2009 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups

Coach SamuelContributor IApril 11, 2009

MIAMI - DECEMBER 12:  Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks fouls Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 12, 2008 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

2009 NBA Eastern Conference Head-to-Head  Match Ups


No. 1- Cleveland vs. No. 8- Detroit


This is not your usual 1-8 matchup, as the once mighty Pistons are on their last breath against a Cleveland team having their best season ever. The key to this series is whether or not Detroit's proud veterans can muster enough energy and pride to compete and make this a series.


If so, this actually could be a very interesting series and closer than most people think. If not, it could get ugly.


Coach’s prediction: Rasheed Wallace will make his last hurrah in Motown memorable and Will Bynum will give the Pistons a surprising spark but ultimately LeBron and Company will win 4-2.



No. 2- Boston vs. No. 7- Chicago


The only thing interesting about this series is the PG match up between two of the quickest in the league.


Rookie Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo should give the fans a show but when it’s all said and done, the Bulls will be outclassed and more than likely swept. KG will use this series as a tune-up for the rest of the playoffs.


Coach’s prediction: Celtics win 4-0.



No. 3 Orlando vs. No. 6- Philadelphia


Orlando verses Philly would have been a lot more interesting had Thaddeus Young not gone down with an injury. As it is, this series will be closer than many people think.


Samuel Dalembert, Theo Ratliff, Marreese Speights and Reggie Evens will empty the foul account against Dwight Howard so Howard’s free throw shooting will be a major factor in this series.


Philly has played Orlando relatively close in all three losses this year and their athleticism will give Orlando some problems. Home court advantage will ultimately decide this series.


Coach’s prediction: Orlando wins 4-3.



No. 4- Atlanta vs. No. 5- Miami


Did I just say #4 Atlanta? This is easily the most intriguing series in the first round Eastern Conference pairings. Intriguing because people are still waiting for the Hawks to fold and fall back to their usual position among the doormats of the league.


However, this year’s Atlanta Hawks under coach Mike Woodson gained some much needed confidence from last year’s playoff series against the World Champion Celtics and used that confidence to grab and hold on to the all important fourth spot for practically the whole season.


The Miami Heat is about as predictable as they come. Give the ball to MVP candidate, Dwayne Wade and get out of his way. Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers will not be enough to hold off the surging hawks.


Coach’s prediction: Hawks win 4-2.


Western Conference predictions coming soon.