The NBA Playoffs start Saturday with sixteen teams vying for a spot in the Finals in June. Preliminary rounds start now with the Conference match ups from the East and West to determine who will be the most physically ready team to be crowned as the best of the NBA.
Orlando and Charlotte only finished 15 games apart in the Eastern Division standings and this series should be a fun one to watch. Despite Orlando owning the regular season series 3-1, Charlotte won their last meeting 96-89 and most of the games have been close.
The Magic pulled some rabbits out of their hats last year when they upset the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. They should be equally as tough this year having only finished two wins fewer than Cleveland in a tougher division. Dwight Howard leads the team again this year with only 18 points per game but the rest of the team more than makes up for scoring with Vince Carter. Role player Jason Williams will put in some key minutes for the Magic in the playoffs. Luckily, they have no injuries so far.
The Magic are certainly going to be the only cog on the way for Cleveland’s place in the Finals. Orlando should do well against them in the Conference Finals. Injury shouldn’t be a problem as this team is loaded with experience and they play together very well and will be hard to stop.
The Bobcats finished in the middle of the pack in the Southeast Division, a full three games ahead of Chicago for the last spot in the Eastern Conference. Six players score in double figures and much like the Bulls they are a young team that still has a lot to learn about playing like a team.
Stephen Jackson scores over 20 points per game and Gerald Wallace has 10 boards every time he plays. With as many players that get used in a game, a consistent fifth starter has been hard to come by this year and that is a hole that Orlando will exploit to the fullest.
Charlotte will be in their first playoff series since becoming an expansion franchise. New owner Michael Jordan will have plenty to do in the off-season as his young team will need at least one veteran with loads of experience to help them but the ownership needs to be patient with one of the best coaches around, Larry Brown.
Orlando should win this series, but Larry Brown’s young team will give them fits until they bow out in game six. ESPN was my major source for this article.
Tags:2010 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Preview: Orlando-Charlotte Series Features Young Versus Younger