“A Solid Matchup in the East”

Dwyane Wade (left) and Lebron James (right) have been lights out in the playoffs thus far. I fully expect Miami's dynamic tandem to give the Bulls fits and advance to the NBA Finals.

So the NBA Playoffs have not gone exactly as many projected.  The majority of people across the country had a Lakers/Celtics rematch penciled in for June.  Or they at least expected the NBA’s 2 most storied franchises to advance to their respective conference finals.  I will admit that I was one of those people.  Well I, along with many others was wrong.

So television is not going to get the NBA Finals matchup that it was yearning for.  A round 3 dream matchup between the Lakers and Celtics.  So what.  All of the teams currently left are pretty darn good, and are still alive for obvious reasons.  The Bulls put up the best record in the NBA this year.  They are led by the current NBA MVP Derrick Rose, and appear to be getting stronger as the playoffs progress.  Fatigue and inexperience do not appear to be a limiting factors for the first relevant team out of the Windy City since the Jordan days. 

The other team left standing in the Eastern Conference is none other than the most hated team in basketball.  A team that many have proclaimed the Monstars (Space Jam Bad Guys).  Either way, Miami has looked outstanding.  And have now taken on the role of being the “favorite” to bring home the title.  Nothing has been won yet.  The Heat still have to win 8 more games.  But knocking out the mighty Boston Celtics was a huge step in the right direction.  Sure Rondo was beat up, but Miami took care of the team that many expected to win the East in 5 games.  Who foresaw Boston losing any series in under 6 games?  Be real.  If you claim you saw this happening, you are full of it.  I will admit that I expected Boston to defeat the Heat.  And I will admit to underestimating this Miami team all year long.  I am done doubting Miami.

Want to know the crazy thing about this matchup?  These are the top 2 seeded teams in the conference.  So it would not have been rocket science to predict this matchup.  But everyone fully expected the Celtics to make one last go at a championship this year.  Now everyone is saying next year will be Boston’s last run at it with this group.  I am sorry to say that without some major offseason acquisitions, Boston’s current reign as the team to beat in the East is long over.  The Perkins trade was one of the worst moves I have seen in some time. 

 I will admit I thought that Chicago and Miami were both a year away.  I was wrong.  The present is their time to shine.  Both of these teams appear to be playing their best basketball at the most important time of the year.  Wade and James have been simply unstoppable, while Rose has looked similar to Allen Iverson, in 2001.  Though I love Chicago’s old-fashioned nature, and team oriented basketball, can they really beat Miami’s team of superstars?

To be blunt with it.  No they cannot.  Sure the Bulls are 3 and 0 on the season versus the Heat.  But the Heat have looked lights out in the playoffs and when they are clicking on all cylinders, they are basically unbeatable.  Wade and James have begun to look like the Jordan/Pippen tandem of the 90s, but better.  Each Heat superstar is averaging a little over 26 PPG while shooting over 47% from the field.  Sure Chicago’s Derrick Rose is dropping nearly 29 PPG in the playoffs, but he is also shooting a less than flattering 42% from the floor. 

I do feel that Chicago has the deeper more well-rounded team.  But the way that the King and Wade are meshing right now, and with the emergence of a different role player each night, Miami will be very tough to beat.  No matter how many points Rose will score, he will need a plethora of help.  Are Boozer and Noah ready to step up to the  Big Leagues (AKA the Finals)?  I don’t think so.

I am taking the Heat in 6.  The majority of America will be unhappy with this result, but it appears to be inevitable.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.



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