From the beginning of the NBA season all of the “experts” predicted a Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls Eastern Conference Finals rematch because those are the two elite teams in the Eastern Conference. With reigning MVP Derrick Rose in Chicago and the “Big Three” of Miami it would be good for basketball, good for the fans, and good for business. Derrick Rose suffered through various injuries during the regular season, missing 27 games, but the Chicago Bulls reserves stepped up and still got the best record in the NBA at 50-16. None of Derrick Rose injuries were as severe as the ACL tear he suffered on game 1 of the first round of the playoffs on April 28th, 2012. That ACL tear also killed the championship hopes of Chicago Bulls and more than likely made the Miami Heat’s path to the Finals much easier.
The Boston Celtics enter the playoffs without Ray Allen and are playing a tough 1st round series against the Atlanta Hawks. The Indiana Pacers is the only deep and fully healthy team left in the Eastern Conference and they do not match-up well enough with the Miami Heat to cause a threat. I had the New York Knicks taking the Miami Heat to 7 games in the 1st round but with the injury of Amare Stoudemire the Miami Heat might sweep this decrepit New York Knick team.
I believe all of these injuries and the lack of competition in the Eastern Conference the pressure has raised severely for the Miami Heat. After losing last year in the Finals after almost breezing through the healthy Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat have no excuses if they do not win the Finals this year with injuries plaguing the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls.
By the way, I have the Miami Heat losing in the Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers because of the Lakers bigs, the defense of Metta World Peace, and on top of all of that the Lakers have Kobe Bryant.