Analysis: If the Cleveland Cavs were destined to win a championship, this would be the season to finish what they started. LeBron James and company have jammed down on the accelerator for 82 games and need to continue to apply that pressure to every team they face if they want to reach the NBA Finals. Cavs'' owner Dan Gilbert spent the money to bring the remaining pieces of the playoff puzzle to Cleveland. Shaquille O''Neal, though hurt now, will return to join forces with Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison, the other two fresh faces in the Cavs postseason line-up. From the perimeter Mo'' Williams and Delonte West will continue to carry the load with Daniel Gibson acting as their long range threat. The X-factor in this post-season remains Anderson Varejao, but don''t discredit the contributions of Jawad Williams and J.J. Hickson who have proved themselves throughout the course of the season as viable options off the bench.
Analysis: The Boston Celtics are proving the opposite that things get better with age. Two years removed from winning the NBA title, basketball fans have written off this year''s Celtics as a true contender for a NBA title. Boston began as a project focused around the "Big 3", but have since blossomed into a five man team. Rajon Rondo has grown over the past few NBA seasons, but consistency remains the pitfall for the young man out of Kentucky. He can put up the numbers and make the highlight reel on the late sportscast, but can he do it on a nightly basis? Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett will no doubt have to dig deep and try to break out some old school tricks to have any chance of surviving the Eastern Conference playoffs. The X-factors for them are two more veterans coming off the bench in Rasheed Wallace and Michael Finley. They have the playoff experience and the rings to prove it.
Player of the series: Cavs - LeBron James (35 ppg, 9 rpg)
Chances of Winning Conference Semi-Finals: Cavs 75% - Celtics 13.4%