(1) Miami Heat vs (8) Milwaukee Bucks:
A team who won the first seed with very little effort, is playing great defense, can shoot the 3, and has LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and possibly Ray Allen in the 4th quarter against a team that has tons of talent but no strategy? The Miami Heat.
The (3)Indiana Pacers vs (6)The Atlanta Hawks
The Indiana Pacers are filled with stars in a starting line-up that includes David West, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, and is led by Paul George. Although the Hawks have Josh Smith, Jeff Teague and Devin Harris, they have not been able to mobilize past any top teams in the NBA this season. Add the playoff and experience and caliber of the Indiana Pacers. I choose the Pacers.
The (4)Brooklyn Nets vs (5)The Chicago Bulls
Dec 15, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Nate Robinson (2) is defended by Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Brooklyn Nets won the 4th seed and home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Deron Williams has been on fire and Brook Lopez is probably the best all-around center in the NBA now. However, defense wins in the playoffs and with Tom Thibeadeau’s leadership over the Chicago Bulls, I would say the away team has the advantage.
(2)New York Knicks vs (7) Boston Celtics:
Most would say the New York Knicks, because of the outstanding performances by Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith the last month coming into the NBA Playoffs. The Celtics are also disorganized offensively whose saving grace can only come from captain Paul Pierce and former Oklahoma City Thunder Jeff Green the last month. However, I would not underestimate Doc Rivers‘ coaching ability, especially on the defensive end led by Kevin Garnett, who may try to get into Anthony’s head again. The Knicks have been a more efficient team than the Celtics throughout the season. Not only has New York shot at a higher percentage from the field, the Knicks also allow 10 points less per game than the Celtics do.