The Eastern Conference saw the demise of the Chicago Bulls in the most awful of circumstances as Derrick Rose was injured in the first game of their series with the Philadelphia 76ers. The only positive I can take is that the medical advances means an ACL injury like the one Rose suffered is not the destructive force of old and I have full faith the best Point Guard in the NBA will be back to his best after a long, arduous recovery.
Rose seems to have the character to really focus, work hard and the will to get back to being the very best he can- I might not know him personally, but you can see what Rose is all about from his on court demeanour and the way he conducts himself with the press.
With the Bulls out, it looks like the path has really opened up for the Miami Heat to at least get back to the NBA Finals. I was a little surprised to hear them saying that this season is a successful one even if they don't win the NBA title, but that is so far wrong it is ridiculous- the Heat need to win this year to take away all the angst from 'The Decision', otherwise there could be some major work going on in South Beach in the off-season, starting with Eric Spoelstra as the Head Coach.
Eastern Conference Semi Finals
Miami Heat (2) v Indiana Pacers (3)
You just know Indiana want to make this a tough, physical series- Miami were expecting that and saying as much after game five was concluded against the New York Knicks, while Frank Vogel has fired the first shots for the Pacers by calling the Heat the 'biggest floppers in the League' and also putting some pressure on the officials by openly wandering what kind of series they are going to allow.
Boston Celtics (4) v Philadelphia 76ers (8)
When I look at Philadelphia, I don't know who is going to take a game by the scruff of the neck when they are struggling, while they are far too hot and cold from the field. The 'eye test' says they struggled to beat a Bulls team missing not one, but two key components and I think they will do well to extend the Celtics in this one.
Western Conference Semi Finals
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) v LA Lakers (3)