Bulls-Celtics Exciting, Hawks-Heat...Not So Much

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IMay 2, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 30: Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics puts up a shot over Ben Gordon #7 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 30, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By the end of the weekend, two Game Sevens will happen in the East: one generating a lot of buzz, the other drawing a lot of dreary eyes.

Miami and Atlanta have played six games, none of which was decided by single digits. By contrast, nearly every game in Chicago or Boston has had an overtime.

The added drama of KG being out and the hard fouls of Rajon Rondo have added to the intensity of a series some thought wouldn't last nearly this long.

The stunning performances of Chicago guards Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon have been clutch and crucial to the prolonged life of the Bulls.

Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, as expected, have picked up the slack from Garnett's absence and have each made clutch shots.

Both teams have been shooting tremendously and have thrown dozens of counter-punches. In total, the series has posted eight overtime periods and about 106 lead changes.

The most amazing thing of this series is not the clutchness of both teams' stars, but how the young Bulls have kept their composure and fought back so hard every game. They have taken Boston's best and answered time and again.

Obviously, this series has more excitement than Boston's previous first-round series with Atlanta last year and even their series with Cleveland as well last year.

By comparison, Atlanta and Miami has been a huge disappointment as far as appeal and entertainment value are concerned.

Some believed that the evenness and youth in both teams would provide for some amazingly close games. Ironically, there have been no close games.

Most of these games have been over by the fourth quarter.

In addition, both teams have had decimating injuries to their starting lineups, such as Jamario Moon and Jermaine O'Neal for Miami, and Al Horford for the Hawks.

The most, and maybe only, buzzworthy highlight of the series is Josh Smith's botched between-the-legs dunk after Game 5 was decided.

Dwyane Wade has been beaten and bruised over the course of the series, but has exploded in Miami wins, especially in Game 6.

Looking ahead, Cleveland and Orlando are waiting for the winners of these series. Both teams dispatched of their foes in the past few days and are patiently waiting to see what will happen.

In the case of Cleveland, they will be playing off eight days rest, which is nearly unheard of in the playoffs.

Orlando still has to answer questions about their toughness and mental fortitude after falling behind Philadelphia twice in the series.

But both teams can take solace in the fact that their seasons will continue for at least the next two weeks.

By the end of this weekend, two teams will be at home wondering what could've been.

Whatever the case, there is almost a guarantee that one game will be entertaining, and a hope that the other will be mildly close.


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