(Getty Images; Jessica Hoffman/Pacers)
#1 Chicago Bulls (51-19)/#8 Indiana Pacers (32-40): Despite a shocking loss to the Pacers, the Bulls still hold the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference. Derrick Rose is averaging 24.9 points per game, and with the return of Joakim Noah, the Bulls have become even more dangerous than they were when the season started. The Pacers have won 5 out of the last 10 games, and are currently holding on to th e 8th spot. Chicago leads the regular season series 3-1.
(Photo via SlamOnline.com)
#2 Boston Cel tics (50-20)/#7 New York Knicks (35-36): Both the Celtics and the Knicks seem to be struggling at this point of the season. The Celtics have lost 5 out of the last 10 games, including a devastating loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last night. A couple of their losses have come to teams many believe they should have beaten: the Clippers and the Nets. Despite the recent struggles, they are only 1 game behind Chicago for the #1 seed. Also, according to NBA.com, Paul Pierce is the NikeBasketball.com Baller of the Week. The Carmelo Anthony trade hasn’t gone as planned for the New York Knicks. They have lost 4 straight games, and 7 of the last 10 games. In the month of March,they have only won one game, against the Grizzlies, with a last minute shot by Anthony. Ignoring a few of the regular season losses, Boston should win this series. They currently lead the regular season series 3-0.
(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
(Marc Serota/Getty Images)
#3 Miami Heat (49-22)/#6 Philadelphia 76ers (37-34): After struggling in the beginning, and also in the middle, of the season, the Miami Heat have picked up the pace after a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and a blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are #2 and #4 respectively in points per game this season. The Heat are 2.5 games behind Chicago for the #1 seed. Led by Andre Iguodala, the Philadelphia 76ers have quietly made it into the Eastern Conference playoff run, sitting at #6. They have won 6-4 of the last 10 games. Miami leads the regular season series at 2-0.
(Doug Benc/Getty Images)
#4 Orlando Magic (46-26)/#5 Atlanta Hawks (40-32): While everyone is wrapped up in Derrick Rose for MVP campaigns, few seem to recognize the achievements of Dwight Howard this season. He’s currently averaging a double-double, 23.1 points per game (highest of his career) and 14.2 rebounds per game, #2 in the league. He’s #11 in ppg, #1 in blocks and #2 in blocks per game, defensive rebounds and defensive rebounds per game. He also temporarily lost his “Mr. Nice Guy” routine and publicly criticized his teammates play after a lackadaisical game earlier in the season. The Magic have won 6 out of their last 10 games. The Atlanta Hawks, however, seem to be struggling as of late. After a blowout loss to the Bulls, the Hawks blew a lead to the Sixers last night, losing 105-100. They are 3-7 of the last 10 games, with only one win over a playoff team
My prediction, or at least what I’m hoping for, is a Chicago/Boston Eastern Conference Final….with multiple overtime games.
Kateasa is a part-time contributor to Stachektball, and loves anything basketball related. Follow her on Twitter: @Simply_Kateasa