Starting this off with the series that surprised me the most, Bucks vs Heat. Was not expecting the Heat to win, never mind in 5 games. With a Tyler Herro injury, Kyle Lowry being subpar - I just didn' think Miami had enough offense against the Bucks. I'm on the fence with Jimmy Butler, he is so good but he he kinda borders around Kawhi load management, but not exactly - he shows up when he feels like it in terms of effort and he did miss quite a bit of games. Otherwise, the Bucks was just not able to guard Bulter. Interesting to see what it is going to be like this offseason as there is a lot of money committed to 4 of the 5 starters.
The Knicks vs Cavs was a bit of closer matchup as either team did not really play that well. A bit expected with both teams being young and inexperienced. Despite having Donovan Mitchell, I think the Cavs need another year or so to gel and they might be a force for a few years. Would ideally like to see them keep most of them together and sign a PJ Tucker type of player.
The Knicks vs Heat was a bit of a weird one as Butler didn't reallly have the best series efficiency wise and Brunson was balling out for the Knicks - 31 ppg. However, I think this is where the Heats depth showed up as contributions from Strus, Lowry, Vincent and Martin appeared to be the key factor into the Heat winning the series. Reinstating Duncan Robinson more makes them even more dangerous with his shooting threat. The Knicks need to make it Brunson's team and somehow get Barrett to become an All-Star next season.
The Hawks vs Celtics was actually a bit entertaining having one of the great scorers today against one of the most established teams in recent memory. Trae kind of shot poorly but somehow scored a lot against a very good defensive team in Boston. I think the series was just a matter of the Celtics scoring at will, the Hawks could not defend them. Jaylen Brown lowkey went off in that series. Hawks need to trade Collins and get a stretch 4.
The 76ers vs Nets was a bit of a mismatch in terms of talent. It was a good time to see the 76ers gel as neither Embiid or Harden really showed out and it was more of an all-around effort. If I were the Nets, I would trade all their assets and begin a complete rebuild - I assume half the league would watch Bridges, Johnson and a bunch of legit 3 & D role players.
The 76ers vs Celtics was very disappointing for me. I am a James Harden fan, but this man only literally showed up for game 1. It's hard to see James Harden being a bit passive, but I think his body just isn't there anymore. Joel Embiid was locked up by Al Horford in the moments that mattered most. The 76ers offense looked stagnant and so packed in - there was no spacing. Brown and Malcolm Brogdon, lowkey had another good series and Tatum showed up when it mattered the most. Not sure what I would want to see with the 76ers with all the contracts around. I think Harden has to go.
My heart and mind has the Celtics over the Heat, I think if Tatum or Brown marks Butler then The Celtics should be able to take it. Also, it really depends on how much depth from either side shows up. Would not be surprised if Heat adds on to their Cinderella narrative and goes all the wyy.