Yes, the Pacers appeared to finally find their game in game seven against the Hawks, and yes Roy Hibbert finally stopped looking like a tree on the court and did some work. But should we really be impressed by them finally having an impressive win against the Hawks? And especially considering it took them seven games to do it? I'm not buying it. Indiana struggled all series to guard Jeff Teague so I expect them to struggle guarding John Wall. Brad Beal was tremendous in the first round as was Wall and if Nene and Marcin Gortat get going, Washington can bang with the Pacers down low. Give me the Wizards.
Wizards in 6
Personally, I would not put that much stock in the Nets sweeping the Heat in their regular season matchups but I also do not think that it could be ignored. The Nets are a veteran club featuring a few guys that know how to get it done come playoff time (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett) and have a number of the long wing guys that can give LeBron James fits. But let's get real here. First off, those four wins were all very close so there was not much if any advantage. Second, Miami has LeBron James.
Heat in 5
You want offense? This should be a fun series. Now if the Trail Blazers get 55 a game from LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, they will be damn tough to stop no matter who they play. However, you do have to be concerned with their defense, which allowed the most points per possession of any team that moved on. I have more confidence in the Spurs getting the defensive stops they need than I do in the Blazers, and with how awesome the Spurs looked offensively against the Mavericks in game seven, I think they will be able to get it done once again when it counts.
Spurs in 6
Both of these teams fought through tough seven games series, and one that was particularly emotional for the Clippers. However, I think this is a scenario that is more favorable for the Thunder than was their opening series against the Grizzlies, which I correctly predicted would go the full seven. While Memphis forced OKC to slow the game down and grind it out physically, the Clippers want to run up and down, which is a style more for the Thunder's choosing. That should benefit the Thunder. Also, OKC is one of the rare teams that have a guy that can match up physically with Blake Griffin in Serge Ibaka. Therefore, I like the Thunder to advance.
Thunder in 5