It is still early yet, but the race for the number 1 seed is heating up and it is never too early to start looking ahead at potential matchups. In the proverbial world of "if the playoffs started tomorrow" and assuming the Celtics ended up with the 1 seed (yes, I know we trail them by half a game currently), the brackets would look much like this. (for reference)
Miami is only a couple games back so they could very easily make a race of this as well. But assuming they are kept at arms length and assuming no upsets, the 1 seed would get Orlando or Atlanta in the 2nd round while the 2 seed would likely get Miami.
Call me crazy, but I might like the Miami matchup better. I like our chances against anyone, but I'm more confident in our chances against the mentally-not-so-strong-Heat than I am against the Howard led Magic. Especially with the still-questionable health prospects of our two O'Neals.
With that said, there's certainly an inherent value to getting home court advantage through the ECF (and beyond depending on who comes out of the West).
On the other side of the pendulum, if the Heat manage to leapfrog both the Bulls and Celtics, that would put us pitted against each other in the 2nd round, which I think is the least ideal scenario. I think we'll see the Bulls eventually, but I'd rather put that off as long as possible. Oh yeah, and it wouldn't be too fun playing the Knicks in the first round either.
I'll just open this up to discussion. Who would you least like to see in the first round (Milwaukee has a shot at the 8 seed too)? Does Atlanta have some playoff magic left to upset the Magic? Do you want the 1 seed or is the 2 seed just as good?