So how exactly will the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers play out? CelticsBlog's writing team weighs in with its predictions and thoughts:
Jeff Clark: Celtics in 7 games. Voting more with my heart than my head here, but there's a chance. There's enough talent in our starting lineup for them to reach deep down and overcome the depth that the Cavs have. Cleveland may have the best player on the floor, but if the Celts play the way they are capable of, they can be the better team. Here's hoping anyway.
Green17: Celtics in 4 games. Yeah, I said it. One key for me is that Rajon cannot become timid if LeBron stuffs a layup or two.
Steve Weinman: Celtics in 7 games. I hope.
IndeedProceed: Celtics in 7 games. While I can't in good conscience pick us to win in 4 or 5 games, I also can't pick us to lose. The big 4 step it up, and Glen Davis double clotheslines LeBron James and Anderson Varejao simuntaneously for the win.
Jimmy Toscano: Celtics in 6 games. Expect big things out of RR this series. LBJ will get to the line faster than you can say Tim Donaghy, but if the Celts can hold down his supporting cast much like they did with the Heat (this will be a bit tougher) they'll be set. The bench (TA, Davis, even Quis) will have to step up defensively. Ray is feeling it, so get him open.
tenaciousT: Celtics in 7 games. My head says Cavs in 6, but my heart says Celtics in 7. I'll go with my heart and hope. The way the Celtics played the season did nothing to endear themselves to referees nor was it the right way to play themselves into the playoffs.
Glen Davis will struggle against the tall and talented front line of the Cavs, I'm afraid to say. He'll need to use that spot up jumper more and look for breaks in the interior defense, unless he gains the call with contact. This is the time Rasheed has to step up on the inside. Rondo has had problems against the interior D of the Cavs in the past. This year he has improved quite a bit. They will need Rondo to solve the Cavs' D for himself and others. A great series is required by at least 2 of the Big Four and Ray must hit that jumper more often than not.
FLCeltsFan: Celtics in 6 games. I think the Celtics finally begin playing like they are capable of and they surprise the Cavs. They win one of the first 2 in Cleveland and then all three on their home court.
Roy Hobbs: Celtics in 7 games. The teams traditionally play each other closely, and the Celts have proven that they can win on the road. I think Ray Allen will be a major difference maker in this series, and I expect that BBD will solidify his role as a fan favorite with some big hustle plays.
Greg Payne: Celtics in 6 games. Ray Allen's the player to watch, with Rajon Rondo not far behind. Paul Pierce will be the hero at some point, and - I'm going to say it - Rasheed Wallace will make a positive impact on this series. The Celtics will steal Game 1, lose Game 2, take Games 3 and 4 at home, lose Game 5 at the Q, and return to Boston to close it out in Game 6.