Bulls vs. Cavs
Maybe the Bulls could show as much spirit on the court as their coach, Vinny Del Negro, and GM, John Paxson, show off the court. I missed the announcement of “Joakim Rules.” Maybe Vinny should consult with Joe Girardi. It’s kind of nice how the Bulls positioned themselves to be the Cavs’ appetizer. Chicago won 10 of its last 14 to get in the playoffs. Can Derrick Rose continue getting to the basket now that it is the playoffs, and teams will actually play defense? Can Shaq get in stride after a layoff? Does Shaq still have a stride? LeBron should be plenty rested.
Heat vs. Celtics
As far as seeds and numbers go, Miami winning would fall into the category of an upset. How many would be surprised if the Heat took this series? Does it matter any more that Boston swept the season series? The Cs have dropped eight of 13. Of course, it’s not like the Heat have anyone beyond D-Wade that they can actually count on from night to night. Do you hear that Michael Beasley and Jermaine O’Neal?
Hawks vs. Bucks
Has the potential to be the best first round series. Milwaukee will go without Andrew Bogut, but do not discount Scott Skiles and his ability to motivate the Bucks. Don’t forget, the Bucks have John Salmons who has the reputation for playing big in the playoffs. Salmons will need a great performance to thwart the Hawks.
Anyone looking for Marvin Williams will find him in Atlanta’s lineup. Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson average 33 a game. Skiles’s defense should shrink those numbers.
Magic vs. Bobcats
Maybe the Vince Carter acquisition wasn’t such a bad idea after all. “Vinsanity” is averaging 16.6. More importantly, the “Iso King” is not disrupting Orlando’s offensive flow. Jason Williams is getting a second chance and making good on it. His presence along with Jameer Nelson’s make the Magic a contender. Congratulations to the Bobcats for qualifying for the playoffs.
Lakers vs. Thunder
You know things are not right with Lakers when Phil Jackson has to resort to mind games in the first round of the playoffs. Just when Kevin Durant showed maturity beyond his years, he goes and reacts to Jackson’s gibes. It will be interesting to see how many shots Durant takes in the first game or two of this series. He averages 20 shots per game. What is there to not like about the Thunder’s roster: James Harden, Jeff Green, Nick Collison, and Eric Maynor. They have a good, young lineup. They are just not ready to win this series. How much of LA’s success in the long run depends on Andrew Bynum’s Achilles’ tendon?
Nuggets vs. Jazz
Denver has lost their way since George Karl’s bout with cancer has taken him off the sidelines. Carlos Boozer is a game time decision. Both lineups pack plenty of talent. Which team will get the most mileage out of their gas?
Mavericks vs. Spurs
Oh, the intrigue. Dallas looked ready for a title run after acquiring Caron Butler. Dallas has lost just seven games since getting Butler on February 16th. Does anyone want to play the Spurs in the playoffs? How much playoff experience do the Spurs have? Tony Parker is back in the lineup.
Suns vs. Blazers
Probably the most entertaining series. There will be plenty of scoring. Portland without Brandon Roy does not bode for the Blazers making any noise in the playoffs.
Remember when Rey questioned Boston’s acquisition of Rasheed Wallace? If you don’t, click here. Bill Simmons added his commentary on the Celtics picking up Wallace. Read it here. Rey saw the smoke months ago.
Cheers to Lionel Hollins for showing Kenyon Martin how it’s done.
Give us your take on the NBA playoffs.