Celtics in 5
The trouble the Celtics had with the Hawks in the first round could either be a warning sign or a wake up call, and it won’t take long in the next series to determine what it is. While LeBron James has experience in getting his Cavs to the finals last year, he may be easier for the Celtics to control then the gung ho Hawks who were playing with the house’s money. Look for the Celtics to take control early and make it a quick series, winning in five.
Lakers in 7
The Jazz should certainly give the Lakers more of a fight then the Nuggets, as they have the weapons to win this series. In addition the Jazz success at home could pose a problem for the Lakers especially if the Jazz find a way to win a game or two in Los Angeles. However, in the end the play of Kobe Bryant and the home court edge will be the difference as the Lakers squeak by in seven hard fought games.
Pistons in 7
Detroit beware, if the Pistons lollygag through the first four games of this series, they won’t be able to quickly turn it around and win the series like they did against the 76ers. The Magic behind the incredible play of Dwight Howard have the look of a legitimate contender and could win this series if Howard continues to put up 20-20 games. However, in the end experience is the key and the Pistons will find a way to make to the Conference Finals for the sixth year in a row.
Spurs in 6
The Hornets have been one of the best stories in the NBA all year as their first year back full time in New Orleans has seen them win a division title, and join the NBA elite with MVP candidate Chris Paul. However, midnight is calling for the Hornets and Mardi Gras is going to come to an end as the defending champion Spurs are coming to town, with the experience and tenacity. Look for the Spurs to grab control early and win it in six games as the Hornets learn a valuable lesson that will make them stronger in the future.