NBA playoffs 2023: Experts' picks for every second-round series

The NBA playoffs are down to eight teams, each with a realistic path to the Finals.

The first round was eventful in both the predictable outcomes and a splash of upsets thought to be unrealistic at the end of the regular season, most notably the eighth-seeded Miami Heat knocking out the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. The Heat now face the New York Knicks, who have exceeded preseason expectations themselves.

In the other series in the East -- between two teams expected to make it this far -- the Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers winner could determine the eventual East champion.

In the Western Conference, Nikola Jokic and the top-seeded Denver Nuggets will look to overcome their past playoff struggles and fend off a dangerous Phoenix Suns, who are led by Devin Booker and trade deadline addition Kevin Durant. The defending champion Golden State Warriors meanwhile, get a second-round matchup with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Who will advance? Our NBA experts reveal their picks for each conference semifinal winner.

MORE: Schedule, news and results | Playoff bracket


Golden State Warriors (6) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7)

Kendra Andrews: Warriors in 6

Jerry Bembry: Warriors in 6

Jamal Collier: Warriors in 6

Nick DePaula: Warriors in 6

Nick Friedell: Warriors in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Warriors in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Warriors in 7

Tim Legler: Warriors in 7

Bobby Marks: Warriors in 6

Dave McMenamin: Lakers in 6

Kevin Pelton: Warriors in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Warriors in 7

André Snellings: Lakers in 6

Marc Spears: Warriors in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Warriors in 7

Final tally: Warriors 12, Lakers 2

Denver Nuggets (1) vs. Phoenix Suns (4)

Kendra Andrews: Suns in 6

Jerry Bembry: Nuggets in 7

Jamal Collier: Suns in 6

Nick DePaula: Suns in 6

Nick Friedell: Suns in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Suns in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Suns in 6

Tim Legler: Suns in 6

Tim MacMahon: Suns in 6

Bobby Marks: Nuggets in 7

Dave McMenamin: Suns in 6

Kevin Pelton: Suns in 6

Jorge Sedano: Suns in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Nuggets in 7

André Snellings: Suns in 6

Marc Spears: Suns in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Nuggets in 7

Final tally: Suns 13, Nuggets 4


Boston Celtics (2) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (3)

Kendra Andrews: 76ers in 7

Jerry Bembry: Celtics in 6

Jamal Collier: Celtics in 6

Nick DePaula: 76ers in 7

Nick Friedell: Celtics in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: 76ers in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Celtics in 7

Tim Legler: Celtics in 6

Tim MacMahon: Celtics in 7

Bobby Marks: 76ers in 6

Dave McMenamin: Celtics in 7

Kevin Pelton: Celtics in 7

Jorge Sedano: Celtics in 6

Ramona Shelburne: 76ers in 7

André Snellings: 76ers in 7

Marc Spears: Celtics in 6

Ohm Youngmisuk: Celtics in 7

Final tally: Celtics 11, 76ers 6

New York Knicks (5) vs. Miami Heat (8)

Kendra Andrews: Knicks in 6

Jerry Bembry: Knicks in 6

Jamal Collier: Heat in 6

Nick DePaula: Heat in 6

Nick Friedell: Knicks in 5

Kirk Goldsberry: Knicks in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Heat in 6

Tim Legler: Knicks in 7

Tim MacMahon: Knicks in 7

Bobby Marks: Heat in 7

Dave McMenamin: Heat in 6

Kevin Pelton: Knicks in 7

Jorge Sedano: Heat in 6

Ramona Shelburne: Knicks in 7

André Snellings: Heat in 6

Marc Spears: Knicks in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Knicks in 7

Final tally: Knicks 10, Heat 7