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2012 NBA Playoffs: Conference Semifinal Predictions

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2012 NBA Playoffs: Conference Semifinal Predictions
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Nothing like a little bit of controversy and beef leading into a playoff series

So far the NBA Playoffs have been entertaining as usual, mixed in with an element of surprise.  Often the reasoning for teams winning or losing in unexpected fashion has been the result of injury, which seems to be the theme in this strike-shortened season of 2012. 

The favorites going into the playoffs for the most part have gotten through fine, but it seems that all of the evenly-matched series have been entertaining and lengthy. 

The Boston/Atlanta series was thrilling. There was an absolute slugfest between the Clippers and Grizzlies that went seven games. The Nuggets gave the Lakers all that they could handle unexpectedly and forced a Game 7. And the ugly, but defensive branded Bulls/Sixers series had several close games as well.

You cannot ask for much more.

In the conference semifinals, it is hard to tell if we will have an encore of such closely contested battles.  Based on the matchups, the series could go either way.  We could either have a couple series that go the distance and swing either way with uncertainty, or we could possibly have four quick and rather uninteresting series pass us by. 

Either way, I think this makes it hard to predict winners because there are so many different variables that could effect the outcome.  After each series has opened up their respective series and played Game 1, this is how I see each matchup playing out.

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