Cavaliers in 5
The Hawks and Heat still need to finish their first round series, with Game 7 later today. However, with the second round also starting today we are going to make the pick now. It don’t matter who wins the game, the Cavaliers will waltz past either one. The Hawks have a good home court advantage, and could grab one game in Atlanta, while Dwyane Wade could take over a game and steal one for the Heat, but that will be it, as the Cavs continue to roll on to the Conference Finals.
Lakers in 4
This series has mismatch written all over it. In the regular season the Lakers swept the Rockets in four match ups, and it could happen in the playoffs too, as the Rockets who got past the Blazers without Tracy McGrady, but with the talent rich Lakers they do not have a shot. Perhaps they can steal one game in Houston, but if they do win this one game it will be with a super performance by Yao Ming. However, Pau Gasol will blunt any advantage that Yao would give the Rockets in the middle allowing Kobe Bryant to dominate.
Magic in 6
Without Kevin Garnett the Celtics have no chance to beat the Magic. After barely surviving a seven game with the young Bulls, the defending champion Celtics find themselves in a tussle with the up and coming Magic. The Magic themselves had a tough time with the 76ers, as Dwight Howard was suspended for Game 6 for throwing an elbow, and if Howard’s emotions overcome him again it could be costly. However, in the end no Leon Powe, no KG , no return to the Conference Finals for the Celtics.
Nuggets in 6
There are certain players that are just winners; Chauncey Billups is one of those players. In six years in Detroit the Pistons at least went to the conference finals every season. This year after the trade that sent him to Denver, the Pistons were swept in the first round, the Nuggets on the other hand beat the Hornets in impressive fashion and stand in great shape to reach the Western Finals. In the regular season the Nuggets won all four games against the Mavs, while I can’t imagine it being that easy this time around, the Nuggets and Billups should be able to get it done.