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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Breaking Down The NBA Playoffs

Many New Yorkers have the 2010 NBA free agency in mind, fantasizing about whom the Knicks may pick up over the off-season.However, they will have to wait, for there are playoffs to play, and each of the 16 teams is dreaming big.

Eastern Conference

Cleveland Cavaliers (1) vs. Chicago Bulls (8) (Cleveland leads 2-0)

Cavalier fans still remember the days when Michael Jordan and the Bulls used to torment them in the 90’s. Now the number 23 is on Cleveland’s bench in the form of Lebron James. The Cavaliers dominated game one and held off Chicago in game two. Lebron scored 40 in the second game, trying to assert the Cavs as the team to beat in the playoffs.

Outlook: The Cavaliers clinch the series in game five in front of their home crowd.

Orlando Magic (2) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (7) (Orlando leads 2-0)

Dwight Howard proved in game one why he deserved to win his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award. He had nine blocks as the Magic went on to win the series opener. The Bobcats are an up-and-coming team, and their new owner, some guy named Michael Jordan, will continue to push them in the future.

Outlook: The future isn’t now for the Bobcats, and the Magic will win the series in six games.

Atlanta Hawks (3) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (6) (Atlanta leads 2-0)

Though young, many of the Hawks aren’t rookies in the postseason. Their first challenge is a rookie, however. In his first year, Brandon Jennings has brought Milwaukee to the playoffs. The Hawks captured the first two games in front of their home crowd.

Outlook: The Hawks will also finish the series in front of their home crowd in the fifth game.

Boston Celtics (4) vs. Miami Heat (5) (Boston leads 2-0)

This series took a sour turn in game one when Celtics and Heat forwards Kevin Garnett and Quentin Richardson, respectively, got into a brawl over a scene of an injured Celtics forward, Paul Pierce. Garnett was suspended for the second game, but the Celtics massacred the Heat despite his absence. Boston hopes to keep the momentum going in Miami for the next two games.

Outlook: The Boston Celtics win yet another playoff series for the record books, clinching it in game six.

Western Conference

Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (8) (Los Angeles leads 2-0)

The battle between the Lakers and Thunder began before the series did when Lakers coach Phil Jackson, winner of a record 10 finals series as a coach, said that the referees give Thunder forward Kevin Durant superstar treatment by giving him free trips to the foul line. Thus far the Lakers have been able to back up Jackson’s talk by winning two tightly contested games in L.A.

Outlook: The young Thunder can’t stop the Lakers, who win the series in five games.

Dallas Mavericks (2) vs. San Antonio Spurs (7) (Dallas leads 1-0)

(**As this went to press, the Spurs led the Mavs at halftime of game 2, 58-46.)

The Mavericks and Spurs aren’t unfamiliar playoff foes. These two “Lone Star State” rivals met in the 2006 Western Conference finals, which Dallas won. The Mavericks have already taken a one game lead in this series, and their owner Mark Cuban rubbed salt on the Spurs’ wounds with choice insults.

Outlook: The Mavericks don’t make Cuban look like a fool and take the series in six games.

Phoenix Suns (3) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (6) (Series Tied 1-1)

Phoenix continues to feature the players that made the Suns great a few years ago such as Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. The Trail Blazers have a young squad that has some key pieces missing at an inconvenient time.  Guard Brandon Roy and center Greg Oden will both be missing for the series. Thus far, the Blazers were able to split the two games in Phoenix.

Outlook: The Blazers will miss the absence of their stars, and it will cost them the 6 game series.

Denver Nuggets (4) vs. Utah Jazz (5) (Series Tied 1-1)

Denver and Utah square off in a battle of the Rocky Mountains. The Nuggets have star players such as guard Chauncey Billups and forward Carmello Anthony, and the Jazz have the Energy Solutions Arena, which is a solution that few away teams have been able to solve. The mountain rivals split the first two games, the Jazz having won the second game as they head home.

Outlook: The Nuggets win a decisive game seven and move on.

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