By David Thiessen
What does the Eastern Conference playoffs look like?
Here's a rundown.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers v. 8. Detroit Pistons: With a 40-2 home record, there is no way the Cavs drop one of the first two games at home. After that this series is essentially over. Where are those people who thought the trade for Allen Iverson was a good idea? This Pistons team has been done for months. Cavaliers in 4.
2. Boston Celtics v. 7. Chicago Bulls: Now that we know Kevin Garnett will miss the entire playoffs, many are saying the Celts are ripe for a first round upset. I'm not one of those people. Over the last eight games of the season, all without KG, the Celts went 7-1 with wins against the 76ers, Heat and twice against the Hawks. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo are good enough to will the Celts to a first round victory. Celtics in 6.
3. Orlando Magic v. 6. Philadelphia 76ers: Who is going to stop Dwight Howard? Samuel Dalembert? The 76ers couldn't beat a Celtics team missing KG and Ray Allen, limping into the playoffs. Howard should have a monster series with nobody to defend him and nobody to worry about on the defensive end. Magic in 5.
4. Atlanta Hawks v. 5. Miami Heat: Really this is the Hawks v. Wade. He put together a MVP-caliber season and carried the Heat into the playoffs by himself. However, that will be the Heat's downfall. Sure, Wade can will the heat to a few victories, but the Hawks have more talent elsewhere. Joe Johnson is an All-Star himself and Josh Smith, Al Horford and Mike Bibby outclass their Heat counterparts. Hawks in 6.
NOTE: Eastern Conference preview podcast coming tonight