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NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Preview and Predictions

LeBron James and the Cavs are huge favorites to win the NBA Eastern Conference Championship LeBron James and the Cavs are huge favorites to win the NBA Eastern Conference Championship

With the NBA playoffs in full swing, 2010 will be the battle to not lose to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavs. Does anyone in the Eastern Conference have what it takes to derail pro basketball’s team of destiny?

Let’s start by taking a look at the favorites themselves. The #1 overall seed takes on the East’s #8 seed the Chicago Bulls in round one.

The Bulls simply don’t have what it takes to compete with the sport’s most dominant team. Even if the Cavaliers start trying to work Shaquille O’Neal back into the rotation, his recovering injury and rust won’t be enough to give the Bulls a sniff.

Cavs in 4 games.

In another lop-sided series the #2 Orlando Magic take on the #7 Charlotte Bobcats, who are making their first ever post-season appearance.

The Magic outscored their opponents this season by an average of more than 12 points per game, the best differential in the NBA. They were even better down the stretch.

Dwight Howard is a force inside, and the Bobcats simply don’t have any way to deal with him.

Magic in 4 games.

Keeping up with the Eastern Conference is basically a matter of waiting for the later rounds, as the #3/#6 series is another one featuring a long shot at underdog. In this case, it’s the #6 Milwaukee Bucks who have a steep hill to climb against the #3 Atlanta Hawks.

Actually, this might have been a much more interesting series, but with the loss of the Bucks’ best player, Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee doesn’t really have much hope of stealing the series, especially when the Hawks have home court.

Milwaukee could eek out as many as two wins, but even that will be a tall order.

Hawks in 5 games.

The #4 Boston Celtics face the #5 Miami Heat in the most competitive match up of the Eastern Conference first round.

The Celts had a subpar season, but the aging trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have what it takes to elevate their game in the playoffs.

The key for Miami will be the play of Dwayne Wade. Wade will have to be a one-man wrecking crew to get his team past Boston. If his supporting cast can step up while he’s double-teamed, so much the better.

That said, it’s a tough series for the Heat even considering Boston’s disappointing regular season.

Celtics in 6 games.

The NBA Eastern Conference playoffs seem to suggest the inevitable showdown between the Cleveland Cavs and the Orlando Magic. Even then, Dwight Howard and company will be hard-pressed to contain Lebron James and his talented squad on their way to a date with championship destiny.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 20:00

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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