Cavaliers in 5
The key to this series is the health of LeBron James if his elbow does not create a problem for the NBA MVP the Cavaliers will win this series easily. However, if the elbow strain prevents him from playing at his normal level the Celtics will have a crack in the door for them to get the upset. The Celtics looked good in the first round, and split the season series with the Cavs, but in a seven game series the Celtics will have trouble keeping up with the younger and more talented Cavs.
Lakers in 4
The Jazz were able to get past the Nuggets in the first round despite injuries to several key players including Memhet Okur who tore his Achilles tendon in Game 1. Of course the Nuggets had their injury issues too, and they also were without Coach George Karl and looked directionless. Against the Lakers they won’t have the same fortune. The Lakers who came within inches of needing to play a seventh game against the upstart Thunder, will look to put the banged up Jazz away as quick as possible with a sweep.
Magic in 5
Any chance the Hawks had of upsetting the Magic likely went up in a puff of smoke during the first round against the Bucks, as the Hawks struggled to put away an injured team playing without their key man in the middle. During the regular season these two teams met four times and the Hawks won once by one point, after the Magic won three blowouts. With Defensive Player of the Year the Magic are an excellent postseason team and should be able to win this series easily.
Suns in 7
Just a few years ago this was the fiercest rivalry in the Western Conference as the two teams battled for supremacy and a trip to the NBA Finals. The Spurs always seemed to get the best of the Suns in those days as they won four NBA Titles. Much of that title team is still intact and key to the Spurs success. However, age has slowed them a bit. The Suns on the other hand have re-tooled a bit and are now the better team. It won’t be easy as some of the old hatred will rise to the surface, but in the end the Suns with home court will win a tough Game 7 in the desert.