Two teams left in the East.
After falling short in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic, the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back and finished the regular season 61-21, good for first place in the Central Division, and the NBA's best record for the second season in a row. They acquired Shaquille O`Neal from the Suns in the off season, LeBron James had another magical regular season, capturing his second consecutive MVP award, and the team pulled off the deadline day trade that brought Antawn Jamison over from the Washington Wizards. All was done with the hopes of bringing a title to Cleveland in the midst of Lebron's impending free agency. And all has proven to be for nothing.
The Boston Celtics finished a banged up, bit of a sub-par regular season at 50-32, but still good for first place in the Atlantic Division. The team got healthy come playoff time and elimiated the Miami Heat in 5 games, and in what has proven to be the biggest upset in these playoffs so far, knocked off the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in 6. Unity proved to be the key. Boston had it, Cleveland did not. Oh, and Ubuntu. Do they have what it takes to return to the NBA Finals, and prove that the title they won in 2008 was not just a fluke?
The Orlando Magic finished the regular season at 59-23, good for first place in the Southeast Division. After playing the spoiler in last year's Eastern Conference Finals, and falling short in the Finals to the Lake Show, they acquired Vince Carter from the Nets, nursed point guard Jameer Nelson back to health, and rode on Dwight Howard's shoulders, as he won a second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award. The Magic then took out the Charlotte Bobcats in 4 straight in the first round, and then proceeded to smoke the third seeded Atlanta Hawks in 4. As it stands right now, they're 8-0 going into a series with a veteran, playoff tested Celtic team that also seems to be peaking at the right time. Do they have what it takes to finish what they started last year?