NBA Playoffs Round 2 Picks

Well, this is hardly revelation. Indeed, two of the series are already underway with the Lakers and the Cavaliers each taking 1-0 leads. Fortunately I was not picking the Celtics or the Jazz to sweep, so no biggie. So the series (rankings based on final rankings):

Cavaliers (2) vs Celtics (10):  To their credit, the Celtics will not be scared.  Of course this is a rematch of a 2nd round series from 2007-2008 when the Celtics beat the Cavs in a series where nobody won on the road.  This time, the Celtics NEED to win in Cleveland.  Alas, they have blown leads all season and their defense, 6th in the league, has wavered at times when they’ve needed big results.  Cavs athleticism is a real problem.  Celts must stop the Cavs 3 – and Rondo has to dominate.  Cavs in 5

Magic (1) vs Hawks (8): In Round 1, Magic played the Bobcats – 2 stout defenses with only one good offensive team – hence a Magic sweep.  Now, two of the league’s best offenses but this time the Magic have the far superior defense.  The Hawks have struggled in head to head matchups, and the Magic depth and quality is hard to top.  Both teams are very efficient on offense without being great assist teams – Magic take high level shots, Hawks offensively rebound.  Really I don’t see how the Hawks win.  Magic in 5

Lakers (7) vs Jazz (5):  Kirilenko has to play.  The Jazz showed to be a lousy defense in round 1 against Denver.  However, Denver was lousier and the Jazz scored at will.  The Lakers size and length are a tough matchup for the Jazz’ bigs.  Without Kirilenko the Jazz must win this on offense, which they are solid at.  However, the Lakers defense, with Bynum is outstanding.  There is a reason the Jazz have had trouble winning.  However, the Lakers did not look great against the Thunder.  They really are vulnerable.  The offense has been pedestrian, or streaky at the very least.  This could be a good series.  Lakers in 7

Suns (3) vs Spurs (4):  What a history these teams have.  Granted, the Spurs have had the better of it, but such a style matchup.  The Spurs are much more offensive minded now than back in the day.  I mean then the offense was efficient, but now their offense is more important, as their defense is not “great” anymore at a mere 9th.  The Suns are wonderful offensively, and they did very well in head to head this season.  They came off of a good series against a feisty Portland team, giving them 3 of their 4 worst losses of the season.  If Suns can manage the size, they should finally break through this time.  Suns in 6

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