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LCB Hoops Picks: Eastern Conference Finals

May 16, 2010


On Thursday the Celtics shocked the World by knocking off King James and his minions, setting the match-ups for the Conference Finals. In keeping with tradition, we're back to make our selections for the teams that will move on to the Championship. However with Berndon still getting acclimated to life at the Beach, you only have the word of Langston to ready you for this rematch of last years conference semifinals.

For the better part of the season, I, like so many others, thought the Celtics were done. They looked slow, old, and terribly average. This led to many, myself included, announcing they were no longer contenders and giving them absolutely no chance against the Cavaliers. I also figured they would allow the Heat to hang around a game too many, giving Dwyane Wade a chance to repay them for the error. Yet, as we all know they are still standing and making us all look pretty foolish.

After watching them steamroll the Heat and dismantle every opinion we had of the Cavaliers, you would think I would learn to respect this team, right? Nope, despite everything that has transpired, I still don't see it. It might be because I see the Heat as a one-man show and believe that the Cavs could have gotten a better game-plan from my middle school coach who thought the three-man weave was the biggest key to a team's success (Shaq on KG? Really?). It might also be because I despise the Celtics, therefore making it impossible to say anything positive about them without adding two or three negatives. Yeah, that's probably it. But anyways, this is essentially my disclaimer informing you that I may not be the best judge of talent when it comes to the Celtics.


(2) Orlando Magic v. (4) Boston Celtics:
There are typically three things a team should focus on to win a playoff series; turnover ratio, rebounding, and bench play. While these are always huge factors in who moves on and who joins the rest of us watching from home, the biggest between these two teams will be whose point-big man combo does the most damage. Boston has Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett. Rondo has easily been the Celtics most dominant player thus far in the postseason and KG appears to be healthy once again, quickly rotating on defense and elevating in a way we haven't seen since 2008. But he also has the task of guarding Rashard Lewis, someone who has the ability to make KG look like the old player we came to know this season. If KG can continue to be the leader Boston needs on defense and Rondo can sustain his play of the first two rounds, the Celtics could have many jumping off the bandwagon in Orlando.

As for the Magic, they have Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard. Jameer, like Kevin, is playing healthy for the first time in over a year which is evident when looking at the statistics (Yes you were right Stan, he does appear to be back). After a season of middling numbers his stats have gone through the roof. And though he is fully capable of doing a lot of damage on offense, the Magic will need him on defense as he is the only one who can slow down the deadly quick Rajon Rondo. If he can slow him even a little, it changes the game greatly and will allow Dwight to clean up in the paint. Speaking of Superman, he has no equal down low. However at times he has struggled with foul trouble and hasn't put up the offensive numbers we have come to expect. His stats are likely down due to a lack of need and a better balance between Orlando's offense, but the foul trouble is troubling. The Magic cannot afford to be play without DH for extended time, his impact is just far too great. If Dwight can avoid getting the whistles and Jameer can stay healthy, the Magic get the edge in this critical match-up and I think they will. Besides the great combo of Jameer and Dwight, they have the crucial experience gained in last years playoffs that will pay huge dividends in this series, giving them the confidence and focus needed to propel them to the NBA Finals for the second time in as many years. Magic in seven.

14 comments:

Teach said...

The Magic are also deeper, longer, and more athletic, or, in other words, everything the Cavs were not.

May 16, 2010 at 3:04 PM
Teach said...

Game 1 is making us look like idiots.

May 16, 2010 at 5:46 PM
Teach said...

But Game 2 will give us a truer statement about how this series will really go

May 16, 2010 at 5:46 PM
Langston said...

Yeah the Magic seemed to have quite a bit of rust to shake off, and then found some traction in the fourth. I'm confident they play better next time out, however if this outcome is mirrored in game 2 we are idiots.

May 16, 2010 at 6:31 PM
Teach said...

how frustrating is Dwight Howard right now? and do we blame him or Ewing?

May 16, 2010 at 6:34 PM
Langston said...

I don't know. I just remember that when he was a high school senior he would explain that he was skipping school so he could spread the gospel. I always thought it was a lame excuse to forgo his education, since he could spread it on the college level first than move on to the pro level. But it's even lamer that he wasn't being truthful or at the very least realistic about his career plan.

May 16, 2010 at 7:13 PM
Russ said...

This was a predictable and I wish I placed a bet on Orlando losing this game. This series goes 7 with Boston winning because I still don't believe in Vince Carter and they need him to win even with the Jameer Nelson's resurgence

May 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM
Russ said...

The Jameer Nelson's Resurgence is probably the name of some crappy high school garage band in Orlando.

May 16, 2010 at 7:34 PM
Teach said...

Billy's cousin is in that band.

May 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM
Teach said...

I'm not as down on Vince Carter as some. His career is basically identical to Pierce's without KG walking into it. If the Magic come out in Game 2 and show they've made the adjustments necessary to get Dwight some easier shots, then they'll win Game 2 and probably the series. If they can't get him easier shots, then Boston moves on.

May 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM
Teach said...

btw, I love this KG pic, Langston, and what you did with it

May 16, 2010 at 10:53 PM
Iceman, AD said...

Ugh will some destroy this Boston team please? I can't decide if I hate them, the Lakers, or Rick Reilly's inevitable, pompous Lebron article more.

May 16, 2010 at 11:24 PM
Teach said...

Ice: That's exactly what I'm hoping and fearing. 'Cause I thought about it after I typed it, and I don't know how one could get Dwight easier shots. They're not even doubling him. Orlando could maybe try and run more and get him involved with pick and rolls like Phoenix did before Amar'e developed any sort of shot. Maybe.

May 17, 2010 at 5:41 PM
Teach said...

okay, I'm going to bed now under the assumption that this series is done.

May 18, 2010 at 11:05 PM

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