NBA Playoff (Midway) Predictions

Jason Singer
Mar 23, 2010

 

Cleveland vs. Atlanta (Cavs up 2-0): Like the Galápagos Hawk, the Atlanta Hawks are an endangered species.

They're dead. Gone. Done like dinner.

The Hawks best player, Joe Johnson, injured his ankle Thursday night. Atlanta was already down two starters. Frankly, LeBron could beat the rest of their team 5-on-1.

Break out the brooms, Cleveland. This one's headed for a sweep.

Prediction: Cleveland in 4.

Boston vs. Orlando (Series tied 1-1): Ready for a Celtics-Cavs Eastern Conference finals rematch? Orlando let the House fire get started Wednesday night. Once the House fire gets started, you can't put it out.

Celtics guard Eddie House torched the Magic for 31 points during Wednesday's Game 2. He's streaky. He'll keep it going for at least a few more games. Throw in a rested Paul Pierce, who scored just three points while in foul trouble Wednesday, and Orlando is in deep trouble.

No illusions here. Celtics make Magic disappear.

Prediction: Celtics in 6.

Houston vs. Los Angeles (Series tied 1-1): Houston, the Lakers have a problem.

The Rockets aren't as talented as the Lakers. They don't have Kobe Bryant. But the Rockets will deliver the upset of the postseason. With pitbull defenders like Shane Battier and Ron Artest, the Rockets don't have to double-team Kobe. Is it possible the Black Mamba could reach 40 points again like he did in Game 2? Yes, but he'll have to work for it.

Meanwhile, Houston will shut down Kobe's supporting cast, and the Lakers don't defend well enough to stop the Rockets' offense. Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks elevates himself to an elite role player by torching the older, slower Derek Fisher throughout the series.

Prediction: Houston in 7.

Denver vs. Dallas (Denver up 2-0): It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Chauncey Billups!

The prodigal son has returned home to Denver, where he was born, raised and became a basketball star at the University of Colorado. He won playoff games in Detroit and he's doing it in Denver. Dallas is tough — they might even eke out a win or two — but not tough enough to get back in this series.

Not all the gummy bears in Dusseldorf could save Dirk and the Mavs.

Prediction: Nuggets in 5.