Wednesday , Mar , 25 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Eastern Playoff Prospects Seeds 5-8

Eastern Playoff Prospects Seeds 5-8Last week you saw my take on East playoff seeds 1-4, and now it’s time for seeds 5-8. Whether you strongly agree or disagree, hit us up down below with your thoughts.

Miami Heat

Do I sound crazy for saying the Heat are going to be dangerous with Dwayne Wade in the post season? Putting Wade aside for a moment, I like the pieces acquired in the Shawn Marion deal, Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon

Jermaine O’Neal’s size and talent for protecting the basket have been evident. I figured JO would fit in a lot better as opposed to Toronto, and I look to be right. Dwayne Wade receives so much attention from all five defenders, and it makes O’Neal’s job easier as long as he finds the right spot on the floor to catch and finish.

Jamario Moon has been solid for his defense, particularly his wingspan. He better make sure his shooting stroke feels right with the playoffs around the corner, because teams much rather have him shoot as opposed to Wade getting to the free throw line all night.

Michael Beasley has made progress on the defensive end, prompting Erick Spoelstra to have to play him in key situations. Beasley is the scoring anchor for the second unit, and is starting to develop nice chemistry with Wade on the pick & roll. A play that will serve Miami handily in the playoffs.

The five seed seems like the most likely option for Miami unless they begin to falter. It’s critical that Wade and Jermaine O’Neal get their rest before the post season. O’Neal because of his knee issues and recent hip injury, and Wade because he’s had to do so much to keep Miami in the position their in. But in short, if Wade gets help then Miami is going to be scary.

Philadelphia 76ers

Are the Sixers technically in the playoffs? Yes. Who are they currently slated to play? Orlando. Ouch…

I like the two Andre’s, but this team doesn’t have what it takes to get by, even if Elton Brand was healthy. The fact remains that if you make Philly a half court team by limiting their transition points, then they can’t score. (I’m sorry A.I., your recent antics haven’t convinced me otherwise)

As long as you take care of the ball on offense, and pack the paint on defense, then you’ll have a great chance to take out the Sixers. Keep in mind, we’re talking about a poor three point shooting team.

Philly will be a quick out come playoff time, and the next question will be “Do we re-sign Andre Miller?”

Detroit Pistons

Detroit has looked pretty awful lately, but you can attribute that to injuries. With Rip and Sheed coming back, I expect things to change. And for the sake of the Piston’s bench, a Iverson return with the right mindset could give the second unit a jolt that most teams can’t match.

Rodney Stuckey is going to be a key for Detroit. We know Rip and Sheed will get theirs, but Stuckey will have to put up performances quite like the display he put up in Boston last year for the Pistons to even win a game in the post season.

(Much love to Antonio McDyess who may not jump out of the gym like he used to, but he’s still the model of consistency up front for Motown.)

Chicago Bulls

A team making strides with much of the credit going to the future rookie of the year, Derrick Rose.

I fully expect Chicago to hold on to the eighth seed because of their schedule, and I obviously don’t expect much when it comes to playing the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. But do you see a eye brow raising performance coming from Derrick Rose in the first round? I say this because nobody expects the Bulls to do anything, and in Rose’s corner, it’s like he’s playing with house money. It’s amazing what players and teams do with low expectations. I’m not preaching a upset by any means, but maybe being worthy of putting a scare into Cleveland.