While the other teams are fighting it out to see how moves to the next round, four teams punched their tickets early and have moved on. They’re not waiting around for the others and get underway this Saturday. These games can be seen on TNT : We know drama.
Eastern Conference Semifinal
Orlando vs. Detroit - The Pistons sent Philadelphia home early, so the Sixers are now on a golf course somewhere in the greater Philly area. Detroit bounced back big after losing game one in that series and will need to start strong if they want to beat Orlando. While they shot well from the free throw line, they have to do better from the field (48 percent, 38 from the three point line. Rasheed Wallace can step it up and do better than averaging 14.5 ppg but he did have Chauncey Billips, Tayshaun Price and Richard Hamilton to pick him up.
Dwight Howard admitted that he did smoke marijuana during the playoffs and with a 22.6 ppg average in the playoffs, Toronto wished he inhaled. He was a holy nightmare for the Raptors and the Pistons know this and will have to contain him to be successful.
Unlike the series that the two teams played, this is NOT going to be a blowout and may be one of the better series in the Eastern Division. Orlando may play Detroit tough but I’m going with the Pistons in 6, because of the experience.
Western Conference Semifinal
San Antonio vs. New Orleans - Tony Parker (also known as Mr. Eva Longoria) and Tim Duncan. 29 and 24 ppg, respectively. The defending World Champs proved that Shaq was no match. In fact, they treated Big Aristotle like he was Goliath and they were David. Enough said. This team could (and will be) a force to be reckoned with.
New Orleans looked like world beaters against Dallas in the first round. That was Dallas and Mark Cuban, who gave his former coach Avery Johnson the pink slip after the series ended. San Antonio looked too strong in game five at home, which means that the Hornets will have to bring their A++ game to the court. Once again, experience wins out. San Antonio squashes the bugs from the Big Easy in 5.