With the 2014 NBA Playoffs set to tip-off Saturday, fans will finally get the chance to some meaningful basketball.
With all of the matchups set in the East, there are some interesting first-round series that will be sure to be both intriguing and exciting. Per the below, this writer will offer a brief analysis of each matchup along with a prediction of who will win and why.
Without further ado, here are my picks for the East first round.
- (1)Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks(8) : After limping down the stretch into the post-season, some have the top-seeded Pacers as being a prime candidate for an early round exit. While the Hawks have the outside shooting of Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague to give the Pacers fits from long-range and Paul Millsap able to bang down low with David West and Roy Hibbert, Paul George could is the likely difference maker in what will be a hard-fought and physical series. Prediction : Pacers in six.
- (2)Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats(7) : Now that the “real” season has begun for the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, that could turn out to be a very bad omen for the upstart Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets. While Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker will be sure to give the Heat all they can handle down low and in the post, a healthy Dwyane Wade, determined LeBron James and a suddenly resurgent Chris Bosh will prove too much for the neophyte Bobcats in what will be a short and brief series. Prediction : Heat in four
- (3)Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets(6) : In what could be a up-and-down, old-school ABA shootout type of series between two very exciting teams, the high-flying Raptors and gritty Brooklyn Nets will not disappoint. In Toronto, you have a promising young core of players in Terence Ross, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan going up against a veteran and battle-tested Nets squad led by future Hall of Famers in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams. While the Raptors will be able to go toe-to-toe with the veteran Nets, Brooklyn has too much experience and defensive prowess that will wear down and frustrate the young Raptors. Prediction : Nets in six
- (4)Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards(5) : As Joakim Noah goes, so do the Bulls. Since losing Derrick Rose, the former two-time champion from Florida has carried the Bulls thanks to his intensity and tenacity, which should earn him his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Thanks to a serviceable backcourt duo of Jimmy Butler and Kirk Heinrich, along with a tough and physical front line rotation consisting of Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson and Nazr Mohammed, the Bulls should be able to slow down the prolific shooting duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal easily. Prediction : Bulls in six
Robert D. Cobb Is the CEO/Founder/Senior Editor-In-Chief of the InscriberMag : Digital Magazine and a member of the PFWA(Pro Football Writers Association), please follow him on Twitter at @RC_TheInscriberMag