The 2013 NBA regular season is now in the book and now the top eight team from the Eastern and Western Conferences square off in a bid to take the ultimate prize--the NBA's Larry O'Brien Trophy. For the Eastern Conference, it has been billed as a two team show--namely the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. There may be a couple of new faces appearing this year with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets; however do not expect any surprises. This first round series will be so predictable that you can set your watch to it. There will be no major series to watch as its is already a forgone conclusion on who will be heading to the conference finals in May. Nonetheless, here are the matchups of who will be facing and beating whom.
This series is pretty much cit and dry as well--an extremely deep and superior talented New York Knicks team faces an aging and hobbling Boston Celtics squad that basically limped into the post season. All the cards are essentially in New York Knicks and unless something out of the ordinary happen such as the Knicks' team bus explodes upon arrival killing the entire team, thus forcing the Knicks to forfeit, this series is pretty much in the bag for New York. Sure, the Celtics may pull out what's left in their bag of tricks, which is not very much, and make this series somewhat interesting, but they are headed for an early summer vacay. Expect this series to go six games as the most as the Big Apple returns once again to the big stage.
This matchup can be considered as the "sleeper" series as it features two teams who no one really cares about (even their home fans, for that matter) whose fortes are grind it out defensive games and poor shooting. Indiana, despite the infusion of added athleticism still remained as one of the worst offensive teams in the league while the Hawks can be considered as one of the least interesting teams in the league as they have reached the playoffs once again for the fifth straight time with little or no fanfare. With the same style of play and evenly matched rosters, expect this series to go either way with neither team having any real advantage on the other. It does really matter who advances anyways, as it will possibly be the least watched series in the first round with neither team able to spur even the slightest interest. Odds on favorites will certainly be the Pacers, but don't underestimate the Hawks--they might just surprise the very few who even care to watch and take the series as well.
This series can also be considered as the "battle of the boring" as it feature two rather underwhelming teams who have failed to live up to preseason expectations. The Nets came in with a brand new look, a brand new home, and brand spanking new, talented and expensive roster, yet only manage to eek out just 49 wins in the regular season. Chicago, on the flip side, were without their star Derrick Rose for the entire season and virtually had kick bite and scratch in every game just to reach the playoffs. As the post season arrives, Chicago also find themselves without just one, but three of their key players heading into the playoffs. With such a huge advantage, look for Brooklyn to simply trample the Bulls winning the series in at most five games as this undermanned Chicago team will provide little if any challenge whatsoever.