2011 NBA Playoffs Predictions: Breaking Down the Eastern Conference First Round

Yahya SyedCorrespondent IApril 14, 2011

2011 NBA Playoffs Predictions: Breaking Down the Eastern Conference First Round

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It's that time of year again.  The playoffs are here and it's time to determine who'll advance and who'll be a first round out. 

    Whether it be talking about LeBron James' redemption in the post-season or the struggles of the aging Celtics, we have got the breakdown of the Eastern Conference first round with all the details. 

Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers

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    The Chicago Bulls are playing their best basketball at the perfect time, ending the season on a nine-game winning streak.  Indiana, on the other hand, has been 5-5 in its last 10 games, losing critical match-ups against New Orleans, New York, and Orlando

    Derrick Rose and the cohesive Bulls will easily handle the Pacers, who are a few steps behind the other teams in the playoffs—with a below .500 record.

     

     

    Prediction:  Bulls in four

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers

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    The Heat are predicted by many to be representing the Eastern Conference come the Finals in June.  The 76ers do not have the half-court defense required to disrupt the quick and athletic Heat. 

    Besides, with two of the three best players of the NBA on their roster, Miami should have no problem cruising through the first round.  However, expect Doug Collins—a possible candidate for Coach of the Year—to rile the troops one last time and put up a good fight.

     

     

    Prediction:  Heat in six

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Boston Celtics have been struggling as of late, going .500 in the last 10 games and falling to third place in the Eastern Conference standings.  The Knicks, however, have failed to develop the chemistry required since the Carmelo Anthony trade to make a deep run in the playoff. 

    Boston's seasoned veterans will be sure to lead their team to the second-round, but Amare, Carmelo and the clutch Billups will be a tough team to deal with. 

     

    Prediction:  Boston in seven

Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks

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    Dwight Howard is finally emerging as the dominant force that many thought he would be and his  MVP-worthy performance will help keep Orlando in the mix. 

    Joe Johnson and the Hawks have given Orlando trouble throughout the season, with the Magic losing three of the four season match-ups.  It may be difficult but the size and three-point shooting of the Magic will help them move on to the second round.

     

     

    Prediction:  Orlando in seven