It’s tough to preview the second round of the NBA playoffs when the first round isn’t completed yet. But the Sixers – Celtics series tips off tonight, and I think it will be a more difficult series to predict than any other.
The Sixers’ presence in the second round was made possible only by the injuries to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Praise Andre Iguodala all you want for the so-called last second heroics of hitting free throws to clinch Game 6 and the series against the Bulls. The fact that making free throws is the playoff highlight of his career says everything needed to be known about his career. More importantly, the Sixers as a team barely survived a series against the Bulls’ B-team. Even without Rose, it was fairly obvious the Bulls were a better team with a healthy Noah. Any notion that the series victory over the Bulls means anything in terms of where the Sixers are as a franchise is ridiculous.
Of course, the Celtics took six games to beat a very mediocre Hawks team. The Sixers’ luck of playing injured teams will apparently continue as Ray Allen deals with an ankle injury and Paul Pierce has a left knee sprain. Boston also looked rather old against Atlanta.
I won’t have any more picks in the playoffs unless the Lakers come through tonight. So far I’m 0-1 for -100 points as my “easy” parlay went down with the Bulls. I originally had the Celtics beating the Bulls even with a healthy Rose and Noah. I still lean their way against the Sixers, but at -225 it’s not worth a pick anyway. The only other series available is the Heat favored at -900 over the Pacers. Obviously, I like the Heat, but not at that price.