After some pretty intense competition in the first round of the playoffs, you can only assume we will be in for more as we move into the second round. After a couple of Game 7’s and a huge upset (asterisk for injury), can we expect some more drama in the next couple weeks?
I actually think the second round of the playoffs is going to be rather boring and straightforward. A lot of the intense battles we saw in the first round were because some of the teams matched up well with each other.
The Denver Nuggets were a tough team for the Los Angeles Lakers to play with just because of the pace and energy the Nuggets brought to the table. The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers are two tough, gritty basketball teams that really battled hard and the Clippers emerged victorious.
In the second round, the matchups are a lot more lopsided.
The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder have been enjoying their rest after both teams finished off their first round opponents with sweeps. Both the Spurs and the Thunder are going to see very tired, beat up teams in the Clippers and Lakers respectively.
I cannot see the Clippers giving the Spurs any type of competition and the same goes for the Lakers. There is going to be a lot of action in the Staples Center in the next week or so, but I do not see the city of Los Angeles coming out on top in either series. I would not be surprised if both of those series ended in five games.
In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers benefitted from injuries to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but unless Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce go down, this should be a pretty easy series for the Boston Cetlics. The 76ers are the eighth seed for a reason. They tanked the second half of the year and showed they cannot really hang with the best in the East. If Derrick Rose had stayed healthy, it was pretty obvious we would be looking at a Bulls-Celtics series right now.
The Indiana Pacers play great team basketball, and they are actually pretty fun to watch, but I do not think they can hang with the Miami Heat. Now, things could change a little bit with the injury to Chris Bosh that will probably keep him out for this entire series, but I still give the upper hand to the Heat. They showed in Game 1 that the talent level of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade is just too much to handle. Since Bosh will not be playing, I could see the Pacers stealing one game at home, but that is about it.
I honestly would not be surprised if all four of these series ended in less than six games. This round of the playoffs is probably not where the NBA is going to grab everyone’s attention.
However, after we get past this round, the looming Spurs/Thunder and Heat/Celtics matchups are something I can get excited about. I think these playoffs are headed for a very exciting conclusion, but for now, we may have to wait through a few lopsided matchups.