Friday, April 27, 2012

Playoffs Are Here, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. As the NBA regular season came to a close yesterday, it's time to take a look at some of the match-ups in the first round. Let's start with the Heat-Knicks series. This season in the East, the difference between being a seven seed or being an eight seed is almost nonexistent. Some would even argue that it would be an easier task to play the Bulls rather than the Heat in the Playoffs.The Knicks are a good seven seed, and with a healthy Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony they have a shot at upsetting the Heat it the first round. I think it will be a good series, but the power of the Heat will win it in five or six games. I think the best series in the first round will be the Hawks and the Celtics. Even though they are old, they still know how to play basketball and they have the experience to win in the playoffs. The Hawks have a couple of very good players in Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Johnson hasn't had the season he wanted to have so far, but he can still turn it around with a good postseason. Even though Atlanta has the home-court in the series, I think the experience of the Celtics will be too much for the Hawks and Boston wins in seven games. Finally, the most interesting series of the first round will be the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are another team that have a lot of experience, especially when you compare them to the Thunder. Oklahoma City has a big three of their own with Durant, Westbrook, and sixth man of the year James Harden. Never discount the fact of sheer determination of Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks, because let's be real, did anyone expect them to even make it to the Finals last year. I think it will be a great series and it could go either way, but I think the Thunder will take it in six games.

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