Well, I was a little off on my prediction (otherwise known as a wild guess) for the Chicago series: I had Cleveland winning in six, and the Cavaliers spared us all a return to Chicago, although for a few nervous minutes in Game Five, I thought my guess might come to fruition.
Okay, okay, it was not so much a guess...I saw the Bulls as a pretty tough team for one that finished .500, and I took into account their much greater success this year when they were healthy, and in round one, that was evident as all of the games but one were close well into the fourth quarter, at least.
Now come the Celtics, and this series is hard to figure. Not a little bit of it has to do with the condition of LeBron James's elbow. LeBron has said that if need be he will drive more and shoot less from outside. That sounds like a good plan to me...as long as when he is fouled, he is not doing a Phil Mickelson again and shooting from the port side. LeBron may be ambidextrous, but there is a reason why he has always shot FTs right-handed, and I am guessing that the reason is: He is better from the starboard side.
The Celtics put to rest, at least for now, the notion that they are "too old", and would "wear down" in the playoffs after struggling a bit in the second half of the season. All the Celtics wore down, when all was said and done in the first round, were the wheels of the jet carrying the Heat as it landed back in Miami for the last time in 2009-10.
Boston, even if they do begin "wearing down" in the upcoming series, is a proud team, and expect them to bring that pride to the fray, as well as the collective self-assurance that comes from having won a championship just two seasons ago. In other words, whether the Cavaliers are superior or not, the Celtics will not go quietly into that good night, and should Cleveland win, it will be a battle until the end.
The opening game, to me, is critical, and I am going to say right here that whoever wins the opener will win the series. If Cleveland brings it in Game One, I see the Cavaliers winning. If they are not ready, really ready, don't be shocked if Boston does what Orlando did last year and steals the home court advantage that the Cavaliers worked so hard for, and then all bets are off.
Without getting into match-ups, or into stats and trends - since I have a feeling emotion will mean much more in this series than numbers - I see the Cavaliers leading this series, by Game Six, three games to two. And in Game Six, I see the Celtics simply refusing to lose on their home court, since so many will claim that their time has come and gone if they do. The mystic thing called "Celtic Pride" will conspire to make sure that Cleveland does not celebrate on the Celtics' floor. Instead, I see the series going back to Cleveland, going the distance, and the Cavaliers emerging victorious in a Game Seven which will go down as a classic.
Okay, that is probably several hundred more words than were necessary, and maybe several hundred more than you cared to read. Now I will exit the stage and give the microphone to you: Who will win this series, and in how many games? And if you care to share, why do you think so?