There was excitement galore in the first round of the NBA playoffs. We had four series go to six games. Last Friday saw some great action. Now that we are in the conference semifinals, it is time to give my predictions.
• MIAMI OVER CHICAGO IN FIVE
The Bulls showed a lot of heart and guts winning Game 7 in Brooklyn. Chicago also snapped Miami's win streak at 27 games earlier this season. Tom Thibodeau's team will play a physical style, but Miami is simply too good to lose this series. LeBron James just won his fourth NBA MVP award and he knows this club should win back-to-back championships. Miami also had more depth with several players off the bench capable of making key contributions. Chicago is too banged up.
• NEW YORK OVER INDIANA IN SEVEN
The Pacers won Game 1 in New York, but I believe the Knicks will come back and take the series. Carmelo Anthony has to have a better shooting performance in Game 2. Give David West credit for a solid performance in the series opener. J.R. Smith has to come through.
• MEMPHIS OVER OKLAHOMA CITY IN SEVEN
I know the Grizzlies could have won Game 1, but did not. The Thunder will have a hard time without Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant can only do so much. Zach Randolph and company will find a way to prevail.
• SAN ANTONIO OVER GOLDEN STATE IN SIX
The Spurs benefitted from some rest and should get Boris Diaw back soon. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are winners and they will get past a tough foe. Stephen Curry has become a super, but he will fall just short.