The NBA playoffs 2010 take the spotlight starting today. Of course, the NBA playoffs are the second 2010 postseason in town, since the NHL started theirs three days ago. But teams like Cleveland, Los Angeles, Orlando and other favorites can take a lesson from the NHL’s top teams. Most of them got upset in Game 1 when they weren’t looking, and the NBA favorites would rather not start the same way. Today, the biggest favorite starts off the NBA playoffs 2010, followed by three more first round openers.
The very first game of the postseason stars Cleveland – and the Cavs desperately want to star in the last game as well. After a whole year of waiting, the Cavaliers will finally start the real season against the Bulls, in what could be their last shot at a title with LeBron James. However, the NBA playoffs 2010 have the Cavaliers as the team with the most questions.
James was rested for four straight games, so questions about rust will be constant today. In addition, Shaq is finally back, so chemistry will be scrutinized. Plus, there are the memories of past and present playoff failures to deal with – from last year and from their constant defeats in the 90’s to the Bulls. Of course, these are different Bulls – but last year’s Celtics know how hard they are to eliminate.
The 2010 NBA playoffs may have Cleveland as the headliners today, but there are three more opening games to enjoy. The Cavaliers and Bulls start at 3 pm est, followed by the Hawks and Bucks at 5:30 pm. Atlanta rose up to the East third seed this year, with hopes of breaking through to the elite. Milwaukee was one of the hottest second half teams, although Andrew Bogut’s injury may have cooled them off.
At night, the NBA playoffs pit the Celtics against the Heat at 8 pm, and the Nuggets against the Jazz at 10:30. The Celtics have been all but counted out in the postseason, given their age, and the possibility of facing Cleveland in round two. To even get that far, they have to keep Dwayne Wade in check, and get the Big Three set for one more run
As for the Jazz and Nuggets, they meet after a heated battle for the Northwest division title. Denver finally took it after a late loss by Utah, and they get to host Game 1 as a result. But in spite of their Western Conference finals run last year, the Nuggets are on more shaky ground for the NBA playoffs 2010, with George Karl gone for cancer treatments. For their part, the Jazz have to worry about Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko’s injuries, although Boozer will play tonight.
Will the NBA playoffs 2010 have some early surprises, or will the favorites take the first step towards a title? ESPN and TBS will have things covered started at 3 pm.
Philadelphia Inquirer- “NBA playoffs: Expectations, limitations”
ESPN- “NBA Home”