Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hardwood Paroxysm's Plethora Of Playoff Prognostication: Celtics (1) vs. Hawks (8)

The most glorious time has come. Playoffs. Where cliches and overly intense promos run wild. Where players still miss their free throws. Where bombardment with terrible TV Coverage from ESPN/ABC happens. We present to you, our four part previews for each series, beginning with Boston vs. Atlanta.

The Word:

You know, people often ask me, "Matt, what do you think about the first round of the playoffs? Isn't it a little unnecessary? I mean, really, most of them are blowouts anyway!" You know what I say to them? "You don't understand what it means to watch truly entertaining, engaging sports, my friend. Now go have sex with a homeless person, troglodyte." Which leads me to this series' word.


This first round series between Atlanta and Boston should be riveting. It matches up two of the most dominant teams in the league with one of the most exciting teams in the league.

(If by dominating, you mean overhyped, and if by exciting, you mean completely overmatched.)

Boston comes in after years of struggling through the hard years. It's been so long since they've been to the playoffs (since before Dancing With The Stars!), they're such a great, come from nothing (except 16 championships) team. And they really know what it's like to take the time to put together a solid team.

(Ex-team members as GMs = MONEY)

Meanwhile, the Hawks have been exhilarating this season (scorer's table screwups are thrilling). They feature a rare combination of talent and athleticism (without being able to actually win games), that results in a dynamic team (of losers).

I know, I know. How can the best team in the league have any trouble with the Hawks? (Answer: Injury) But don't be surprised when the Hawks sneak up on the Celtics in a few games (and pull within 28). Trust me, this series is going the distance (of four whole games. Unless Atlanta gets smart and forfeits.)

And now we turn to the part of our show where we discuss the finer issues of these series, in Point/Counterpoint. Today's topic: Will the Atlanta Hawks win a single game against the Celtics.

Matt Moore-
Point: The Atlanta Hawks will not win a single game against the Boston Celtics. There is absolutely no way. It would be more likely for Corn to start a Bruce Bowen fan club than for the Hawks to beat Boston. There isn't a single matchup where they have the advantage. Bibby or Rondo? I'll take the energy point with the freakishly long arms, thanks. Ray Allen versus Joe Johnson? Sure, Scorch will score, but Ray-Ray's going to drop threes when the perimeter defense goes to help. Josh Smith against Pierce? Pierce has been here, Smith hasn't. That simple. Heck, I even like the Celtics bench against Atlanta's. And oh, yeah, there's that KG guy too. This one is brooms all the way out. That's game, baby. Nice job getting yourself four more games to lose. At least you have your draft pick...oh wait, the Suns have that, too. Tough break, birdies.

Counterpoint: Au contraire, mon frere. The Hawks might not start their club-hopping, sun bathing in the Caribbean summer break withouth a legit fight. We have seen that the Celtics really have trouble with teams full of ultra athletic scorers and help side defenders (1-3 record vs. Washington and 14 of their 16 losses to perimeter oriented teams - 1 loss each to Detroit and Utah excluded). The Hawks are winning at a 69% clip over their last 16 games and will have nothing to lose after breaking a long playoff drought. Boston has the weight of the world on their shoulders as the "Big Baby Davis-heavy" favorites to win the whole thing. All that pressure, plus a mild stroke due to KG being way too intense could lead to a couple victories (Notice how I did not say a series triumph -- you got to choose your battles).
Graphic Representation:


Matt: Celtics in 4.

Corndogg: Celtics in 4.

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