Welcome to our first ever NBA Playoff Blogger Faceoff, where we pit our favorite team-related bloggers against each other to let them tell why the teams they represent will win their first round matchups. We gave them no set format, no style guide – we just told them to do their thing. Check it out and join in the debate in the comments section.
Next up: 2. Boston vs. 7. Chicago
WHY THE BULLS WILL WIN
Written by Andrew Wamboldt of DaBullz.com
The last time the Bulls were in the playoffs, they swept the defending champion Miami Heat. Once again, the Bulls will be looking to knock off the defending champions in the first round, as they take on the Boston Celtics. The Bulls attack will start with Ben Gordon, who will need to have a big series to prove that he should be paid big money in Chicago. He will be accompanied by Derrick Rose, who made a burst towards stardom, averaging 19.5 points and 7.5 assists in the month of April. This fearsome duo should wreak havoc on the Celtics’ guards.
The Celtics, who are still a good team even without Kevin Garnett, mostly because of Thibodeau’s lockdown defense. Without KG in the mix, the Bulls’ athletic young big men, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah, will run rampant and should be enough to push the series in the Bulls’ direction.
The Bulls, who went 12-4 in their final 16 games, are by far the most likely lower seed to take out one of the Eastern Conference elite.
WHY THE CELTICS WILL WIN
Written by Chuck McKenney of RedsArmy.com
Here’s why The Bulls Have No Shot:
No KG, no problem. At least for the first round. The Chicago Bulls are now facing a team with a chip on its shoulder, out to prove that it’s still pretty damn good even without Kevin Garnett. There’s no sneaking up on the Celtics now. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will have the troops focused and hungry.
KG aside, the Celtics are fresh and relatively healthy. The schedule was extremely kind this month (three games in the past two weeks). Leon Powe is back to his bruising ways and ready to step into the starting lineup.
Chicago can shoot the ball, especially John Salmons, Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich. So the Celtics need to stay active on the perimeter. The return of Tony Allen (thumb) who is one of their best wing defenders will definitely help.
Rajon Rondo (14 pts, 55% FG, 10-to-1 TO/assist ratio) has owned Derrick Rose (14 pts, 42% FG, 2-to-1 TO/assist ratio) in the three head-to-head matchups this season. Rose may get his points, but the Celtics have and will continue to prevent him from distributing the ball.
I will admit the Bulls have individual talent. But the Celtics are the better team on both sides of the ball. Not to mention, the best two players in this series are wearing green (R. Allen and Pierce).
Prediction: Celtics in 5