NBA Playoff Preview

nba playoffs

By Jesse Jones

The NBA Playoffs kick off Saturday the 17th.  The East and West will play within their respected conferences for the right to play in the NBA Championship against one another.  In the East, the Cavaliers, Magic, Hawks, Celtics, Heat, Bucks, Bobcats, and Bulls all made it, with the Cavaliers earning the top seed throughout the entire playoffs.  In the West, the Lakers, Mavericks, Suns, Nuggets, Jazz, Trailblazers, Spurs, and Thunder advanced, with the Lakers having home court advantage throughout the Western Conference Finals.

In the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Magic are expected to make the conference finals in a rematch of last season’s conference finals.  The Cavaliers will look start their playoffs by hosting the Chicago Bulls, who got into the playoffs with a win on the final day of the regular season; the season series is tied 2-2.  The Magic host the Bobcats, who made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history; the Magic won the season series 3-1.  Atlanta, who is arguably the most surprising team in the East finishing with a record of 53-29, have home-court advantage against Milwaukee; the Hawks won the season series 2-1.  The most interesting matchup will be between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.  Although the Celtics won the season series 3-0, they never won by more than seven points.

In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers are a favorite to make the conference finals, but besides that it’s a toss-up.  The Dallas Mavericks have been unstoppable after the trade deadline when they got Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood from the Wizards, and the Phoenix Suns have been surging as of late.  The Lakers will face the Oklahoma City, led by Kevin Durant, the league’s leading scorer; Lakers won the season series 3-1.  The Mavericks have home-court advantage against in-state rival San Antonio; Dallas won the season series 3-1.  Phoenix will host the Portland Trailblazers, who just lost their best player, Brandon Roy, for what looks like the remainder of the season.  However, Portland won the season series 2-1, which may give them an increased confidence.  The most interesting matchup is between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz, who finished the season with the same record at 53-29.  The Nuggets won the season series 3-1, but the Jazz have been playing very strong basketball as of late. Some troubling news for the Jazz, however, is that Andrei Kirilenko will miss atleast two weeks with a strained left calf, and Carlos Boozer is a game-time decision with a strained muscle in his ribs.

When trying to predict which teams will make the Finals, you have to break down each conference.  Each conference has great teams, but the Western Conference holds the most depth.  The eight seed, the Thunder, had a record of 50-32.  In the East, the Chicago Bulls hold the eight seed with a record of 41-41.  If the Thunder played in the East, they would face off against the Boston Celtics as the fourth or fifth seed, depending on tiebreaker scenarios.  The Cavaliers had the best record in the league and the likely MVP, LeBron James, and the Magic made it to the Finals last year.  However, the Lakers won the championship last year, and could do so again this year.  Watch how each team will fare in their best-of-seven series to see who represents each conference in the NBA Finals, and who eventually will be crowned champions of the NBA.

1 Response to “NBA Playoff Preview”

  1. April 17, 2010 at 11:27

    Dallas Mavericks is our beloved team, and we do our best to attend their games. It’s honorable to see them in the playoffs and in any other games. Go Mavericks, our hearts with you!! If someone interested in Mavericks tickets I recommend ticketwoo.com.

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