After Atlanta exposes Boston’s invincibility and gave the mighty Celtics a game seven scare Boston thrashes Atlanta and the exciting first round playoffs is over. The Dominant teams usually move on to the next round. Second round will be a much physical no harm no foul type of ball game and with all the teams preparing for battle we are into a tightly contested round with all the teams preparing for a bigger war this time around.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4) vs. Boston Celtics (1) – The Boston pride gets its strength from the home crowd they came into the game with a home town advantage. But with King James doing much of the damage against the Wizards he is expected to be on his usual form and dominate the Celtics. Head to head matchup between James and Pierce, Garnet and Ben Wallace or Zydrunas then Allen and Szczerbiak? Lets face it King James needs a backup scorer although defense wise Cleveland could very well match up the intensity against Boston but I just don’t think they are a better matchup against Boston offense wise. Gooden and Hughes could have boost Cleveland’s line up since both players are good defense-offense players… But with the series starting up they will just have to make the best out of their roster. Atlanta was a better team because they are not limited to only one player they play as a team. Cleveland could also spell upset to Boston but they will have to get as much as many points from Pavlovic, Wally, Gibson and Joe Smith. It’s just goes to show three heads are better to one.
Orlando Magic (3) vs. Detroit Pistons(2)– The series has just started and Detroit found a kryptonite against Dwight Howard limiting the talented center with just 6 points in game one and drew first blood as they crush Orlando 91-72. Detroit is an old veteran team who showed grace under pressure as they stop Philadelphia on game 6 on the first round. Orlando is a young and promising team but unless they learn how to play tough and rugged defense they will always be labeled a soft team. Rip Hamilton and Chauncy Billups was a having a field day as they scored at will with limited defense against Orlando. Game 2 is coming up and this game could very well set up the tone of the series. So unless Orlando plays defense this series could end up early.
Utah Jazz (4) vs. LA Lakers (1) – Chants of MVP around the arena as Kobe scored 38 points and gave his team a win in their second round series against Utah.
Lakers are on a roll and I don’t see any signs of stopping. The bench plays a major role on the Lakers success and with Utah they will have to find a way to neutralize Gasol or Odom since Kobe will always score and dominate games. Deron Williams and Boozer have to execute more pick and roll plays and the role players should be ready to shoot if given an opportunity in other words they will have to execute an almost perfect game to beat the up beat Lakers. Knowing Jerry Sloan the Utah will be back next game much prepared but with the Lakers in high spirit this series could very well end as much as we expected.
San Antonio Spurs (3) vs. New Orleans Hornets (2) – Containing Duncan is the team’s mind set going into game 2 as they showed success on game 1 trashing the Spurs 101-82. New Orleans Hornets showed why they are a team to beat as they move a step higher into the playoffs beating the defending champion by a margin of 19 points. Byron Scott knows that they are up to a bigger challenge since San Antonio would try to sneak a win going into game 3 to eliminate the Hornets home court advantage. The Spurs resiliency will take a toll on Byron Scott’s young team as experienced plays a bigger factor in these series… Expect the Spurs to get back on Game 2 and expect this series to be a rubber match.
With the month of June coming up the Lakers-Boston rivalry could very well be a reality or the San Antonio-Detroit series. I’ve got a gut feeling we would be seeing a new champion this June. What’s your take?