NBA Playoffs 2009: Round One

Dan Wheat-RiversContributor IApril 18, 2009

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 6: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the fourth quarter during a game against the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden on March 6, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics won 105-94. 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 Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Detroit Pistons VS. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers rested its starting lineup Wednesday night after securing the best record in the NBA.  The good news for Cleveland is even with those guys out, they still pushed another playoff team into overtime before losing.  That does not bode well for anyone else in the NBA.

The Detroit Pistons on the other hand, have limped into the playoffs.  A month ago they were thinking about being the sixth seed in the playoffs.  Now they have lost their last three, and six of nine. They are the eighth seed and looking over the hill.

The one thing Detroit has is experience.  I think that will get them a win in the series, but no more than that.  Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace are playing again after missing time with injuries, and that will help, but it won’t be enough.

The season series was won by Cleveland three games to one, with Detroit’s lone win coming in November at Detroit.  Even with the odds against them, don’t expect Detroit to role over and play dead. 

Tayshaun Prince, Wallace, and Hamilton all have a championship ring and are more than eager to show that shutting down Allen Iverson was good for the team.

However, Cleveland will just be too much for Detroit to handle. 

LeBron James is a man on a mission.  He only wants one thing now—a championship.  He’s having the time of his life, but only for one end.  He will face a lot of good defense coming from the Pistons, but this year he has good teammates to help him.

Mo Williams is new to Cleveland this year, and made his first all-star team.  Zydrunas Ilgauskas played more games this year than he normally does, and he’s healthy. Anderson Varejao has made great strides this year too, showing a lot in the 42 games he started.

The one question mark for Cleveland going into the playoffs is Ben Wallace.  He  strained his knee after sitting out a couple of months with a broken leg.

So my prediction? Cavs win the series, four games to one.