2012 NBA Playoffs: Sixers vs Bulls Links, Day One

Mar 04, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala (9) attempts a shot late in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center. The Bulls defeated the Sixers 96-91. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

It is upon us. The NBA Playoffs begin in 5 hours, and I couldn't be excited. While the popular, mainstream thing to do is get all yolked up for the first day of the NCAA Tournament, day one of the NBA Playoffs is my second Christmas. It's time to watch the best basketball players in the world go all out for a shot at the Larry David O'Brien Trophy. 40 games in 40 nights; it's like the opposite of Lent. Gluttony at its finest!

In case you haven't been paying attention to any of the playoff coverage we've been providing you guys over the past couple days, we've put together some links from guys who's names aren't Jordan, Mike, Derek, Tanner, or Dave to get you set for the greatest time of the year, the NBA Playoffs.

Eastern Conference NBA Playoff Preview - SBNation.com

The two East favorites enter the playoffs with many questions, but can anyone in the East actually give them a run?

Key to the series: Which bench gains an advantage? Chicago and Philadelphia have two of the strongest benches in the league, but they do different things. The 76ers get a ton of offense from their bench, while the Bulls' defense goes to another level when they bring in subs. Philadelphia's only chance to make this a series is if Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young have several big games.

Prediction: Bulls in five. The 76ers at their peak look like a tough matchup, but that 76ers team has been MIA since February.

More linkage after the jump.

NBA Expert Picks: First Round of 2012 Playoffs - CBS Sports

It's chalk all across the board! Not one picked the Sixers/Bulls series to go longer than 5 games.

Sixers Not Scared of Top-Seeded Bulls - CSN Philly

“I like playing against Chicago,” said Jrue Holiday, who sat out the final regular season game to rest. “Last time we played against them, I had a nice little game. We still lost though. I am excited. The playoffs are like a new season.”

“I just try to slow them down,” Holiday said. “Don’t let (Rose) get to the basket. Don’t give him any open looks and don’t let him get to the free throw line. If anything, make him shoot jump shots. You are trying to contain him and make him make a play for somebody else.”

“I told our guys, I feel we are a better team now then when we were 20-9,” Collins said. “I feel like navigating the ups and downs of this season, the highs and lows, the injuries. I think we came out better for it on the other side. I was really pleased how our guys ended the year. I think the Indiana game was a turnaround for us. Once we won that game our guys really started believing again.”

Ball Don’t Lie’s Playoff Predictions: Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers - Ball Don't Lie: Yahoo! Sports

Sounds reasonable.

We think the Sixers, once they've stopped pulling chairs, will get their act together. And though they may not take two or even three games from Chicago (much less the series), they'll play hard and smart, and the Bulls will eke out four close wins in five tries, with a possible blowout win for Philly tossed in there.

Key Questions and Storylines for Playoffs - The Point Forward

Sixers: Their offense has collapsed, and though Evan Turner was right to suggest that the Bulls present a better matchup than the Heat — Philadelphia is just 1-11 against Miami since LeBron’s arrival — the Sixers would figure to have little chance at scoring enough against league-best Chicago’s defense.

2012 NBA Playoffs Experts' Predictions - Sports Illustrated

More chalk, more fun. Ian Thomsen has the Lakers beating the Pacers in the finals. Bold call by a bold guy.

Game of Thrones and the NBA - Pounding The Rock

For the NBA/GoT fan out there, this is pretty fantastic. Considering a lot of what's been discussed or referenced lately at LB, I'd say that's at least 89.4% of you guys. Joakim Noah is Drogo, natch.

Yet if the bloodrider Derrickharo is not fully healthy, the Dothraki may lack the horsemen to overthrow the jilted and angry Tagaryens.

The Warriors Website is Interesting - Kris' Twitter (@5kl)

The picture on the front page of the Golden state Warriors website is hilariously amazing.

2012 NBA Playoffs Team Previews - Straight Outta Vancouver

Our wonderful Memphis Grizzlies friends at Straight Outta Vancouver have put together previews for every team in the playoffs. Check 'em out. Or else....

Brian Scalabrine Goes All WWE in Speech to Fans - The Basketball Jones


That right there gives Chicago the edge. We grind like you grind.

And just like that, we are oh so closer to the 2012 NBA Playoffs beginning. Grab your Frito's Twists (Honey BBQ) and your gallon of orange juice (calcium enriched). Tell your mom that you'll clean the bathroom later. It's basketball time. OH LEY DOO LEY!

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