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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Second Round NBA Playoff Predictions

Now that the Celtics have finally put away the Bulls in Round 1 of the NBA playoffs, I can make my predictions for the next round. I still need Miami to win Sunday afternoon to give me a 7 of 8 in the first round, including calling the number of games in the Sixers-Magic series and eking out all three “locks.” (UPDATE: The Hawks won, dropping my picks to 6 of 8.) However, with the second round starting right after the Heat-Hawks is scheduled to end and the fact that I wouldn’t pick either one to beat Cleveland, the outcome of the game doesn’t impact my picks.

Obviously, I haven’t come off of my prediction for the Lakers to defeat the Cavaliers in the Finals. As I said before, I don’t like picking the number of games in which a series will end, but there’s little else to do with these series. I still won’t make the number of games “official” picks (as if that matters), but I’ll say the Cavs sweep the Heat or the Hawks, and somehow Houston steals one as the Lakers take them out in five games.

I’m predicting what I assume will be an upset in the Celtics-Magic series. Despite Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe being out with injuries, I think Boston finds a way to win in another long series. Courtney Lee is not expected to play for the Magic, and, well, they’re not playing the Sixers this round.

Finally, in the toughest series to call, I’ll take what I was guessing would be another underdog in the Denver Nuggets (but they are not; Denver is favored). Dallas is hot, and handed me my worst loss in round one. But I’m looking for Chauncey Billups to make the difference.

One more thing. Is it just me, or did Joakim Noah get a ridiculous amount of credit from the broadcasters during the series against Boston? He did average a “double-double,” at least 10 points and 10 rebounds, but every time he did anything it seemed like the play-by-play was pulling out the emphatic full-name call on the play. I fear a decade of hearing way too much about the guy.

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