Since 2010, East teams have tried many ways to stop them, none have succeeded. So the real question is, can anyone stop the Heat from advancing to their 3rd straight Finals? Well, it certainly won’t be the Bucks.
1. Miami Heat vs. 8. Milwaukee Bucks
If we learned anything from Miami’s 66-16 season, it was two things. LeBron is unstoppable unless you tackle him (courtesy of the Chicago Bulls) and when the Heat REALLY want to, they can win 27 games in a row. Yikes. Considering they only have to win 16 in a row to win another Larry O’ trophy they are easily the favorite to come out the East. The Bucks stand no chance unless LeBron retires. Miami in 4.
4. Brooklyn Nets vs. 5. Chicago Bulls
I’d be lying to say I’m a non-biased partisan here so I’m not going to even bother sugar coating it. Yes, I want and pick my Bulls to win this series but it will be a good one. Joakim Noah versus Brook Lopez down in the post will be fun to watch as well as Luol Deng and Joe Johnson going at it. My bold prediction is that Derrick watches these games from the bench and if he is a no show by Game 3 at the UC, I’ll be marking my calender for a date in late October for the return. Watch for Jimmy “Buckets” Butler to perform well like he has all season and becomes a hot topic and X-factor in the series. Bulls in 6.
3. Indiana Pacers vs. 6. Atlanta Hawks
It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest that Indiana noticed Atlanta was playing for the 6 seed by throwing the local YMCA basketball team out on the court in their final two games so they didn’t have to worry about playing Miami. News flash Atlanta, The Pacers have Paul George and Roy Hibbert who are going to make you fellas look like a middle school squad. Pacers in 3 (Hawks are beaten so badly they forfeit Game 4)
2. New York Knicks vs. 7. Boston Celtics
It is nice that real playoff Basketball expectations are back at Madison Square Garden and it would be so nice to see another Knicks, Pacers series like the ones from the 90’s, but if there is one thing I have learned from watching NBA Basketball is to never bet against Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers. Having no Rondo during the time he usually shines will hurt in the end, but there is no doubt Boston will bring extra intensity and motivation for their grieving city. Knicks are on high upset alert with no Ama’re and putting too much pressure on Melo to score. Knicks in 7.
In the next rounds I see the Heat and Knicks advancing to the Eastern Finals unless Boston beats New York then the C’s are once again serious contenders. Even though the Bulls will most likely be without Rose, if they advance to play the Heat that will once again be another extremely physical series that will make for phenomenal Playoff basketball. Anybody but Miami coming out of the East will be a major upset so it might as well be the Bulls. I know very unbiased writer I am. Stay tuned for the Western Conference Preview tomorrow.
See Red and Go Bulls