Playoff Preview: The East

Reason #5934 to Hate David Stern: He just named Clay Bennett the chairman of the NBA relocation committee.

Really?!?! In case you didn’t know, Clay Bennett is the evil, evil man behind the Sonics hijacking. So now we’re going to see how many other NBA cities Bennett can destroy? I’m sorry Sacramento, Seattle feels your pain. Alex Akita of Seattle Sportsnet put it best in a recent tweet: “Remember when Dolores Umbridge was appointed High Inquisitor at Hogwarts in HP7? Clay Bennett is now High Inquisitor of the NBA.”

Now that I’m thoroughly pissed at the NBA, let’s preview the playoff matchups in the East:

1 Bulls vs. 8 Pacers

Is there any doubt that Rose wins MVP this year? Is there any doubt that the Bulls make it to the Finals this year? Oh wait, there is? Okay, but it’s still looking pretty good for them. Reggie Miller retired years ago so the Pacers really have no chance in this series. They didn’t even have a winning record this season! It would be like the Seahawks making the playoffs. Oh wait, they did? But really, it’s not a question of whether or not the Pacers can win the series; it’s a question of whether or not they can win one game. I’m betting no.

The Pacers could use this guy.

2 Heat vs. 7 Sixers

Bleh. Is there anyone outside the city of Miami that really wants to see the Heat win? I really wanted to pick the Sixers to win but I’ll be realistic here. The Sixers aren’t going to win this series. There’s no way that Miami makes it out of the East but they’ll at least make it past the first round. The East isn’t as weak as it used to be, but if the Sixers were in the West, they wouldn’t have been close to making the playoffs. This is going to be a boring series, I’m moving on.

Sorry Iggy, your defense isnt going to be enough to get past the Heat.

3 Celtics vs. 6 Knicks

This is a difficult one for me. I’m not a fan of Paul “Wheelchair” Pierce and I can’t stand Kevin Garnett’s nut-punching ways. On the Knicks side, I love Amar’e. He started the year in New York leading the team and playing at an MVP level. It was awesome. I loved him on the Suns and really wanted to see him succeed in New York. Unfortunately, he’s no longer “the guy” in New York. That role has been filled by Carmelo Anthony. And I never want to see Melo succeed. I actually don’t have a problem with him wanting out of Denver. It’s a business and we’ve seen in the past where teams aren’t loyal to their players. If a player isn’t performing well, the team will either trade or cut them. Why shouldn’t a player get to decide that they want to play for another team? Yes, they signed a contract but a contract doesn’t prevent the team from cutting a player. Again, it’s a business. He wanted to go to New York. Fine. Let him go. My problem with Melo is how he handled the situation. He waffled for months, refusing to admit that he wanted to leave but at the same time, not signing the lucrative extension that Denver had offered. I’ve rambled long enough. TL;DR – Screw Melo. Celtics win.

4. Magic vs. 5. Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks. Ha. This is how you do not want to run a franchise. By signing Joe Johnson to a max contract, they pretty much guaranteed their team a 5 through 8 seed for the next five years. However, they’ll never be able to build a team that can compete with the rest of the top teams in the East and, as long as they have Johnson under contract, they won’t be making it to the Finals. But this year, they are matched up against the Magic in round one and the Magic are a better team. I’m not a big fan of Dwight Howard. Sure, he’s one of the best centers in the NBA, but he’s talented enough to be one of the best players in the NBA. He seems like the type that will be content to be the number two or three option on a team of superstars. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just don’t like it. Regardless, the Magic will win this series.

Joe is the only person in Atlanta that should like his max contract.

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