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Eastern Conference NBA Playoff Preview

by Photo of Ankit Ahuja

We Preview the Eastern Conference Mathcups, and See Who Will Come Out of the East

Eastern Conference NBA Playoff Preview

Only a couple teams stood out this year in the Eastern Conference. The Atlanta Hawks were spectacular this year winning over 60 games and becoming a legitimate threat to win the East. The team we all thought would be there, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are playing great basketball and come into the playoffs steaming hot. The Chicago Bulls are finally getting healthy, but outside of these three teams who else realistically will make it out of the East? 

But the games are played because the results are not a foregone conclusion. The regular season is over, and all of these teams enter with identical 0-0 records, regardless of what happened earlier in the year. These first round match-ups should be fun to watch.

(1) Atlanta Hawks vs (8) Brooklyn Nets

The Nets come into the playoffs playing well, winning nine of their last 13, but they have been incredibly inconsistent this year. The Hawks will be all over them. Atlanta owns a 4-0 record against Brooklyn this season, and the games haven't been close. This series should be over quickly with the Hawks winning in 4 or 5. 

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs (7) Boston Celtics

The Celtics earned a playoff spot thanks to the addition of Isaiah Thomas and a sterling 20-11 record after the All-Star Break. They are red-hot, entering the playoffs riding a six-game winning streak. Now they run into the juggernaut Cavs who have a three-headed monster led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The Celtics just do not have enough talent to compete with the Cavs. Cleveland will win this in 4 or 5. 

(3) Chicago Bulls vs (6) Milwaukee Bucks

The Bulls have dealt with a ton of injuries this year, yet they persevered again and earned the three seed in the East. The emergence of Jimmy Brooks, Pau Gasol's consistency and more unsung production from players like Aaron Brooks helped Chicago all season long. The Bucks, a year removed from being the worst in the league, have relied on their defense to get them to this point. The Bucks, despite their youth, will give the Bulls a tough series, but I think the Bulls will close in 6.

(4) Toronto Raptors vs (5) Washington Wizards

Both of these teams started the year extremely hot, but have cooled off in the second half of the year. Neither team has performed well since the All-Star Break. The Raptors finished up with a 13-16 record while the Wizards fared slightly better at 14-15. Both are hoping the playoffs can help turn things around. The Wizards possess more talent, but I expect the Raptors to win because of their execution on offense. Raptors in 7. 


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