Compared to the West, the East games are looking mighty boring. I can’t believe that NY got it’s little tush kicked around, while its outrageous to hear that Derrick Rose is out for the rest of playoffs with a torn ACL and no Superman for the Magic. And Rajon Rondo made the most news with his chest bump to the official Marc Davis. Well either way, someone’s gotta come out of East, so someone has to win.
Miami Heat (100) vs New York Knicks (67)
Wow. Forget the words below that line. A blowout. In the playoffs. Unbelievable. And this is after the Knicks rev-amped their roster adding all star Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and….well at this point I’m not sure. They’ve added Tyson Chandler, who has championship experience and was the man who changed the defense of the Mavs last season before being let go. They picked offensive streaky scorer JR Smith, while finding two diamond in the rough Jeremy Lin (who is injured and not ready to come back) and Steve Novak (three point specialist). And rookie Iman Shumpert, who emerged as the team’s best defender. But with Lin out, Chandler with flu-like symptoms, Stoudemire looking like a regular player and not the all-star that signed a huge deal, and Shumpert now out 6-8 months with a torn ACL and meniscus. So if things looked bad already for the Knicks, its about to get worse. Chandler, while not being injured, will likely be a game time decision and however the Heat played defense on Anthony, they’ll most likely try to reciprocate some of it again on Monday. Meanwhile, the Heat look like they are just cruising along. LeBron James was more than efficient scoring 32 points on just 14 shots. Granted he also hada 14 points from the charity strip. Most people have the Heat winning this series. You’d be crazy not to. But I think, with Shumpert gone, Chandler being a game time decision and no extra guard, the Heat may just be the team to sweep this series. The only good thing is that we’ll get to see Spike Lee cheering. Whatever you say about this guy, he is a die-hard NY fan and I love it. Next game is on Monday, 4/30, at 7:00 PM EST.
Chicago Bulls (103) vs Philadelphia 76ers (91)
This little blurb should have mostly been about how the Bulls will dominate this series. And how this might have been the series that would be a sweep. Instead, it is about Derrick Rose’s injury. To be quite honest, I didn’t get to watch this game, but I saw the highlights and the “Breaking News” scrolling below Sportscenter. I couldn’t believe that Rose is out. I still don’t believe it. I pitted the Bulls vs the Heat for the Eastern Conference Championship but to be quite honest, the East suddenly parted like the red sea. While the Bulls played fantastic without Rose for stretches, this is the playoffs, do I have to say it again? Playoffs are a different kind of animal. And now, Tom Thibodeau is being blamed for playing Rose when the game was a lock. Wouldn’t you play your player if you were only up by single digits? I think after watching the Clippers comeback from 27 points, 12 points are a walk in a park and no lead is ever safe. Michael Wilbon wrote a great article for ESPN about the consequences of losing Rose, not only for the Bulls but for the NBA as well. And watching the highlights, it was a non-contact injury. It didn’t seem like a season ending injury, but Rose landed awkwardly and didn’t pop back up. Thibs ran over quickly, but even with the entire arena concerned, the consensus was in. Rose had torn his ACL and would be out. Now the Bulls will have find a way to win big games without their big game superstar. And he regaining MVP status with 23 points, nine boards and nine assists. Now the 76ers maybe moving onto the next round with a little bit of luck. Next game is slated for Tuesday, 5/1 at 8:00 pm EST.
Orlando Magic (81) vs Indiana Pacers (77)
This is probably the boring series for the East. Remember the last time Indiana was actually relevant? I don’t ever since “The Brawl In The Palace” in 2004. And even then, they weren’t that good. I remember Reggie Miller with his choking gesturing to NY fans or him even getting a rebound, run back to the three and sink one in, in front of Spike Lee. So for the Pacers to even make it to the playoffs make me think that the East is weak. But I forget they have a young group of guys and a leader in David West. While they have been rebuilding for years, this maybe the start of something for the future. For the Magic, thank goodness their Dwight Howard nightmare is over for this season. And I think they are a better team (chemistry wise, definitely not skill) without him. This series, because it is a bunch of boring people playing who match up with each other, I think it will be a long series, but again the most boring one out of the East. Good luck to those fans who are enjoying this. Next game is Monday 4/30 at 7:30 pm PST.
Atlanta Hawks (83) vs Boston Celtics (74)
Things came undone for the old Celtics and they came undone fast. First, they didn’t come out to play. Then Rajon Rondo put out his man chest and bumped ref Marc Davis. And now the word has come down that Rondo will be gone for Game 2. So for the experts who picked the Celtics to win this series, it will be a much tougher road than it already was. Unlike the Spurs, the Celtics live and die by their Big 3 plus Rondo. Their bench isn’t quite as deep as the Spurs and definitely not as young. Without much wiggle room, the Celtics aren’t in for the long haul against, a younger livelier Atlanta Team. ATL has been on the cusp of winning for years, unable to come together. With All-Star Al Horford out for this series, it looks like it was the Celtics series to lose. And it still maybe. Within a blink of second, Rondo did his most selfish thing and “attacked” a referee. NBA laws states that any intentional contact with a referee is an automatic one game suspension and maybe more depending on the situation. There is no question there was a bump and with his track record (throwing the ball at the ref against Detroit) it would seem he could be in for more than one. For Game 2, the Celtics will have to try to do something that which they had success with, against a team who seems to being an edge against the Celtics. Game 2 is slated for Wednesday 5/2 at 7:30 pm PST.