#DARBusiness: NBA First-Round Predictions (Eastern Conference)

It's (one of) the most wonderful time(s) of the year, where everyone becomes a bandwagon (insert team here) fan. I can't say that I'm mad at them, though. The playoffs are exciting and we at DefineaRevolution.com want to give you our thoughts on who's taking these first-round series.

Eastern Conference

#1 Atlanta vs #8 Brooklyn

True: I have little faith in the Hawks going beyond the semi-finals this year and while there's a chance they choke against the Nets here, I doubt it. The Nets have been nothing but inconsistent this year. Have to go with the Hawks convincingly. Atlanta in 5

Apollo:  Don't believe in either team really but I respect Atlanta. They took advantage of Cleveland working out the kinks to develop chemistry early on and have the one seed in the east. Brooklyn fell into 8th place and they have been subpar (to be kind). Atlanta in 6.

Speed: I want to play the devil's advocate, but I'm also not stupid. Atlanta will not advance past the semis this year (mainly because they took advantage of a horrid conference. Sorry, guys. The Eastern Conference is kind of ass, aside from a couple teams). However, there's absolutely no way Brooklyn wins this. I'm all for Cinderella, but that chick's slipper is busted this year. Atlanta in 4

Axel: I feel their ball movement is too much for the Nets to handle. Only way the nets sneak out a game is if they feed Brook Lopez in the post but at the same time he could be a defensive liability against Horford. The Nets also don't have an answer for Jeff Teague or Korver on the wings. The Hawks should take care of this series relatively quickly. Atlanta in 5.

#4 Toronto vs #5 Washington

True: The Raptors have definitely established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. I had high hopes for the Wizards this postseason but that losing streak and bad final stretch has a bit leery of their chances. I believe this series will be the toughest in the East and go the full 7, but I've got to take the Raptors. Raptors in 7.

Apollo: I'll give the Raptors credit, they're no joke. They made their second consecutive playoff berth with a pretty good handle on the east all season. Washington hopefully has shaken off the rust from that awful final stretch of the season. This is a pretty good match up of some of the good young teams of the east and it may go to the wire. Wizards in 7.

Speed: Well, looks like I'm going to piss off my Boi-1da.net fanbase--maybe. I love what the Raptors have been able to do this season However, John Wall is still John Wall. Yes, the Raptors have men on their bench who could/should start elsewhere. But, Wall is one of the smartest players in the league right now. Plus, I think the Wizards will look to avenge their losses to Toronto over the past couple  seasons. However, even should Washington catch an L, this is my series to watch out of the East. Wizards in 6.

Axel: This will probably be the most competitive 1st round matchups mainly because both teams are identical yet inconsistent as hell. If John Wall wants to go to another level and be elite, he has to impose his will on this series. The only reason why I'm wary of the Wizards is because their bench is one of the worst in the league. Lou Williams will play a huge role coming off the Raptors bench to go along with their potent backcourt of Lowry and Derozan? This series can go either way. Expect Paul Pierce will have a few clutch moments in this series on the low, too. Wizards in 7.

#2 Cleveland vs #7 Boston

True: I was glad to see the Celtics make it in, it looked awfully grim for them mid-season, but there will be no storybook ending for them as I see the Cavs making this look too easy. Cleveland in 5.

Apollo:  Not spending much time on this: King James will dominate. Sorry, Axel. Cleveland in 5.

Speed: I'm going to go on a limb here and say that the Cavs lose in seven, on some last-minute, act of God type of plays. Boston in 7.

Axel: This one hurts to admit because I'm a die-hard Celtics fan, but I think LeBron and Kyrie will have dominant stretches throughout the series and their talent will be too much for Boston to match. Celtics haven't gotten their just due for their play since the beginning of February (25-12, which is good enough for top 5 in the league since that time). So, a lot of casual fans think this will be a sweep. Boston most likely won't win but this playoff experience will help them in the long run and they'll be competitive in every game. It'll be interesting to see how the guys who haven't been in the playoffs perform out.
Somebody is gonna fold this series could potentially be interesting lowkey. Cavs in 6.

#3 Chicago vs #6 Milwaukee

True: Respect to Jason Kidd for turning the Bucks into a formidable threat this year. With that being said, the Bulls are my team and I've got them taking this series with no doubt. Bulls in 5.

Apollo: Jason Kidd has done a great job with the Bucks. If Jabari Parker didn't get hurt, they would get more TV time (laughs) and possibly a higher seed. Chicago, even with there injury riddled stars, will make quick work of these boys. Bulls in 6.

Speed: The Bulls will win. It won't be pretty, though. I do see MCW, Parker, et al being a force in the years to come, though. Watch out--the East is going to be back with a vengeance. Bulls in 6.

Axel: Just think Chicago has too much playoff experience in this matchup. Gasol and Noah will potentially have a major impact because I'm not impressed with the Bucks frontcourt, to be honest. Bucks lack of floor spacing with MCW and The Greek Freak in the lineup is another reason I think this series will be a wrap in 5. Kidd has done a hell of a job turning the Bucks around though. Bulls in 5.


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