Cavaliers in 5
Rarely has a team been unstoppable in the NBA Playoffs, examples include the 1983 76ers, 1986 Celtics, 1991 Bulls and 2000 Lakers. All though have one thing in common they were a team on mission. When a team is on a mission it is best to get out of the way. The Cavaliers are a team on a mission and as the Pistons and Hawks found out, there is not much you can do. Now the Magic have too much talent to get swept like the Cavs first two victims, but it’s hard to imagine this series being too much of a nail biter, as the Magic late game woes, will spell certain doom in the Conference Finals. The Magic did take two of three in the regular season, but they lost the only game played in Cleveland, and for the Cavs, who were 39-2 in the regular season at home, it will be hard to imagine the Magic winning a game at the Quicken Loans Arena in the Conference Finals. The only way the Magic will have a chance to extend this series is holding court at home, and in the end LeBron James will put up a MVP performance in Orlando to send the Cavs on to the Finals in five games.
Lakers in 7
Last year the Lakers breezed through a lifeless Nuggets team in the first round in the playoffs, the Nuggets they face this year are a different breed, and through the first two rounds have been the best team in the West during the playoffs. The big difference this year for Denver is the maturity of Carmelo Anthony’s game, and the presence of Chauncey Billups, who may be the most underrated player in NBA history. The Lakers are coming off a seven game series with the Rockets, in which they seemed bored at time. If they continue to play bored, they will be playing golf during the NBA Finals, because the Nuggets are the same type of physical team the Rockets are only better, and healthier. Kobe Bryant could put up big numbers and could be the headline grabber, but the key will be Pau Gasol, the better he plays the easier it will be for the Lakers. Look for this to series to be largely won on the home court as the high altitude could give the Lakers problems in Denver, while the noise in the Staples Center will carry the day in LA, and ultimately Game 7.