All the Favorites Won: 10 Thoughts On The First Round of the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs

With Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs getting started, I wanted to drop some thoughts on Round 1. The Eastern conference was the most interesting for Round 1(well to me maybe). 

 

  • Pound for pound – The Milwaukee Bucks look like the pound for pound best team in the East. Detroit had no answer for the Greek Freak. The Bucks as a team has so much depth and they look like they can play any style of basketball.
  • Most Improved Player – Pascal Siakam should be the NBA’s Most Improved Player. He was the most valuable player of the round for his team. Orlando put up a good fight, but Siakim always made the momentum changing plays.
  • Rocky 3 – Philadelphia needs the Eye of the Tiger. An undermatched Brooklyn team gave them all they wanted for four games. This team is hanging on by Joel Embiid’s bum knee. I think Jimmy Butler is the key to the next round.
  • Kyrie Time – This is Kyrie Irving’s time of the year. He is the winningest player in playoff history and he showed it in this series. He played like a man no one could guard and he made the shots as well. Jaylen Brown also picked the right time to take his game to another level. As good as Kyrie and Jaylen played, the team did not look the same without Marcus Smart. They are going to need him if they expect to play with Milwaukee.
  • No Victory Without Victor – Indiana battled and played as hard as they could with Darren Collison and Wes Matthews. In the end, they were not Victor Oladipo. Even with Tyreke Evans and Bojan Bogdanovic shooting their minds out, Indiana needed a closer. Myles Turner was a force on defense and will continue to be for the next couple of years.
  • Kudos #1 – The Nets get a serious pat on the back. They are a bad call away from taking the Sixers to maybe seven games. D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert did some major damage to the Sixers defense. If they had any size, they would have given the Sixers fits.
  • Kudos #2 – The Orlando Magic made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. I was ready to see a young team that stumbled into the playoffs. However Steve Clifford coached these guys so that were efficient on offense and tenacious on defense. I know D.J. Augustin made the game winning shot in Game 1, but they are a point guard away from doing damage in the Eastern Conference. Hint – Kemba Walker is a free agent this summer.
  • You Got In…Now What? – Well Detroit made it to the playoffs. It had been three years since the Pistons had been in the playoffs. The Pistons had not won a playoff series since 2008. I am glad they got something from last year’s Blake Griffin trade…but now what? It will be interesting to see what Dwayne Casey gets out of this roster next year.
  • Boston v. Milwaukee – I am picking the Bucks in 6. While I think the Bucks can slow down Kyrie, I am not sure the Celtics can slow down Giannis.
  • Philadelphia v. Toronto – I am picking Toronto in 5. The Sixers don’t have the firepower to overcome a Raptor defense that is just plain nasty. The Sixers could not stop the Nets. Now how are they going to stop the Raptors.

 

 

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