It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

There is literally never a night that some sort of game is on that I don’t want to watch. The MLB season is still new and exciting to me. NBA Playoffs are starting on Saturday. NHL Playoffs have already kicked off. Golf season is rolling. Even the NFL Draft coming up in a couple weeks is GREAT for sports fans like me. Plenty to talk about on every front.

I want to talk first about some NBA basketball… A topic that I very openly thought (before the season started) the end was already written. Today, I’ll roll through the Eastern Conference First Round matchups and tomorrow we’ll hit the Western Conference.

#1 Celtics vs #8 Bulls

Okay, the Celtics got the #1 seed in the East… BUUUUUUT I still am not convinced they’re “GOOD good… Am I alone there? I mean, Isaiah Thomas is 5’9″… BRUHHHHH!!!

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My guess is they are one of those “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” teams, and kudos to Brad Stevens there. I just don’t see them as the greatest team in the East (that’s got to be the Cavs)… Regardless, this SHOULD be a cake walk for the Celtics. This Bulls team is not a good team by any stretch of the imagination. Rondo, D-Wade, Jimmy Butler and Robin Lopez?

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Now, let’s throw that aside for a minute. I love this stat and would love for this to make itself more known: DID YOU KNOW, the Chicago Bulls have won TWENTY straight games when their games are broadcast on TNT?! That is not a joke. When broadcast on TNT, the Bulls have some magic powers and I hate to do this Celtics fans, buuuuuut…

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I think it is a really weird shocking streak they are on, but it may lead me to throw some down on the #TNTBulls and cash in big on Chi-town’s finest. Well, at least until the clock strikes midnight of course. But that streak is CRAZY. Stay woke C’s fans.

#2 Cavaliers vs #7 Pacers

Who would’ve thought back at the beginning of the season ANYONE was making the Cavs #2 in the East? But I’ll say what I’ve said for a loooooooong time that some players step up only when it matters.

To loosely quote Chauncey Billups on the Knicks when asked about their lackluster defense at times, he said (something like): “We don’t need to play good defense all 48 minutes, we just need to play good defense when it counts.” And I sort of agree with that… And not just because I love Chauncey (I 100% plan to name one of my kids Chauncey btw), I think players like LeBron who have been to the last SIX NBA Finals know they can just go through the motions and when they need to – thye’ll step up.

This first round matchup gives me very little concern for the Cavs and I think they’ll roll through. Maybe Lance Stephenson can mess with Bron Bron but there’s no way the Cavs don’t step up here. Roll Cavs.

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#3 Raptors vs #6 Bucks

So the Raptors are still pretty good, huh? I can remember being in a casino last year watching the Toronto and the Cavs series and thinking that Biyombo was the reason that the Raptors had gotten “over the hump”… Someone down low that will clean up after Lowry and DeRozan and maybe protect the rim on the other end too. But I was wrong! They got rid of him, and Valanciunas and Serge got them right back to where they were last year (kind of).

The Greek Freak will give the Bucks a shot here and I think this series could easily go six or seven, but the Raptors will win. Having been to the Eastern Conference Finals just one year ago, and taking the eventual champs to six is certainly nothing to scoff at. Neither of these teams has a real chance in the East, but probably the most exciting Round 1 matchup.

#4 Wizards vs #5 Hawks

I actually had no idea the Hawks were fifth best in the East. That is wild to me. No Teague and instead that idiot with the bleached hair spot:

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Here’s my take. The Wizards (who I thought would’ve done better this year) should take this series in five or six. This is based off of almost nothing except that Dwight Howard is a bitch and I don’t like Dennis Schroeder. I mean, I’ll still be rooting for Tim Hardaway Jr (ex-Knick GREAT) and Mike Muscala (former Bucknell University LOTTERY PICK), but the Hawks just aren’t my team. Plus, I respect John Wall, how can’t you?

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So we really have no upsets in my brain, not in the first round at least (and probably none in the second either)… Regardless, I’m excited for the #TNTBulls and anything Lance Stephenson does to LeBron. Beyond that, the Eastern Conference First Round could be quite a snoozefest.



Eastbound & Down,