The Miami Heat have, apparently, been playing opossum with us this entire season.  True, they had some injuries to deal with, but they had some bad, ugly losses this year - for what is supposed to be such a powerful squad.

The 'bad' losses aren't even the ones that scared Heat fans the most.  It was the losses against the good teams.  At one point this year, Miami was 3-14 versus teams over .500.

But that seems like a long time ago, now.  The Heat are rolling.  Dwayne Wade is not totally healthy, but truthfully, they don't really need him to do very much to win two more games, and dispatch of the 76ers.  Then he will get rest before their next series.

Chris Bosh is playing the best ball of his career.  LeBron James is playing like a guy nicknamed "The King" should play.  All the role players are playing well.  And don't forget who is in charge of the entire operation - not Coach Spolstra - but Pat Riley, who is no stranger to putting together championships.

Think about it, though - who is going to beat them in the East?  The Celtics?  They have the experience, but they are super weak inside after trading Kendrick Perkins, and sometimes they are just too old and slow.  They NEED Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to shoot lights out every night.  I don't see it happening this year.

Orlando has Dwight Howard, but not much else.  They are extremely inconsistent, and have been hard to handicap all year.

The Hawks are brutal offensively - while the Knicks still view defense as entirely optional.

The Sixers and Pacers are both good, athletic, and young.  But neither is ready to get past the first round just yet.

The Bulls would be the logical choice, to perhaps beat the Heat.  Derrick Rose has a very solid group of players around him - and they play great defense.  They will also enjoy the home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

The playoffs are wide open this year.  If you assume that, once again, it will be Lakers vs. Celtics - or that it will be any other similar heavyweight match-up, you may very well be wrong.

Whoever comes out of the West, though, had better be ready for LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh.