FanPost

Saturday's playoff thread/second round predictions

First, your lines for tonight:

Bulls at Pistons: Pistons by 5.
Over/Under on Ben Wallace's rebounds: 11.

Jazz at Rockets: Rockets by 5.5.
Over/Under on Tracy McGrady's points: 27.

This thread is also for any second-round predictions you want to throw out there.  Here are mine:

Bulls/Pistons: Bulls in 6.

Detroit's going to struggle with Chicago's speed, particularly up front.  If the Bulls play Nocioni a lot, he's going to push Sheed or Webber out to the perimeter, which will open up lanes for Gordon and the rest of the Bulls' wings.  If the Bulls play Tyrus Thomas (which they really should), he'll dominate on the offensive glass, where the Pistons really aren't so great.  Chicago also forces a ton of turnovers, so I'm confident that they can at least speed the game up enough to make Detroit work.  The Pistons haven't looked impressive all year, and I think the only way they win is if Sheed dominates on the block, which is something he hasn't done in years.

Suns/Spurs: Spurs in 6.

The one team that benefits most from Dallas' early exit is San Antonio.  Each of the West's big 3 matched up extremely well with one squad and poorly with the other.  For the Mavericks, the Spurs were a good matchup for them, becuase of their versatility, but Phoenix was not, because of the Suns' ability to speed the game up.  But for the Spurs, the Suns are a great matchup.  No team defends the transition game better than the Spurs, and in the halfcourt, Phoenix's inability to exploit San Antonio's soft spot--the midrange game--will prove to be their undoing.  

Cavs/Nets: Cavs in 5.

Cleveland's a really bad matchup for New Jersey because of all the guys they have inside.  Drew Gooden, Big Z, and Varejao are going to dominate the thin Net frontline, both offensively and on the glass.  The Nets' advantage is Kidd, but he won't have the same size advantage he had on T.J. Ford in the first round going against Larry Hughes.  Richard Jefferson is not a good enough defender to guard LeBron, and I guarantee Vince will stop driving with all of Cleveland's bigs down there.  New Jersey would have had a good chance against Chicago or even Detroit, but against Cleveland, I don't think it will be close.

Golden State/Utah or Houston:

If it's Utah, I expect the Jazz to win in 5.  The two things you really need to slow the Warriors down are a good point guard to control the tempo and a strong inside scorer who can score and get to the line.  The Spurs have Parker and Duncan, which is why they always kill Golden State.  The Jazz have Deron Williams at the point and Carlos Boozer inside.  Utah may struggle to guard Baron Davis in the halfcourt, but with a renewed AK47 back there, I don't think you'll see as many easy scores for the Warriors in that series.

If it's Houston, I say Golden State in 6.  I don't trust Rafer Alston to slow the tempo down, and I can't see who Yao will guard.  The Warriors have enough strong defensive wings (Jackson, Pietrus, Barnes) to throw at T-Mac, and unless the Rockets put Battier on him, I don't see how anyone will guard Baron Davis.  Houston's prone to periods where they shoot too many contested jumpers, and Golden State will use those opportunities to ignite their fast break, just like they did against Dallas.

Anyway, post all predictions and thoughts here.  

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.