The NBA has been waiting a long time for a playoff year such as this. Their poster child, LeBron James is MVP and part of the best team in the L, Kobe and the Lakers are right there with the Cavs, and there is a slew of young talent and not to mention a very, very intriguing first round, with two of the four first round playoff games going to Game 7s in the East and two others going to Game 6s. The West, however, seems to not have such luck, with only one series going to Game 6, the rest ended in 5.
The East has proved to be as deep as I predicted a few weeks back, and it could be very possible to see a team other than the Cavs in the Finals, although it may seems inevitable for King James to make it back to the Conference Finals, granted the Hawks are young for the most part and not much experience together. The Boston-Orlando series is officially the one to watch. After a monster lead at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, Boston fought back to as little as 3 points back, but Orlando did just enough to finish Boston on their home court. Dwight Howard is unstoppable, and I find it hard to believe that Garnett would have any affect on Howard down low. Howard is much stronger, and maybe not as long, but Garnett would be handled just as easily as Howard is handling Perkins and Davis down low.
The West's Lakers-Rockets series is also intriguing because the Rockets could not get one win against the Lakers, and they travel to L.A. and get a gritty, gutty win, in a game that was close the entire night, they were able to weather the Black Mamba in the 4th quarter and dismantle the rest of the team's offense to win. Yao, however, has to put up 25 plus points along with Artest's good defense and ball control to have a shot, but the Rocket's are defense-minded, which can enable them to either slow Kobe down, or make everyone else non-effective. Denver looks to be in the front seat against Dallas, because there is too much offense from Denver and little defense from Dallas, but expect there to be a lot of close, down-to-the-wire games.
Watching Cleveland on the court now against Atlanta, the Cavs are an extremely good team. LeBron was on the bench while they rattled off 19-9 run after tying the game at 17 with 4:30 left in the first. Atlanta has been scared to defend LeBron, and they allow him to step back and shoot, and he will murder this Hawks team if he is allowed that. Let him drive into help defense, and there are plenty of athletes on the Hawks to make a play on the ball and either force LeBron into a poor shot, or force it back out.
And what do you say some predictions for the 2nd Round:
Cleveland in 5 (3-0 at home, 1-1 on the road)
Orlando in 6 (2-1 at home, 2-1 on the road)
Denver in 5 (3-0 at home, 1-1 on the road)