Cleveland Cavaliers (1) – Boston Celtics (4)
– MVP Lebron James would be the deciding factor on this series. It all comes down to Lebron’s elbow and how Cleveland would bounce back after Boston stole game 2 on their home court. The aging Celtics team is out to prove something and their experience and physical defense is enough to give the Cavaliers some problems. This is a game 7 in the making which could be beneficial to the younger and faster Cavaliers. I see this as the big three’s (Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) last championship run and Cleveland’s last chance in signing Lebron James back on the team next season.
Orlando Magic (2) – Atlanta Hawks (3)
– Mike Woodson had done a great job with Atlanta this year but after Milwaukee took Atlanta to seven games on their first round series in spite injuries to key players such as Andrew Bogut and Michael Red. It seems Mike will be in for a cold summer. The thrashing defeats against Orlando in game 1 (71-114) and game 2 (112-98) sums up prettily on how the series will end. There were no answers for Dwight Howard and even on a near-perfect free throw night in game 2 (30 for 31) the Hawks still find themselves clueless in stopping Orlando.
Los Angeles Lakers (1) – Utah Jazz (5)
– On paper this series looks like a mismatch between the power house Lakers and the injury depleted Utah Jazz but on their first two games the Jazz gave the Lakers some tough competition blowing the Lakers lead and almost scored an upset on the final minutes of both games. But as Kobe slowly recovers from his injuries and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum dwarfs over Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap it looks like the Lakers are heading to another conference finals. Healthy or not healthy the Jazz is always a tough cookie to crack. They are resilient and they are a great passing team but still it isn’t enough to dethrone the talented Lakers.
Phoenix Suns (3) – San Antonio Spurs (7)
– The Spurs are executing very well on offense and defense. Tony Parker is not yet hundred percent but slowly getting back to his old form, Tim Duncan might be past his prime but he still has the touch and the determination to score, Ginobli is still effective and Jefferson is hitting his shots while George Hill is becoming a revelation. The Suns have found an answer to all of that even on Greg Popovich’s reliable motion offense it’s called “up-tempo”. They have great success on that offense since on the D’Antoni days and Alvin Gentry gave Steve Nash the freedom to do whatever he wants but what makes them different now is that they are a more defensive minded team and everybody is committed in defense. This would be a competitive series but with the Spurs down 0-2 they would have to make a bigger effort to dethrone the Suns
A quote from former Detroit Piston’s legend and former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas… “The secret about basketball is that it’s not about basketball”…such an interesting quote to ponder.