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Eastern Conference Game One Review

1. Bulls vs. 8. Pacers

This was a game where the Bulls probably played their worst 44 minutes of the season, and when they were down by 10 late after a three point play by Tyler Hansbrough, it seemed like it was over.

However, when Derrick Rose got fouled hard by Hansbrough on the other end of the floor, something snapped in the otherwise emotionless Luol Deng, who shoved Hansbrough and received a technical foul. As out of character as that was for Deng—this was even more out of character: He started shouting and yelling, waving his arms up and down to pump up the crowd. It was an emotion the fans have never seen out of Deng, and it sparked a huge run from the Bulls who took their first lead of the game at 102-99 on a Kyle Korver three pointer.

2. Miami Heat vs. 7. Philadelphia 76ers

This was a game that was largely dominated by Philadelphia in the first and fourth quarter, but the Miami Heat had the better middle and were simply too much for Philadelphia.

The Heat used an excellent performance from power forward Chris Bosh to beat the Sixers, who used every ounce of power they had to beat the Heat. This is going to be a tough series for Philadelphia, who has a lot of depth but really no superstar power like the Heat have. I think the Sixers could steal a game or maybe two at home, but this first game indicated Miami’s superiority.

3. Boston Celtics vs. 6. New York Knicks

This was a very close game, and it was almost expected that way. I think the Celtics are the far better team, but they certainly didn’t play like it on Sunday. Down by one with less than 30 seconds remaining, Ray Allen hit a clutch three pointer (as he usually does) to put the Celtics up by two points.

With no timeouts, the Knicks had to push the ball up the court, and they made a huge mistake by giving the ball to Carmelo Anthony, who was not having a good game at all. Anthony chucked up his 13th brick of the game, trying to be the hero by hitting a three at the end when he had plenty of time to drive the lane.

This was an unimpressive finish for the Knicks, who should have won the game easily, but made dumb coaching mistakes. We will see how they correct it for game two.

4. Orlando Magic vs. 5. Atlanta Hawks

It’s interesting, because no one thought the Hawks really had a chance here even though they dominated the season series against the Magic, and they continued on with that on Saturday.

Atlanta shocked the Magic on their own court and took game one, and it appears they have the firepower to beat Orlando in a series.

Some Atlanta players, namely Al Horford said that Jameer Nelson’s proclamation of “We’ll see you in round two” to Derrick Rose after the Bulls beat Orlando in a late regular season game was motivation for them.

Second round games will begin Monday night.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.