The Phoenix and Denver is the first 2nd round series to start. The Miami Heat taking on the New York Knicks will start things in the east. The Miami Heat pulled off the improbable upset over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat became the first play-in team to win a playoff series in its short history. The New York Knicks took down the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. The Knicks looked great in that opening round series and the Cavs were my first-round pick. Miami lost to the Hawks in the 7 vs. 8 game but defeated the Bulls to earn the 8th seed. New York played great in that opening round series and the defense frustrated the Cavs. Who will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals? Will Jimmy Butler continue being “Playoff Jimmy Butler” in this next series?
The Knicks will have the homecourt advantage in this series. Jalen Brunson is proving he was worth every dime they paid him to leave Dallas. Mitchell Robinson has been a dominant force in the paint. There are eight Knick players who averaged at least 8 points a game in the opening round. Julius Randle hurt his already bad ankle in the last game. The availability of Randle will be a huge factor in this series. Randle averaged only 14 points in the opening round, and he struggled with his shot. RJ Barrett played well for New York as he was the second leading scorer for them. Can Jalen Brunson continue his great play against the tough Heat defense? Will Julius Randle be effective in this second round series? Can New York use its home court advantage to beat Miami and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals?
As mentioned earlier, Jimmy Butler had one of the best series of anyone in the history of Miami. Butler averaged almost 38 points a game against the Bucks and their stout defense. Miami had 8 players who averaged almost 10 points a game. Kyle Lowry averaged under 8 points a game, but he provided tough defense for the Heat. Unfortunately, two of those players averaging in double figures are out with injuries. Tyler Herro broke his hand in the first game of the Bucks series diving for a loose ball. Victor Oladipo tore his right patella in his knee, which is sad knowing his history of knee injuries. Miami will need help from the likes of Kevin Love, Max Strus, and Duncan Robinson. Can the Miami Heat pull off another huge upset in the playoffs to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals?
Who Advances to Eastern Conference Finals between New York and Miami?
Can the Miami Heat continue their stellar play without Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo? Jimmy Butler was on a mission to put the Heat on his back, and he accomplished that. For the Knicks, there is cause for concern seeing Julius Randle re-aggravated his ankle injury in their last game. Randle will miss at least Game 1 today, but we don’t know his status for the entire series. Miami will be without Herro and Oladipo, while the Knicks won’t have Randle. Randle could return at some point in this series, but New York will need to have some key players step up. Can Miami surprise another team and move on to the Eastern Conference finals? Will the Knicks continue their great play and homecourt to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals? This should be a great series and I’m picking the Heat to win it in six games.
Miami Heat Wins Series 4-2 to Advance to Eastern Conference Finals.