2008 NBA Eastern Conference Breakdown
With one day remaining in the NBA season the playoffs are finally upon us and this year is promising. After a long a grueling season some spots in the West are still up for grabs so for today we will focus on the Eastern conference.
#1 Boston Vs #8 Atlanta
This is a slam dunk for most sports bettors as they look to see the green of the Celtics go far this season with the new additions but don’t be surprised if the Hawks steal a few in this one especially at home. The Celtics have made the most noise of any team outside Los Angeles with all of the pick ups they made in the off season when they acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett forming a new “big 3” in beantown. The thing with the new big 3 in Boston is that they are all hungry for a shot at the title and they will not be happy with a first round exit. Expect them to come out focused and not look past Atlanta. The hawks have basically been playing playoff basketball for the last few weeks as they had to fend off the Indiana Pacers for the eighth spot and if they get hot offensively they can match up with anyone in the league. The hawks are young and have a veteran point guard in Bibby so you can expect them to be competitive but don’t look for any major upsets here.
Prediction: Celtics in 5 games
#2 Detroit Vs #7 Philadelphia
Much like the Boston Celtics the Detroit Pistons have been all but given the path to play the Celtics in the championships. Much like the hawks the Sixers have had to scratch and claw but have had an impressive season grabbing the seven seed when most thought they would not even make the post season. The pistons are all business when they make the playoffs and the sixers may have spurts but you can expect the Pistons to advance. The pistons know what it takes to avoid the early upsets and get past the early rounds without looking past the opponents and after the ousting by Cleveland a team they felt they should have beat look for them to be anxious to make a statement early in the post season. They may not fare well against the number but overall they should eliminate the Sixers quite quickly. The Sixers have set the pace for a growing franchise that will make some noise in the future but don’t expect for it to happen now. With a solid coaching staff and young talent this will be a good growing situation for the team that may hurt noiw but it will come in handy in later years.
NBA Prediction: Pistons in 4 games
#3 Orlando Vs #6 Toronto
The Magic surprised many experts by jumping to the top of the East as they came out the gate swinging beating some of the best teams in the NBA. The Magic have hushed critics with impressive wins all season and if not for Kevin Garnett then Rashard Lewis would be talked about as one of the best off season pick ups. When first signed critics called him over paid but now they all know he was worth it.They will try to prove that they are worthy of the seeding by getting by the Toronto Raptors in the first round. The Raptors will be no easy team to walk over and they have a proven superstar in Chris Bosh that can carry this team to victory. Nesterovic will match up against Howard down low and try to keep him at bay. The Raptors have motivation since they were bounced from the playoffs in the first round and will fight to extend this to the second round.
Prediction: Orlando in 7 games
#4 Cleveland Vs #5 Washington
This is your upset alert. The cavs limped into this one and have played very badly down the stretch. Cleveland may have gone to the finals last year but ever since the trade they have not fully gelled as a squad only showing glimpses of brilliance and without any real chemistry they will struggle in the first round. If they get lucky to get by the first round, do not expect them to make it to the second. Washington has double revenge but more importantly will get several key players back in the lineup when the playoffs start led by Agent Zero: Gilbert Arenas. When healthy Washington is one of the better teams in the East and will stun Cleveland. In the latest game Eddie Jordan will rest most of his starters in some meaningless games to make sure that they are ready for the playoffs. Washington will provide a tough challenge for Cleveland to advance.
Prediction: Washington in 6