The NBA 2009 season has just ended and after 4 grueling months 16 teams have emerge best among the best. The Boston Celtics after having some trouble of their own manage to take hold on the East’s second spot and the surprising Cleveland Cavaliers was adjudge as top overall team in this season. Denver unexpectedly exceed expectations as their all-star point guard Chauncy Billups took the challenge and guide his team all the way to second place in the west. Playoffs will start this Saturday and the tension and the drama has just started. The first round will serve as a barometer for top teams if they are destined for a championship ring. We look on each matchup and see who will move to the second round as each team’s battle it out for pride and supremacy.
Cleveland (1) – Detroit (8)
Detroit isn’t the team we are used to watching with Billups manning the point. Maybe Joe Dumars have something in mind when he traded Billups for Iverson the fact that Michael Curry is leaning in giving minutes to Will Bynum rather than Iverson has something deeper inside Detroit’s organization. Cleveland who owns home court advantage throughout the playoffs is 39-2 at home and Detroit is in deep trouble, really deep.
Boston (2) – Chicago (7)
Adding John Salmons and Brad Miller have given Chicago a new lease in life with their star caliber point guard Derrek Rose slowly gaining confidence. But it’s unfortunate for the Bulls since their young team will have to face a seasoned team, NBA’s defending champion Boston Celtics. The Celtics have good backups and will try their best to defend their title. Chicago will give some competition but in the end it will be too much for the young Bulls to overcome.
Orlando (3) – Philadelphia (6)
I would have think Orlando is the dark horse team in the East but after Turkoglo went down on a sprained left ankle injury and Rashard Lewis suffered a recurring tendinitis injury, Orlando is simply not a 100 percent team and relying solely in Dwight Howard is not a good idea either. Luckily Orlando is facing a not so strong team and Philadelphia is capable of scoring an upset. Orlando might get past the first round but that’s how far they could get…
Atlanta (4) – Miami (5)
Dwayne Wade is really back and has carried his team from a dismal showing last year all the way to the playoffs now but for how long? Wade needs his team to ease his load and in contrary Atlanta has been the model team all season long they gave Boston a run for their money last year with their team work and defense. Miami needs another Wade sidekick and looking on their roster there isn’t much to be hopeful.
Los Angeles (1) – Utah (8)
We saw the preview yesterday and it looks like the Lakers are into a close ride with the Jazz. The Jazz are beatable outside their turf and lucky for the Lakers they have home court advantage throughout the west. With Bynum back the Lakers have added a deeper bench with Odom as second stringer. Two seven footers in Bynum and Gasol peppered with Last year’s MVP Kobe Bryant sky is the limit for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles 4-2
Denver (2) – New Orleans (7)
Denver’s Cinderella season might be over especially if they are match against Chris Paul’s Hornets. The problem with Denver is they rely too much on their outside shooting that if it doesn’t come then they are in for a long night and Hornets will also have to deal with consistency… A good first round matchup Chauncy Billups will lead his team to the promise land and the Hornets have to dig deep on their pockets to pull a win.
San Antonio (3) – Dallas (6)
The battle of Texas and the oldest team San Antonio Spurs will slug it out with Nowitzki’s Mavericks. A healthy Josh Howard can really help the Mavericks score an upset against the Spurs. Jason Kidd will have his hands full against the young and quick Tony Parker and Nowitzki will be drilling all those threes with Duncan guarding him. This match is all about execution the first team to impose their defense will be the team who advances in the second round…
San Antonio 4-3
Portland (4) – Houston (5)
I give it to Nate Mcmillan for making Portland a good title contender team and the scary thing is they average at an age of 24 making them the youngest team in the NBA now. There is a lot, lot more room for improvement and from the looks of it I think Portland is getting better each day. They are powerful at home and the Lakers have difficulty disposing them at home winning 8 straight home games against LA. Houston who only have one legitimate All-star in Yao Ming will have to match Portland’s athleticism. Brandon Roy and Alridge can post big problems and their sweet shooting guards are phenomenal. Houston we got a problem…