We overviewed the Western Conference a day ago and want to focus on action in the East now. Chicago joined Boston as the only teams to advance to the second round of the playoffs already, while Miami looks to join them tonight.
No. 1 Chicago vs. No. 8 Indiana
(Chicago wins 4-1)
Had Derrick Rose not sprained his ankle in the first quarter of game four, this series would have been over in four. The biggest thing going for the Bulls right now is rest- they'll need their star point guard and power forward Carlos Boozer (toe) to heal before taking on Orlando/Atlanta.
No. 2 Miami vs. No. 7 Philadelphia
(Miami holds a 3-1 advantage)
The Sixers are no match at all for Miami's talented trio- but let's take a look at some statistics here- the starting point guard (Mike Bibby) and center (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) are now a combined minus-44 in the plus/minus breakdowns, simply meaning that the Heat are being outscored by 44 points when those two are on the floor together. Another noteworthy point is that Miami failed, yet again, to hit a shot with the game in reach. They are now a league-worst 1-for-19 from the field when Miami is tied or down three or less points with less than 10 seconds to go. That lack of clutch-playmaking will be their downfall moving into round two.
No. 3 Boston vs. No. 6 New York
(Boston wins 4-0)
Whether Boston is back or lucky to have been dealt the injury-plagued Knicks is a question for the next round as Rajon Rondo was able to sit-back and pick apart that New York defense.
No. 4 Orlando vs. No. 5 Atlanta
(Atlanta holds a 3-2 advantage)
Orlando shot themselves out of three games (16-for-73 from behind the arc, 21.9 percent) and is making 32.6 percent in their two wins (16-for-49), which is still below the 37 percent they shot during the regular season. The one who is struggling the most has been their best shooter, Hedo Turkoglu, who improved his shooting percentages in game five and is now a 16.7 percent shooter from 3-point range in the series.