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Friday, April 17, 2009

Eboy’s 2009 1st Round Playoff Preview * 4 Dead In O-Hi-O

Posted by Eboy





"Tin soldiers and Lebron’s coming,
They’re finally on their own.
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio."


Yes, people.....take that reworked song lyric as a playoff preview. Lebron and his Cavs will meet 4 different opponents on their way to the Cavs first ever title........and it’s not going to be pretty for the guys wearing different uniforms. This is coronation time for the king......and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

So let’s start from the beginning........1st Round matchups. We’ll start in the East......land of the king.

Cavs-Pistons

Man.....two seasons ago, this would have been one of the marquee matchups in the entire league......this season.....well, let’s just say that the Cavs just need to stay interested to not make it go any longer than 5. The Pistons are just so terribly.....ordinary now.....it’s shameful. Perhaps next season this matchup will live up to the billing. There will be a game where the Pistons will play well and look good doing it.....but that will only serve to fire up King James and put the nail in the coffin early.

Prediction: Cavs in 5.

Celtics/Bulls

Up until a few days ago, this seemed like it would be the “practice” series the Celts needed to get their games rounded into form for their title defense. With the potentially devastating news that Kevin Garnett will miss the entire playoffs due to his knee injury, the Celts will now have to gut out whatever playoff wins they’ll get. The Bulls have a interesting young squad.....but that youngness will still hold them back from getting by. They can probably push the Celts in every game.....but the Celts still have a great closer in Paul Pierce and they still have that championship pedigree so.....

Prediction: Celts in six

Magic/Sixers

This could be a really interesting series. Orlando is saddled with injuries but the Sixers are inconsistent. The Magic should be able to get by with the greatness of Dwight Howard clogging the lane yet the Sixers can get on a roll for a few games and stretch this out. My gut feeling is that home court will be a huge determining factor in this series. If Orlando was healthy, I’d say Magic in 5.....but with the questions surrounding Hedo and the grit that the Sixers have shown at times I’ll say....

Prediction: Magic in 6 (barely)

Hawks/Heat

Ahhhh.....now here’s a matchup close to my little red e-heart. The Heat after a season of misery last year......reloaded and put themselves in the position they are today. Respectable....and dangerous. Why? They’re slighted......and Dwyane is still overlooked.....regardless of the minor praise he received in the MVP race. Here’s the thing.......the best big game performer coming into this season’s playoffs wears #3 in Miami. He will not be denied by a middling Hawks squad....while pretty solid....just doesn’t have the defensive intensity to slow Dwayne enough to stop him from taking a game on his own....maybe even two. Two matchups stand out in my mind.....Joe Johnson trying to contain and get his against Dwyane and newly confident and superbly producing Michael “Thirty Harry” Beasley against Mo Evans & Marvin Williams. Why those two guys, you say?....well a little birdie has told me that the lineup of JO, Haslem, Beasley, Wade and Chalmers will start this series....but even if Moon stays in the SF spot and Beasley comes off the bench for 30 minutes a game....the Hawks don’t have a matchup for Beasley’s skillset and he can be the determining factor......even in his initial playoff performances. Joe will have to be superb and outduel Dwyane and I just don’t know if he’s got that in him with the run that Dwyane’s been on. It’s wont be easy but......

Prediction: Heat in six

Now let’s move to the wild.....well not so wild West.

Let’s start with the team that most of the world thinks won the title even before a game was played this season.

Lakers/Jazz

What should be a relative easy time for the Lakers.....will turn into a potential nightmare. The mind games Jerry Sloan has been playing are Phil Jackson level type shit and this is going to make for a really good series. The Jazz will fight hard and beat up on the Lakers for a couple of games....but.....the Lakers have a a lot more talent on their roster and that talent is going to win out in this series. It won’t be the most impressive of starts for the Lakers in their title quest....but it will be enough.....

Prediction: Lakers in six

Hornets/Nuggets

This should be a great matchup......two teams that have a ton of potential who can put a scare into anyone in the West. I think this matchup could be won at the point position. Whoever runs things better between Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul.....might take their respective squad to the next level. A lot of interesting matchups......good balance in some places.....I think this might go down to seven. If it does.....and Game 7 sits in Denver.....I think Chauncey might just outduel Cp3 in a game for the ages.

Prediction: Nuggets in seven.

