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2011 NBA Playoffs – Round 1 Predictions (Eastern Conference)

When people ask you what your favorite sport is the answer’s most likely immediate.  However, for me responding is more perilous!  My answer changes daily, so to narrow it down I ask myself, “which sport has the most intense playoffs?” The answer’s always the NBA.

Memories abound like that of Jordan beating Russell off the dribble to take the finals; Robert Horry shoving Steve Nash into the scorer’s table; and Reggie Miller rallying his team via three ball after three ball.

This year should be no different… save for the addition of my round by round coverage.  Will we see the Heat dethrone the Celtics? Will the Lakers pull off the three-peat?  Predicting such results is half the fun.

First up, the Eastern Conference matchups:

(1) Chicago Bulls Vs. (8) Indiana Pacers

Next to Stephen Curry my favorite player in the league is Derrick Rose.  If you’ve watched the NBA at all this season you’d know he’s the odds-on-favorite for MVP.  Rose has improved leaps and bounds, elevating the role of the point-guard position to its past prestige.  He’s flashy but fundamental and this year he has Carlos Boozer to help him out.  The Bulls sport the best record in the NBA and their opponents go into the playoffs at 37-45… NUFF SAID!

Prediction:  Bulls win 4-0

(2) Miami Heat Vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers

A lot has been said about the Miami Heat this season, but the most important revelations start now. This team was assembled out of ego and will be galvanized by their playoff performance.  The Heat head into the playoffs with questions surrounding them, but they’ve nevertheless landed the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.  The 76ers have had a decent season.  Brand, Iguodala and company have pulled off some upsets, but don’t look for the Heat’s legacy to be ended by the likes of these upstarts.

Prediction:  Heat win 4-1

(3) Boston Celtics Vs. (6) New York Knicks

The sexiest matchup of the first round starts in Boston.  The Celtics, (reeling after a trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma), enter battered and bruised.  The Knicks are fresh off a blockbuster trade of their own having landed veteran Chauncey Billups and superstar Carmelo Anthony.  Some think that the star-power of Stoudemire and Anthony will upset the weary Celtics, but most people thought the same last year.

Prediction:  Celtics win 4-2

(4) Orlando Magic Vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks

To me the most intriguing Eastern matchup in the first round is the Magic Vs. Hawks.  Both teams are extremely talented and sport as many head cases as a resident mental ward!  When a series offers players like Arenas, Turkoglu, Howard, Smith and Johnson you know anything’s possible.  The X-Factor will be Al Horford against Dwight Howard.   Whichever player wins this matchup will subsequently win the series for their team.

Prediction:  Magic win 4-3

Next up: The Western Conference predictions and a Guest Writer!

Comments

  • Anonymous

    I am in agreement with this Eastern rundown. After discussing some of these statements at Thursday’s Heat game here in Toronto I definitely see where you’re coming from. We may disagree in the later rounds, but everything seems savvy above. However, I wish the Heat played the Knicks first round… would have been epic!

    • Anonymous

      Definitely going to be an interesting first round in the East. The Heat matchup will be fun and the middle matchup could go either way

  • Sharlene Gerontzos

    Go Bulls Go!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed!

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