Eastern Conference Preview: How will Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit do in the playoffs?
I’m like an eight year old before Christmas.
However, I don’t want G.I. Joes, Transformers, or Duck Hunt for the old school Nintendo. Instead, I want King James and his Cavaliers. I want Kobe Bean and his Lakers. While we are at it, give me the best from every team lucky enough to make the NBA playoffs.
You see Christmas is nice. But it only lasts a few days. And the playoffs are a real holiday. For two months, I chose basketball over family and friends. And for two months, I ignore the boss and sneak out of work whenever possible.
I’m not alone. Each April, millions of fans join me in celebrating the 60 day holiday known as the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if mainstream society refuses to recognize our special time of the year.
Times could be changing, though. With a dedicated fan like Obama in power, HoopsVibe’s legal team is negotiating with the American government to declare the playoffs an official holiday.Who says all lawyers are bad? And who says politicians never do any good?
While we wait for the word from Congress, HoopsVibe The Blog has the second in our quick-hit playoff previews. Today, we are looking at seeds five through eight in the Eastern Conference. As always, read the post, form an opinion, and get at me with thoughts in the comment box below (based on standings as of April 13, 2009).
5) Miami …
Realistic Goal: Scare the you-know-what out of the top four seeds.
Keys: Yesterday, I argued that Atlanta is scary. Well, Miami, with Dwyane Wade playing like a man possessed, is just as frightening. After all, ‘Flash’ recently light up the Knicks for fifty points in three quarters.
The Heat is capable of an upset. But rookies Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, and coach Erik Spoelstra must prove they can handle the pressure of the second season. It wouldn’t hurt if veterans Jermaine O’Neal and Udonis Haslem could re-live their glory days.
6) Chicago …
Realistic Goal: Challenge Orlando and build for the future.
Keys: The Bulls, like all lower seeds in the Eastern Conference, want the Magic. After all, Disney World is vulnerable without the clutch Hedo Turkoglu, who is out with a knee injury.
For Chicago, these playoffs are really about the future. Derrick Rose needs experience. And the powers that be must figure out what players to keep for their new star’s supporting cast. Bottom line, the organization is transitioning from the Baby Bulls to Generation Next with Rose.
7) Philadelphia …
Realistic Goal: Scare Boston or Orlando.
Keys: Philadelphia will go as far as their ‘Dres will take them. Andre Miller must continuing providing veteran leadership at the one-sport, while Andre Iguodala has to show his late-game, Hollywood heroics weren’t a fluke.
The 76ers, if they control tempo and run, can push the Celtics and beat a wounded Magic side. And this postseason could be a coming out party for youngster Thaddeus Young.
8) Detroit …
Realistic Goal: Try hanging with Cleveland. Most importantly, finish The Big Four era with pride.
Keys: They are still tough. After all, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rasheed Wallace were once world champions. Plus, there are some talented newcomers led by the exciting Rodney Stuckey. And unlike past years, there is no pressure. Executive Joe Dumars took care of that when he dealt All-Star table-setter Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson’s expiring contract.
Still, a first round loss to the Cavaliers is inevitable. So is rebuilding.
How will Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit do in the playoffs? And should President Obama declare the playoffs a two-month holiday? Get at HoopsVibe The Blog with an answer in the comment box below. Photo courtesy of thegodfather1076.