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Monday’s NBA Playoff Match Ups
(Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers Game 1, Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics Game 1)
The first round is officially over and now we can watch the top dogs in both the East and West get their second round series started!
No real surprises for second round match ups as all the favorites, besides the San Antonio Spurs, have advanced. So no more Dwyane Wade, no more Ben Gordon and no more Chris Paul. The NBA playoffs may have lost some superstars to first round exits, but only the league’s elite are left standing!
Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers Game 1
It seems like it has been forever since we have seen the Los Angeles Lakers take the floor, but now their second round match up with the defensive minded Houston Rockets is set and ready to go!
This should be a compelling match up for two reasons and two reasons only. Kobe Bryant against big mouth Ron Artest and Shane Battier and Yao Ming against Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The series is pretty much summed up with those head to head match ups of great inside and outside players.
Kobe Bryant obviously has the advantage against Artest as Ron Ron continues to just get dominated by Kobe every time they meet. If Artest’s 37 point pounding from Kobe wasn’t bad enough during the regular season, he has already put more gasoline on the fire by saying that Brandon Roy was the best players he has ever played against and the only one to put up 40 on him. No to smart Artest, you are just giving Kobe more motivation to light you up once again!
As for the inside battle expect the Lakers to be very physical with Yao in the paint. Yao may be on of the hardest centers in the league to guard with his massive size, but he is pretty fragile and expect both Bynum and Gasol to exploit that.
I think this will be an entertaining series, but I see the Lakers winning in five or six games.
Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics Game 1
Battle of the bigs!
The Lakers and Rockets series will be pretty physical with so many big boys in the paint, but this series between the Magic and Celtics so be even more physical as Boston tries to stop Dwight Howard from owning the paint on both sides of the floor.
One thing was painfully obvious in the Celtics first round thriller with the Chicago Bulls and that was the absence of the Kevin Garnett’s defensive presence in the paint. Without KG in this series Boston might be in series trouble as all their bigs are bound to get in foul trouble all series long trying to guard Howard down low.
I think Boston might be in for another seven game series yet again! The Magic are just stacked with the right combination of inside presence and outsides shooters and playmakers in Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis.
Game one will tell us a lot about how the Celtics plan to contain Howard, but I think the Magic end the Celtics championship defense in seven games.
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