It is that time of year again. The sun is out, the birds are chirping and love does seem to be in the air. Aside from all of that, the NBA playoffs are starting soon after a long-awaited season that started in December after a tumultuous lockout.
The Eastern Conference will see its top teams battle each other and more than likely, everyone’s favorites to come out of the east are going to be the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat. However, there are three teams that everyone should not count out when it comes to be playoff time officially.
1). Indiana Pacers (Potential Seed: 3)
The Indiana Pacers are extremely dangerous. I had a chance to witness them play the New Jersey Nets and I underestimated how good they can get, even though they were only playing the Nets. The one player that sticks out in my mind is forward Danny Granger. Granger has been one of those players that has been rising up since he entered the league. He is not mentioned often because of players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, etc taking up all the spotlight.
The combination of Granger and point guard Darren Collison could be deadly when it comes playoff time. The only thing I worry about it the in-experience of said players. The Pacers lost to the Bulls in last year’s playoffs 4-1.
2). New York Knicks (Potential Seed: 7)
The New York Knicks are having an up and down season by far. They have gone through Linsanity and the firing of head coach Mike D’Antoni. Now, the new look Knicks are clicking on all cylinders but are still sort of inconsistent and yet they could still be a threat in the playoffs. The emergence of Carmelo Anthony has really helped.
Anthony dropped 42 points on the Miami Heat over the weekend and to me, if Anthony can do the same thing he’s been doing towards the back end of this season, the Knicks will be a serious player this year. Expect Amare Stoudemire to be back after suffering back problems for most of the season and if the Knicks can pull off a first round upset they will get Jeremy Lin back for the second round.
3). Boston Celtics (Potential Seed: 4)
Call the Boston Celtics what you want: Old, slow, aging, etc, but head coach Doc Rivers has gotten the Celtics clicking together again and they are sort of looking like the big three of old. You should be weary of what Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce can bring to the playoffs. Remember, they did make the finals only a short time ago against the Los Angeles Lakers but they lost.
Somehow, I believe Boston could be one of those teams to upset the top teams like the Bulls and Heat. Do not be surprised if you see this team go deep into the playoffs this season.