Our picks are in, complete with expert analysis! Don’t blame us when your bookie comes to collect.
(1) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS VS. (8) DETROIT PISTONS
"Scattered pictures, of the smiles we left behind, smiles we gave to one another, for the way we were."
Let’s get this one out of the way.
DUBBS: Cavs in 4. The Cavs are really hard to beat at home. I see the Cavs winning the first two at home, with at least the second game being a close one. After going down 0-2, the Pistons will fold. Goodbye Iverson. Bye-bye Sheed. Hello… Paul Millsap?
BROKEASS: I’m going with the Cavs in 3. No, seriously, Lebron will carve the Pistons up just like he did the last two times these teams faced off in the playoffs. He’ll average 40 in the Cleveland games before the “BJ Armstrong All-Stars” humiliate the Pistons at the Palace. On second thought, maybe the Cavs will win in 3. Either way, at the end of Sheed’s last game as a Piston, he’ll be sure to give Bronny a long, heartfelt embrace.
DUBBS: Yeah, Sheed’s gotta pass that torch from five years ago. So we both have Sheed gone after this year, but you have him leaving during the series. Where do you see Sheed going? I think both he and Iverson should head to Charlotte and reunite with LB.
BROKEASS: I’m not sure Sheed won’t retire, but if he signs a new deal Charlotte would be a wise decision. Old stomping grounds, old coach, young nucleus. And he could do almost every bit for Emeka Okafor what he did for Ben Wallace. As for Iverson, I don’t give a shit. Stick the “A-I” between “J” and “L” for all I care.
DUBBS: Yeah, Sheed could mentor Okafor like he does Dwight Howard. Except they’d actually be on the same team, making it, y’know, appropriate. And Iverson still has college eligibility, right? He should enroll at Florida International University and play for Isiah. Zeke could teach him how to run the point.
(2) BOSTON CELTICS VS. (7) CHICAGO BULLS
Paul Pierce feels the music. Ty Thomas feels it move.
BROKEASS: I like Chicago to give Boston a hard time in this series. Especially if KG is inactive. The Bulls can match the defensive intensity of these Celts and that will result in some tough-fought games. Maybe even a tough-fought fight. I’ve got the Celtics in 6.
DUBBS: Agreed, Celtics in 6. I like Chicago right now. If they had made it to the 6 seed, I would pick them to upset Orlando. Derrick Rose is coming into his own and he’ll make a mark in this series. Ty Thomas and Noah have been playing well. And who’s gonna guard John Salmons?!?! But I think the Celtics will be super-motivated without KG. Pierce is gonna go off.
BROKEASS: I never thought I would read myself write this, but I think Chicago will suffer for the absence of Luol Deng. They need a calming presence that D-Rose does not yet provide. This will no doubt be his coming-out party as an individual, but this Rose is not yet fully in bloom when it comes to running a team. Ugh, did I just type that? Gag me with a penis. Who dominates the Battle of Connecticut: Gordon or Allen?
DUBBS: Allen, most definitely. He’s had a resurgent year, after recovering from last season’s ankle injuries. He’ll be better than Gordon. And I agree with you about the calming presence of Lu Deng. I’ve fallen asleep many a time watching his boring ass play ball. He’s like Tayshaun Prince without all the flash.
BROKEASS: “Luuuuuuuuu Deng will help you get your ZZZZZZZZ’s.”
(3) ORLANDO MAGIC VS. (6) PHILADELPHIA SEVENTY-SIXERS
The Sixers smell defeat.
DUBBS: I don’t believe in Orlando. They are sweetmeat. Hedo is injured, Rafer Alston is not Jameer Nelson, and Dwight Howard is not the dominant offensive player he should be. Teams are too often able to contain him on that end of the floor. Having said that, I don’t see the Sixers posing much of a threat. They just aren’t good. And they have gotten worse lately. D-Ho should feast inside. Orlando in 5.
BROKEASS: Philly will have the advantage at guards, but that won’t matter. Two Andres don’t equal one Dwight. I’m taking Orlando in 4. Are we done talking about this unwatchable series yet?
DUBBS: Yes. The only point of interest in this series is whether Stan Van Gundy will wear a mock turtleneck every single game. SVG – Get you some breathable fabrics and live a little, son!
(4) ATLANTA HAWKS VS. (5) MIAMI HEAT
This is the tandem the Hawks should be worried about.
BROKEASS: The top 3 in the East should’ve received First Round byes. This is the only series that matters. On paper I have to take the Hawks, but this series seems more likely to come down to these three intangibles: 1) Will D-Wade be infallible; 2) Will the referees treat D-Wade like he’s infallible; and 3) Will the Hawks self-destruct? I predict the series to be unpredictable, but am choosing Atlanta in 7.
DUBBS: Yeah, this is the one that’s up for grabs. Atlanta is a better team than Miami. But Dwyane Wade has been just disgusting. Atlanta has a tendency to fall apart a bit at times. And a Heat win would set up Lebron-Wade for Round 2. So, apologies to the always-overlooked Joe Johnson and the always-undereducated Josh Smith, but I’m picking Miami in 7.
BROKEASS: It is hard to bet against Dwyane if it comes down to Game 7. But I’m betting on an Atlanta team that thrives at home and feels like they let an upset slip away last year in Boston. Miami has too little else besides Wade. Mario Chalmers, you ain’t in Kansas anymore. Mike Bibby has too much playoff experience and too many tattoos to read. If JO somehow comes alive, that’s a different story, but we all know in this world, when you’re dead you stay dead.
DUBBS: Too little else besides Wade? Um… hello? Mike ‘Be Easy” Beasley? Jo-el “son of Jor-el, brother of Kal-el” Anthony? AKA The Gazelle? Udonis “Udonis Haslem” Haslem? And JO is a soldier. He lives to come up short in moments like this. No, it’s all on Wade. If Atlanta can keep Wade under 30 for a game or two, they’ll win. But I don’t think they can do it.
That’s all for the East. Western Conference First Round picks coming up.
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