Scouting the East – Pacers Come Back, Bulls Fall in Overtime

by EricDrouant on April 23, 2014 updated April 23, 2014

 The Miami Heat have to finish off the Charlotte Hornets but believe me, everyone is looking down the line to see who may be next. This weekend was something of a shocker as every visiting team but Charlotte managed to knock off their higher seeded opponents. The Pacers took a loss from Atlanta but managed to come back last night and even the series at 1-1.

 Paul George had 27 points and Indiana ended up on the better side of a 101-85 victory, a score that is probably more indicative of the Pacers talent than has been shown since the closing of the regular season. Now Indiana must do it on the road. They’ve given up that crucial one game advantage that comes with their seed and a win in Atlanta is a must.

 The Chicago Bulls on the other hand, have a big problem. While they managed to push their game into overtime they eventually ended up falling to the Washington Wizards again, 101-99, to fall to 0-2 in the 1st Round. Once again Nene came through for Washington, scoring six points in overtime. The Bulls have had no answer for Nene as of yet and if they don’t find one they may be sitting on the sidelines for Round 2.

So the Miami Heat are in decent shape, as expected, hanging their hats on a 1-0 series lead against the Charlotte Hornets. They’ll have a chance to make that 2-0 tonight in American Airlines Arena before going on the road. With Al Jefferson ailing and on the court, if it all, in a dimished capacity, Miami can make this series academic after two games.


The Uncertain East

by EricDrouant on April 22, 2014 updated April 22, 2014

The Miami Heat were the only, I repeat the only, home team to win their first round playoff game. That situation leaves NBA fans wondering if we could get some unusual pairing over the next few weeks. With the Wizards knocking down the Chicago Bulls, the Hawks easily handling the Pacers, and Brooklyn topping a #3 seed in Toronto it’s not hard to see an underdog pattern developing somewhere in the East.

More to the point, the #1 seed in the Indiana Pacers look lost. Indiana managed to lose six of their last ten games going into the playoffs, including losses to Miami and Atlanta. That’s a fact that bodes ill for the Pacers chances.

Toronto gets a chance to redeem itself Tuesday night. The Raptors are young and have no playoff experience, which may be an over rated fact, but there it is. Could the pressure be getting to this young team?

Chicago also finds itself with a home loss in Game 1 as the Washington Wizards showed they belong by overcoming a 13-point deficit to hang 102 points on a stout Chicago defense. Can Chicago find a way to say nay to Nene? The big man hit 24 from the paint and the Bulls had no answer.

If this continues, the Miami Heat may be facing a lower seed than anticipated. Is that good? No, not really. Remember, they’ll be facing a confident team that has already exceeded expectations and has a hot hand and something to prove. That’s the recipe for problems.