Looking Ahead: Three Key Factors Influencing Eastern Conference Playoffs

January 7th, 2010 by Andrew Palumbo Leave a reply »

The 2009-10 NBA season is nearing the halfway point and it has become clear who the major players are in the Eastern Conference.  The perennial favorites are the current Atlantic, Central, and Southeast leaders who have been projected all season long to win their respective divisions.  

No matter how you rank them, the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Orlando Magic are all serious contenders to represent the East in the 2010 NBA Finals.  Even the most casual basketball fan is relatively certain that all three teams will represent their cities in the playoffs. 

Most columnists will spend the second half of the season trying to predict the final standings of each team.  If the past two seasons are an indicator of what’s to come, it’s not essential to the eventual outcome of the playoffs.

Three things matter significantly more in the NBA Playoffs than the regular season:  luck, injuries, and match-ups.  What follows is a breakdown of these factors.

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