The Miami Heat are set to run away with the NBA championship. The franchise led by James is too talented, a lone shark in a fishbowl drained of opposing superstar talent.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, thought of as inevitable runner-up, will struggle to return to the NBA Finals without superstar Russell Westbrook.
The San Antonio Spurs swept through their first-round series against the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers, and though they seem fine now, the team has lingering health concerns of its own.
Of course, the Memphis Grizzlies already fell behind against the Thunder, but they still remain a contender. Meanwhile, the feel-good Golden State Warriors will need more than just Stephen Curry's shooting to get past the Spurs.
Then there's the Eastern Conference, as contending teams move closer to the roadblock that is the Heat.
The Chicago Bulls limp into their series against Miami—sick, tired and in need of a miracle.
The New York Knicks could shoot themselves out of their second-round series against the Indiana Pacers. And as for the Pacers, could they become the only true test for Miami through the Eastern Conference?
As action moves into the second round, the odds increase for each remaining team.