The second round is upon us here in early May, as we see who really deserves a shot at a title. Okay, I was wrong about two of the Eastern Conference match-ups. I hitched my wagon to the Bulls as a David capable of knocking off a limping Goliath in the Celtics. The Celtics closed out the game better and Ray Allen showed up.
I was also off when I picked fast break Phily (Philadelphia 76ers Schedule) to get by the playoff inexperienced Orlando Magic, because I didn't think Turkaglu or Lewis would show up. They did along with some dominant play from the defensive player of the year Dwight Howard. Then the Hawks beating the Heat (Miami Heat Schedule)...ya, did anyone watch that? Didn't think so. Does any of this matter? No. The Cavs are going to run through every round with ease, like the expediting conveyor belt at the airport. Barring injury to LeBron or Mo Williams, no team can survive Cleveland's defense.
The Mavricks gave the Nuggets a game, but the Nuggets had more weapons and played more physical. The Mavricks are playing good basketball right now, but there's no way they will get past the Nuggets. The difference is Denver playing more physical than Dallas. Jason Kidd and especially Dirk Nowitski can be less effective when forced to work hard to score. If Kenyon Martin, Birdman Anderson, and Nene rough up Dirk, he will get frustrated and rendered less effective. Dante Jones, with his speed and strength could be even more effective on Dirk when he wants to play on the perimeter. Nuggets in five.
I'm not surprised to see the Rockets beat the Lakers at Staples in game 1. "Will Yao be able to handle two seven footers?" More like, can the two seven footers on the Lakers handle Yao? Bynum is not going to play a big part in this series. His knee will not allow him to have the mobility he needs to stop Yao. Phil Jackson's rotation is getting less sturdy the further the Lakes venture into the playoffs. Bynum is not mobile. Ariza is athletic, yet prone to the bonehead foul or turnover, Farmar still lacks confidence on offense, and Shannon Brown will turn back into a pumpkin sooner rather than later. If Artest and Battier continue to make life difficult for Kobe and let Brooks and Yao spark the offense, Houston could very well be taking on the Nuggets for the chance to play the Cavs.