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LCB Hoops Picks: Eastern Conference, Second Round

May 3, 2010

With the Hawks finally taking the series from the Bucks, myself and Berndon can subsequently make our picks for who will play in the Conference Finals.
Langston: Over the past couple seasons, we have been waiting for the Hawks to put it all together. During the regular season, under the slogan "Now You Know" they appeared to do have done just that, giving us the illusion that they were ready to take on the league's best. Though after the first round, we're all left to question everything we've learned about them over the years. Against the Bucks they had the series well in hand, up two games to none, then they let a team being led by a nineteen year-old with their best player on the bench in street clothes win three straight. The killer instinct needed to close teams out, that they need to get to the upper echelon on the NBA, just wasn't there. It should have been a short series, but it took them seven to down those feisty yet offensively dreadful Bucks. For a team destined to lose it's best scorer via free-agency, it's indefensible that they aren't playing each game like it matters. Until they find a way to play with that killer instinct or game seven desperation in every game, they're destined to be just another squad we're waiting on. But we can only wait so long.

Berndon: Truthfully, I've been paying more attention to the West, save for the Bulls-Cavs series. The only thing I really feel like merits mentioning is how well an undermanned Milwaukee team played. Brandon Jennings showed that he can potentially be an elite point guard, while the rest of this team played extremely hard and did not wilt without their star, Andrew Bogut. It doesn't get mentioned as much, but the Bucks also played a could chunk of the year without Michael Redd. Redd isn't going to be the same player he was when he comes back, but if they add a couple of pieces, both the Bulls and Milwaukee, and probably even Charlotte could see themselves climbing into the Eastern elite by next season.

Picks
Langston
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers v. (4) Boston Celtics: Some are suggesting the Celtics are the Eastern Conference version of the Spurs, proclaiming you can't judge what they did during the season because of the veteran leadership and defensive mentality the team uses to win games. Those suggesting this are wrong. The Spurs are a well rounded team that is finally healthy and playing its best ball of the season, while the Celtics success is all predicated on the play of Kevin Garnett. A man once referred to as "the kid," who no matter how loud he screams or how many dead ball shots he blocks appears to be aging with each quarter played. They might be able to string this series out to seven games, but with their inability to stop/slow Lebron and match the Cavaliers intensity for four quarters all we're left to wonder is how many games it takes for the Cavaliers to win. I'll say five.


Berndon
(2) Orlando Magic v. (3) Atlanta Hawks: Dwight Howard had a nightmare of a series against Charlotte, but it didn't matter as Jameer Nelson absolutely torched Ray Felton. Now, he gets to battle with a little bit of a better frontcourt in Atlanta. The Hawks had no business going seven games against a team with Kurt Thomas as its starting center, and Jerry Stackhouse as its 6th man unless this was 1997. They underachieved and showed that they haven't grown up quite as much as everyone thought. Joe Johnson has been consistent, but everyone else decides to show up on a night-to-night basis, not in each game. Before the playoffs started I would have said this one was pretty even, but now, I think Orlando is catalpulting toward a rematch with the Cavs. Orlando in 6.

13 comments:

Teach said...

I'm hoping the Hawks turn out to be one of those teams that plays to the level of their competition. If that's true, then their series with Orlando should be a lot of fun, but I agree with Berndon that it will probably only go 6. I'd love to see 7 though.

May 3, 2010 at 8:37 PM
Langston said...

If game 2 is any indication I couldn't have been more incorrect about the Celtics. But that's a good thing, as I want all of the series to go seven games. Well, as long as it doesn't involve the Lakers losing.

May 3, 2010 at 10:38 PM
Langston said...

I should have made it clearer in the post, but I like watching the Hawks when they're playing well. I think, if they could put it all together for an entire series, they could be scary good.

May 3, 2010 at 10:40 PM
Russ said...

Or be down by 40 in game 1. Embarrassing.

May 4, 2010 at 9:56 PM
Teach said...

Orlando is the team to beat right now, and I don't think they needed to do this against the Hawks to prove it.

May 4, 2010 at 10:08 PM
Langston said...

Wow, I'm trying to find something positive to say about the Hawks. But, um, I have nothing.

May 4, 2010 at 10:19 PM
Russ said...

It wasn't the worst loss in NBA playoff history. Hornets loss to Nuggets last year by 58.

May 4, 2010 at 10:44 PM
Russ said...

That was my EJ's neat-o stat of the night.

May 4, 2010 at 10:51 PM
Iceman, AD said...

The Hawks have pretty red uniforms. Sometimes. Sigh....they're done.

May 5, 2010 at 2:55 AM
Anonymous said...

Does anybody want to bring up Jameer Nelson's post season statistics? He's scored 32 points twice. And in the Magic's closest game so far, a 90-86 win over the Bobcats, he had 32 points and 0 turnovers. The Magic look good. Really good.

May 7, 2010 at 5:00 PM
Anonymous said...

Does anybody want to bring up Jameer Nelson's post season statistics? He's scored 32 points twice. And in the Magic's closest game, a 90-86 win over the Bobcats, Nelson had 32 points and 0 turnovers. The Magic look good. Really good.

May 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM
Teach said...

Yeah, during their series with the Bobcats, I felt myself pulled to the Magic. I don't know if either Boston or Cleveland can beat them right now, especially if LeBron's elbow is what we've been led to believe it is. Seriously, I feel like his elbow is shown in syndication more than Seinfeld right now.

May 7, 2010 at 7:09 PM
Russ said...

http://twitter.com/Lebronselbow

May 7, 2010 at 7:32 PM

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