Listen, I respect the writer profession. I went to school for it. It’s part of my beautiful job here with Liberty Ballers (on top of being the host of the “Out of Site” podcast which releases every Tuesday). CHEAP PLUG ALERT!
Here’s the thing. When it comes to certain stories or pieces, there doesn’t ALWAYS have to be 1,500-2,000 words of in-depth analysis. It’s perfectly acceptable if that’s how you secure the bag, and I won’t fault anyone. Sometimes, it’s warranted, but the integration of Twitter into everyone’s daily life (whether it is desirable or not depending on whom you follow) has made it incredibly easy to get one’s points across.
Thanks to the Twitter overlords, that limit is now 280, so I’m allowed to explain just a little bit more about every team. I still don’t need that much. Every team is pretty self explanatory, so here it is: the 2021-22 short-short version. (Shout out to Mel Brooks – who is the inspiration for this.)
I broke this down into two sections: the top-six and the play-in teams. That’s right, Charlotte Hornets fans! I’m giving you your 3-to-5 seconds of fame on this page.
The Six Shooters:
Four of the top six in the Eastern Conference are absolute threats to come out of the East and represent in the Finals. The other two? Ehh, not so much.
I haven’t been a believer in the Miami Heat all season long based on the roster they put together. I’m still not 100% convinced, and god help them if they get Brooklyn as the 8-seed. (Editor’s Note: Brooklyn has since secured the seven seed with the Play-In win over Cleveland. Miami sighs in relief.)
Probably the hottest team in the East going into the playoffs. Tatum/Brown are a lethal wing combo, but I feel like Horford isn’t quite the stopper he once was. Without Robert Williams, the Celtics may want a TARDIS to go back and prevent that injury from happening.
They have Giannis. They have two perfect All-Star compliments. They have depth. They have coaching, and they have the matchup (Chicago Bulls) that everyone wanted. Uhm. They’re probably going back to the NBA Finals, folks.
Questions about Harden. Questions about the bench. Questions about the coach. And no one seems to have any answer as far as how to correct things. Another disappointing playoff run, inbound. I’m sorry to say.
Sixers fan PTSD triggered. This is the matchup I wanted THE LEAST. No Thybulle in Toronto means this series goes six, maybe seven LONG, GRUELING games. They defend. They’re well-coached, and they aren’t afraid. Legit problem for anyone!
The Bulls were a combined 1-15 against the Heat, Celtics, and Bucks. Their one win was against the Celtics back in November, and they drew Milwaukee in round one? What’s the odds on a Milwaukee sweep because that might be a good bet?
Aside from the Brooklyn Nets, none of these teams have a shot to put a dent in someone’s playoff aspirations ... but Atlanta is going to make it fun for a game or two.
Neither Miami nor Boston wanted to see Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in round one. 6-4 down the stretch when Irving was allowed to play home games, but lost to Milwaukee. However, they beat Miami by 15 in South Beach.
Cleveland is the “We’re happy to be here” team. Most people wrote them off when Sexton went down, but they surged to a top-10 defensive team. The Cavs don’t score all that well (25th in PPG), and that’s gonna hurt them against Brooklyn. They’ll be the 8-seed, though.
What happened to Atlanta? (Injuries, inconsistency). Going into the season, I thought the Hawks were prime to be a top-four team in the East, and they’re a play-in team. They’ll beat CHA, but they might need two 50-point games from Trae Young JUST to be the 8-seed (not unlikely).
What exactly are the Charlotte Hornets good at? Oh, they do score since they’re fourth in PPG and sixth in Pace, but they’re the worst defensive team in the East that is entering the playoffs. I feel like that’s bad if your first game is against Trae Young.