlanta's Joe Johnson vs. Miami's Dwayne Wade. Dwayne Wade has been an absolute beast this season making a very significant argument for MVP. He is without a shadow of a doubt the MVP of the Heat. I think that in the end the better TEAM will prevail and Atlanta will match up to play Cleveland.

No. 3 Orlando vs. No. 6 Philadelphia

Philadelphia pulled of a shocking win in Cleveland on the last game of the season to avoid playing Boston in the first round and secure the 6th seed in the playoffs. Andre Igoudala has been the leader for the Sixers this season averaging 18 points per game. Orlando was able to achieve success this season despite losing their starting PG Jameer Nelson midway through the season. Orlando's star Center Dwight Howard should cause havoc on Philadelphia's front court and will take over this series. Orlando will survive and advance.

No. 2 Boston vs. No. 7 Chicago

Although their starting lineup would not indicate much of a change this is a different Boston team than the one who made a run last year. They will open this series without star Kevin Garnett who has been sidelined with injury the last 20 games of the season. The Celtics may have to shut Garnett down for the whole series against Chicago. Chicago is led by Ben Gordon, Derrick Rose, and John Salmons. How will rookie Derek Rose handle the increased pressure of the NBA playoffs? A tough loss to the Celtics. Celtics will advance.

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