Here were my first round picks. With the exception of Portland and Miami (they are down 15 late in the second, I don’t see it happening) I was pretty spot on. 6 out of 8 isn’t so bad. I even nailed Denver winning in 5 and Cleveland winning in 4 so yay me.
- Lakers vs. Rockets: Do I have to pick a winner? Can both teams lose? Sheesh. This is kind of a weird series here if you’re a Blazer fan (at least I think so). On one hand, it’s unacceptable to root for the Lakers. You can’t be a Laker and a Blazer fan and if you live in Portland and support the Lakers you deserve an elbow-drop from the top rope. I can’t even think of a scenario of when I would root for the Lakers. Seriously, I’ve thought of it a million times. Even when they were pummeling the Jazz, everytime I’d come close to enjoying it I’d see Vujacic’s hair, a Bynum sneer or that disgusting Laker swag and was right back to being PO’ed. On the other side are the Rockets. Generally speaking, you usually don’t want to see the team that just beat you advance. Because…ya know…you just spent 6 or so games hating them. I don’t have that deep, “Gosh I want to see the Rockets go down” type hatred but I wouldn’t mind seeing them go down. But I can’t root for either team. Ranting aside, I have to go with the Lakers here. LA has that offensive firepower and offensive balance to beat the Rockets, something Portland never fully grasped the concept of. Had we been able to, we’d be chanting Beat L-A right about now. And it is for that reason that I think the Lakers pull this one out. Artest will more than likely get caught up in trying to stop a motivated Kobe. Brooks won’t be able to get in to the lane against the Lakers trees. And Yao, can only do so much. Lakers in 5.
- Nuggets vs. Mavericks: Anyone else think it’s kind of weird one of these teams are going to the WCF? This is a series that could go either way, and a series that I think we’ll be more entertaining than it will get credit for. Both teams are facing contrasts from the teams they sent packing in the first round. Dallas has to deal with a balanced and explosive offense after beating the aging Parker & Duncan Show featuring no one else. Denver will also have to deal with a team who has multiple scoring options instead of The Chris Paul Show featuring no one else, seriously get that man some help before he kills someone. Chauncey Billups vs. Jason Kidd. Carmelo Anthony vs. Josh Howard. Dirk vs…umm….the Birdman? Jason Terry vs. JR Smith. A lot of intriguing matchups in this one. I honestly believe this series is going to 7 games and could go either way. I’m going to have to go with Dallas though. I think Carmelo Anthony can be taken away in the post-season and I feel like Dallas has too many weapons for Denver to deal with. Maybe it’s my respect for San Antonio and even though they were only a two-man show, they have always been good defensively. I don’t put Denver in San Antonio’s class defensively. I see the Mavs stealing one in Denver. Dallas in 6.
- Cleveland vs. Atlanta/Miami: The Hawks are up by 13 at half so I’m assuming they will win, robbing the world of LeBron vs. D-Wade. Either way my pick was going to be the same. Cleveland, Cleveland, Cleveland. The Cavs are entirely too good at home for Atlanta to dream of taking one in the Q. And the Cavs are the opposite of the Heat. It’s not just a one-man show. It’s LeBron with his supporting cast and I’m not sure Atlanta has what it takes to slow them down. Also, unless the Hawks can run they will have trouble scoring in the half-court on Cleveland’s D. Too much LeBron, not enough Joe Johnson. Cavs in 5.
- Celtics vs. Magic: The absence of Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe is really about to be felt in this series. The Magic are also going to miss Courtney Lee a ton. JJ Redick is going to have to play big minutes and who on the Celtics can he guard? Certainly not Ray Allen. The big question in my books, is does Boston have enough in the tank to outlast Orlando? They are without key parts, they just had to out-last the Bulls, is there enough in the tank to fight off Orlando? Working in their favor is the fact that the Magic love to shoot jumpers. Working against them is the fact that they are the opposite of Philadelphia: proficient in the half-court, not running out. Also….Dwight Howard. They have no answer for him. I think it all comes down to Boston’s offense. If they can score enough points, they can beat the Magic. And since they are the defending champs, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Orlando is too streaky, too perimeter oriented and most importantly too tight for me to give them this one. In clutch situations, Boston knows what to do. I smell Orlando panicking. They did drop 2 to Philadelphia after all. Boston in 6.
Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Joe Johnson, Josh Howard, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Luis Scola, Miami Heat, Nba Playoffs, Nba Playoffs Predictions, Nba Second Round Predictions, Orlando Magic, Pau Gasol, Yao Ming