Apr 29, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith (5) fights for a loose ball with Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) and power forward Kevin Garnett (5) during the second half of game one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Celtics 83-74. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Playoffs Preview Tuesday Night Games

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks (Hawks lead 1-0)

No Rajon Rondo for the Celtics, so the Hawks have to win.  I couldn’t even tell who the backup point guard is for the Celtics, but I know how important Rondo is to this team. I heard a stat that said the Celtics average about 11 points LESS without Rondo.  That’s something to say about his ability to lead this team and push the Celtics to where they need to go. Sure, there’s Garnett, Allen, Pierce, and such, but Rondo makes those guys even better when he’s playing.  The Hawks have to take advantage of him not there, and push this to a 2-0.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls (Bulls lead 1-0)

Life without Derrick Rose begins tonight for the Bulls.  Good thing during the season, they had to do this.  But this is the playoffs, when you need your stars on the floor, and Chicago will be without him.  But I am thinking they’ll come together to take care of the 76ers tonight.  Especially with the home crowd behind them. Now come games three and four, the Sixers might be able to steal one of those.  The Bulls are a tough enough team to make it work without Rose for now, and that should happen.

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Lakers lead 1-0)

I said before, I thought the Lakers would put it together for the playoffs, and with that dominating performance in game one, they did. I see much of the same, especially if Kobe is able to put up 30 points again. Then if Andrew Bynum has another block party, the Lakers are winning. I don’t have much hope for Denver in this series and the Lakers should be up 2-0 after tonight.

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