Mavs/Spurs

Another interesting matchup......with the potential for an odd end to it. The Mavs have been playing really well and seem to have the ship on a pretty straight course for a good playoff run and it seems like luck and age and injuries may have finally caught with El Spurs. Here’s a funny thing......I don’t think that will hold true. The Spurs....minus Manu are still dangerous and still play a system that is predicated and proven on winning. The Mavs can either be really good or mediocre and unless Dirk completley outplays The Robot and Jason Kidd can flash back to 1996 and play Tony Parker even.......the Spurs can take this series......with good contributions from Drew Gooden and Roger Mason Jr. Not sure where they’d go from there.....but let’s not bury them just yet.

Prediction: Spurs in seven


Rockets/Blazers

Last but not least is yet another soon to be classic rivalry that could be one of the interesting early round series this season. After the Heat series....I’m kind of looking forward to this one the most. I’d love to see the always slept on Blazers do something of substance in this post season.....but the Rockets have something about them that makes them worrisome. That something is Ron Artest. He could be dominant in the series.....and I’m not sure if Pryzbilla and Oden can slow Yao....but something about the Blazers....their youth....the leadership of B-Roy and a strong unity on that squad has me believing they could pull the mild “upset”. I know the Rockets will be doing their damndest to get out of the first round.....but I still can’t shake the feeling that the Blazers are on the cusp of something special.....

Prediction: Blazers in 7 (again with 7?)

I’ll be checking back with Semifinal predictions when the time’s near. You can kill me then with my missteps.

14 comments:

AR said...

For a modern day basketball blog that was started through a hip hop culture basketball magazine's website.We sure do have a lot of Neil Young parody in our titles.

Noice.

Eboy said...

Sorry.....it just fit.

Hursty said...

Yall need to go check out the houston rockets site and click on the preview. They have Portland winning (!) but the link about Alrdidge and Hayes imbedded in it is what I've been talking about on slam.
Um. I kinda agree with the picks. Eh.

Tariq al Hayder said...

Hater.

Moose said...

Cavs-Pistons: Cavs in 4.
Celtics-Bulls: Celts in 6.
Magic-Sixers: Magic in 6.
Hawks-Heat: Heat in 7.
Lakers-Jazz: Lakers in 7.
Hornets-Nuggets: Nugs in 7.
Spurs-Mavs: Spurs in 6.
Trailblazers-Rockets: Blazers in 6.

Tariq al Hayder said...

My West picks:

Denver in 6
Dallas in 6
Lakers in 5
Portland in 7

Moose said...

New SKO interview. And, where did TAD go? Haven't even gotten an email from him saying that he'll start on the questions . . . but check Bachi for Tariq's.

BET said...

Bobcats in 7....

joeloholic said...

Ah. I was toying with the idea this weekend of doing one of these myself, when this little thing called "final exams" hit me and swallowed me up, and then I chance upon this and realize I would've wasted my time since I probably can't have put it better than this.

I think... once the Heat get past their newbie jitters, if they can put Wade in a competitive position at the end of games, the Hawks can't take him. The Hawks were firing on all cylinders in Game 1, but they're equally capable of indecisive mediocrity.

Spot on with the observation that the Bulls'll push the Celtics in every game. Can the Celtics survive 7-game wars round after round, though? They kinda proved they can last year, but without KG, Ray and PP absolutely cannot afford to have off games like they've had the first 2 games of this series.

And regarding the Spurs - if they ever bump into the Lakers this year, Manu or not, I think they're gonna give a better fight than anyone out West can. Last year, they essentially lost to them due to a disgusting no call by Spur-hater Joey Crawford. For all of LA's talent, the gimpy Spurs have what it takes to beat them.

TADOne said...

I'm here, Mooseknuckle. I've been extremely busy so i'm not sure if i'll be able to complete your interview.

Hi Joe! I/we still expect you to do a guest piece.

Moose said...

TAD, take your time. We'll always be here, so there's no rush.

joeloholic said...

@TAD: I'd love to. Lemme get through my finals first... when I'm done and graduated and become another looking-hard-for-work prospective investment banker in a few weeks I'll have lots of free time on my hands, and I've got a thing or two ideas already...

PS. I'm sorry the Pistons are imploding like this. I've had a grudging respect for "Detroit Basketball" ever since they beat "my" Lakers AND my guy Karl Malone back in 2004. And... they play ball the way my coach taught us how to. What do you think is their direction next year? The funny thing is, even without AI, if you put a coach who knows how to utilize his pieces like Adelman or LB at the helm, they're a top 4 team again.

My Raptors, on the other hand...

Hursty said...

Eboy- your preview sucked. That's all =)

Hursty said...

Hey Eboy! - Your preview sucked... haha..










umm, maybe you wanna update the site?

Peace