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What We Have Learned So Far in the Eastern Conference Playoffs
Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

What We Have Learned So Far in the Eastern Conference Playoffs

Today there are no games scheduled in the East, so we are going to look at the results of the first two games in each series and make some assessments.

No.1 Miami vs No.8 Atlanta The series is tied 2-0: The Heat have done exactly what they were supposed to do winning the first two games in Miami.

What It Has Shown Us:

  • #1 Miami has been as good as advertised in winning the first two games of the series. They head on to Atlanta looking for a sweep and don’t bet against them.
  • #8 Atlanta is giving a good account of themselves in this series and I give them a chance to win a game on their home court. But, I just can’t see them winning four of the next five to win this round.

No. 2 Boston vs No.7 Brooklyn The Celtics lead the series 2-0: Boston showed their mettle last night, outscoring the Nets 29-17 in the 4th quarter, and now have a commanding lead heading to Brooklyn.

What It Has Shown Us:

  • #2 Boston has taken the Nets best shot in the first two games and has a 2-0 lead heading into New York. They have made the big plays, and the flash but no smash Nets have not. The Celtics have been able to force Kevin Durant out of his game and their defense has been outstanding. This series isn’t over and Brooklyn is fully capable of winning both upcoming games, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
  • #7 Brooklyn has been oh so close, yet oh so far. They could have won the first two games, but they didn’t and that is the bottom line. Kyrie Irving scored 39 points in game 1, and followed that up with only 10 points in game 2. That was a no-show performance and that is really not a surprise. They are going to have to bring everything they have in game 3.

No.3 Milwaukee vs. #6 Chicago The series is tied at 1-1. Defending champion, Milwaukee, is lucky to be going to Chicago tied at a game apiece. Had the Bulls shout the ball better in game 1, they would be up 2-zip. way with them.

What It Has Shown Us:

  • #3 Milwaukee has been somewhat disappointing in the first two games of the series, and now must face the possibility of playing without starting forward Khris Middleton. He went down in the 4th quarter with a strained ligament in his knee and will undergo an MRI today. If he is out, they are going to miss his 20-pts. per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been good enough, but he is going to need some help from the others. The defending champs could be in some serious trouble.
  • #6 Chicago has regained some of the form they showed six weeks ago and they are gaining confidence. DeMar Derozan poured in 41 points last night and got plenty of help from Nikola Vucevic (24 pts and 13 rebounds), and Zach Lavine (20 pts and 3 assists). This is suddenly a series that they can win, if they can regain some swagger from the United Center of the past. .

No. 4 Philadelphia vs No.5 Toronto Philadelphia leads 3-0: The 76ers won in overtime last night and that just about closed the door on the Raptors.

What It Has Shown Us:

  • #4 Philadelphia trailed almost the whole game last night, before forcing overtime, and then winning on a 27-foot 3-pointer from superstar, Joel Embiid. Embiid has been very good in this series and the Sixers have received big efforts from Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and James Harden. They have been as impressive as anyone.
  • #5 Toronto has been hit by illness and the injury bug and certainly played good enough to win last night in game 3. But they didn’t, and they are in a deep hole that is almost impossible to climb out of. I really thought they had a good chance to win this series. but not now.


  • #1 MIAMI
  • #2 BOSTON
  • #5 CHICAGO
  • #7 ATLANTA
  • #8 TORONTO


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