Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Eastern Conference Playoff Preview: First Round
We have very few rules at the RFH Collective. However, we do have a motto that we try to live by: Blog hard or go home. After his first effort, it doesn't look like Guest Contributor Ryan Mahanna will be taking his ball and going home anytime soon.
(1) Chicago Bulls vs (8) Indiana Pacers (Regular Season; Bulls 3-1)
Expect some Chicago Public School League highlights.
This will be an old-school first round beat down. If you think the Bulls' Bandwagon is crowded now, wait until they completely dismantle a decent Pacers team. The media will be talking about them like they are the favorites to win it all. What? They already do? Oh, my bad, didn't know that. I thought they a just were well-coached team that played hard for 6 straight months and have a Top-5 talent in Derrick Rose but I guess I missed something. Either way they are going to make Indiana wish they were picking 14th in the Lottery...again.
According to Sports Synergy Tech, Indiana is in the bottom half of the NBA in short clock defense (less than 4 secs) and transition defense, which is exactly when Derrick Rose is going to have the ball in his hands the most. Throw in the fact that they the worst defensive team in the league in isolation situations and Pacer fans are looking at the only first round sweep of the 2011 Playoffs and Bulls fans will enjoy lots of this.
(2) Miami Heat vs (7) Philadelphia 76ers (Regular Season; Heat 3-0)
If you don't fear us, you're a sillyhead.
There are a lot of NBA media trends that I did not buy into this year. Not because I am anti-media but simply because I didn't agree with them. The idea that the Miami Heat aren't good enough to win it all this year is a complete joke. I understand that journalists who have never even done a Mikan-Drill in their lives might carry this opinion but the former-players-turned-media have no excuse. Anyone who has every played basketball should know that helpless feeling when the other team has the best player on the floor in a important game....and the Heat have two of them! Now add the "us against the world" mentality the Heat have been marinating since October and I don't see how any rational coach/player/fan doesn't completely fear them.
I believe Miami and Boston both lucked out with their first round opponents. The Sixers want to play the same way as the Heat (pressure, create turnovers, run, be athletes) only they just aren't as good at it. Typically, that is not a formula for success at this time of the year and I wouldn't be surpised if this series ended 4-0 Miami. However, I am going to predict it will be 4-1 Miami with the Sixers taking game 4 in Philly and the entire sports world freaking out because Miami couldn't close out the series. Sillyheads.
(3) Boston Celtics vs (6) New York Knicks (Regular Season; 3-0 as of 4/13)
Hopefully Jeff Green can prevent this from happening.
I could write 4 pages about this series, instead I will right 4 words. The Celtics are better. They are better at every position but one, they are deeper, they have more experience and have better coaching staff. With that said, I still think it will be an incredibly exciting series and will go 6 games at a minimum. The games in New York will be very tough to win and Carmelo is a killer in close games. Ugh, that wasn't very interesting analysis. The truth is I love the Celtics to an embarrassing degree and I hate the Knicks as much as this kid hates Janice, so I really can't make rational predictions. I will now take this opportunity to make two statements about the 2010-2011 Celtics.
1) Stop pouting. Especially you Rajon Rondo. If this group of all-stars and twilight veterans can't get over the trade of a role player then they don't deserve to win anyways. We get it, we all loved Kendrick Perkins, he was a warrior and a family member and held doors open for elderly women. When Marquise Daniels was done for the season Danny Ainge had to choose to either keep Perk or have a worthless Paul Pierce. He chose to get the best back-up The Truth has ever had. Was this the right move? We'll see. But the C's are heading into a month of Carmelo and LeBron and now maybe Pierce won't look like a sweat shop worker when it's over.
2) Jeff Green is good. There isn't one important basketball skill that Jeff Green doesn't have. It's not completely his fault he hasn't fit in yet. Part of it is experience and repetitions in the Celtics' system. The other part is the uniqueness of the Celtics team culture. The only mistake he has made since joining Boston is not fully realizing the Celtics are a gang. He should have watched a couple seasons of "Gangland" on the plane ride from OKC in order to gain some insight into fitting in with this clique. If he had done that he would have known exactly what to do...murder someone. The first time he checked into a game wearing the green-and-white, he should have viciously clubbed the first opponent that drove down the lane and even taken a suspension. Coming back after a bid from NBA Jessup would have been all the initiation he needed into this quirky group. It's to late for that now but he could at least start a fake fight and get fake held back while the referees fake that they care. At least that would be a start.
(4) Orlando Magic vs (5) Atlanta Hawks (Regular Season; Hawks 3-1)
At least we get to see an Atlanta Celtics reunion.
Yuck. The NBA TV Invitational. This is by far the least interesting series of the first round. Both team have talented players I enjoy watching and the games could be very entertaining. I just don't see myself watching one minute of this series and it makes me feel like less of a fan. It could be because last year's series was disgustingly uncompetitive but it's not just that. I am probably going to have to watch some of the games to get a better understanding of why I feel this way but I can guarantee I will end up watching a rerun of Mob Wives. For some reason I feel like if they played on a court like this I would be much more interested...gotta love the dirty south. Anyway, Orlando in 7....maybe...who cares...
Western Conference Preview Soon!