NBA Playoff Picks, Second Round
Boston vs. Philadelphia — I love, love, love this Celtics team. That said, they do have their work cut out for them. The Sixers are a young, athletic, defensive-minded team, blessed with talent and depth. They lack true stars, but before their late-season swoon, they were one of the top teams in the league and it looks like they’ve reverted to form after knocking off the Bulls. However, the Celtics are wily and tough, and they have Kevin Garnett! and Rajon Rondo! and Paul Pierce! and Ray Allen! Did I mention how much I love this team? Anyway, the Celtics will win, but it will not be easy. Boston in 7.
Miami vs. Indiana — The Pacers hung in there pretty well on Sunday, and led for much of the game. But did anyone actually think they would pull off the upset? The Heat did exactly what I expected them to — go on a tear and win the game. I was impressed with the Pacers, but moral victories don’t count and only a crazy person would bet against the Heat. Also, only the most hardcore NBA fans can name more than two players on the Pacers roster, which does not bode well in a series against a team featuring two of the NBA’s biggest stars. I mean, can Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert really carry the Pacers to victory? No. Miami in 5.
San Antonio vs. Los Angeles Clippers — San Antonio swept Utah in the first round, and they could easily sweep the Clippers ... but I don’t think they will. I think Chris Paul is so good that the Clippers will steal a couple games, before falling to a team that is superior in almost every way. Blake Griffin is a talent, but his skills are still a little raw, and San Antonio will figure out a way to shut him down. For some reason, I think this has the potential to be one of the duller series of the playoffs ... but I’m willing to be proved wrong. San Antonio in 6.
Oklahoma City vs. Los Angeles Lakers — This is the most star-studded series of the playoffs, and also the series with the best storylines. Will the Thunder establish that they are the West’s new powerhouse ... by ending the championship aspirations of the mighty Los Angeles Lakers? Will Kevin Durant outplay Kobe Bryant? Which team will prove more clutch? Will Ron Artest (sorry, I refuse to call him Metta World Peace after his total lack of remorse for giving James Harden a concussion) do something insanely stupid? Will bad blood from the Harden foul carry over into this series? Will Andrew Bynum have a monster series? Or will he get ejected for doing something insanely stupid? Will Pau Gasol play well? Or will he wilt like a daisy? So many questions! I’m looking forward to all the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth when Los Angeles loses this thing. Thunder in 6.
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