(1) Cleveland beating (8) Detroit in 5
When I placed my vote on ESPN.com for the Cavs, I noticed that 49 states and the whole rest of the world think the Cavaliers will take it. The only state unconvinced is Michigan. And only 56 percent of Michiganders are deluded. That makes it pretty clear who should pull away.
(2) Boston beating (7) Chicago in 7
I think Boston will take it, but they'll have to fight for it. A younger, hungrier, healthier Chicago will put up a fight, but that Game 7 in Boston will be too rough for them. BUT if I had to pick an Eastern Conference upset, this is it for me.
(3) Orlando beating (6) Philly in 6
Orlando is a powerhouse that's been struggling lately. But not enough to really give Philly a chance.
(4) Atlanta beating (5) Miami in 7
I read recently that the Hawks are the Cavs of a few years ago. Anybody remember when the Spurs beat the Cavs in the NBA finals two years ago?
Western Conference First Round
(1) Lakers beating (8) Utah in 7
Let's face it: Pau and the Lakers have to play thrice in Utah before they put the series away in Los Angeles.
(2) Denver nipped in the bud by (7) New Orleans in 6
This is my upset in the West. CP3 is pretty good at point. Chauncey Billups et al. can do their thing, but I don't know if it's enough.
(3) San Antonio spurring (6) Dallas in 2.
We'll beat'm so bad in the first two in San Antonio that David Stern invokes the mercy rule and calls the series.
(4) Portland nuked by the (5) Rockets in 6.
I don't consider this an upset, just facts.
Eastern Conference Semifinals
(1) Cleveland riding all over (4) Atlanta in 5, maybe burning it to the ground during King James's march to the sea. Let's face it. The Cavs are unstoppable this year.
(3) Boston tying (2) Orlando in 6, then both teams agreeing to take turns losing to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals. Let's face it. The Celtics and the Magic both limped into the postseason, both will limp past teams that wouldn't have made the top ten in the West, and both will limp into an embrace.
Western Conference Semifinals
Here we diverge. Dreamworld: Rockets blow up the dam, draining the Lakers in 6. Real world: Rockets fizzle in the Lakers in 6.
Dreamworld and Real World: (3) San Antonio swats (7) Hornets in 7. By this point, the Spurs will be getting tired, but they'll stop CP3 et al.
Eastern Conference Finals
(1) Cavs sweep (2-3) Bostando Magic Celtics in 7. Lebron takes on playing both shooting guard and small forward . . . at the same time.
Western Conference Finals
Dreamworld: I-10 Rivalry climaxes with a raucous game 7 in San Antonio, with the Spurs squeaking by in triple overtime on Tim Duncan's second career three-pointer.
Real World: Pau & Co. bloody up the Spurs in 6.
I have to confess. I hope this is the Cavs' year. I'd really like the Spurs to win it all again, but I'm not selfish. And if the Spurs make it to the Finals, that complicates everything. I mean---How beautiful would it be if King James and the Black Mamba squared off in an a m a z i n g seven game series for the ages? Maybe Kobe : Magic :: Lebron : Bird? If last year's finals were a shout out to the past, maybe this year's finals are a shout out to the present.