NBA/NHL Second Round Playoff Picks

Neel PatelContributor IMay 6, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY - APRIL 25:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks across the court in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Utah Jazz during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Energy Solutions Arena on April 25, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The Lakers won 108-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

What a first round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Can’t say the same for the NBA.

Although the Bulls-Celtics series might have been the best I have ever seen, next to my Warriors defeating the Mavericks in the first round as a No. 8 seed in 2007, the NHL has just been better.

I was 4-for-4 in both league's Eastern Conference, picking the Cavs, Hawks, Celtics, Magic, Penguins, Bruins, Capitals, and Hurricanes to advance.

The Western Conference was a little harder for me, as I selected the Lakers, Blazers, Spurs, and Nuggets, as well as the Sharks, Red Wings, Flames, and Canucks. After 8-for-8 in the East, I went only 4-for-8 in the West.

What can I say? I’m an East Coast boy.

Here are my second round picks for the NBA.

Cavaliers over Hawks in six (previous pick was Cavs over Hawks)

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I think the Hawks have matured and play great at home. They should be able to steal a game or two, but that's about it against the league's new MVP, LeBron James.

Magic over Celtics in seven (previous pick was Magic over Celtics)

If Kevin Garnett comes back from injury, I can see this going the other way for sure.

In fact, I’d pick the Celtics to play the Lakers in the finals again. But without KG, I just don’t see that next-generation All-Pro on the Celtics. We can make a case for Rajon Rondo, but he’s no Superman.

Dwight Howard leads his team past the defending champs.

Lakers over Rockets in six (previous pick was Lakers over Blazers)

Too much fire power on the Lakers. No experience past the first round on the Rockets.

This will lead to another early exit for Yao Ming and the Rockets. Down 1-0, Kobe will step his game up.

He isn’t one of the best player in the NBA for no reason.

Nuggets over Mavericks in five (previous pick was Nuggets over Spurs)

The Mavs should be able to steal a game at home, but the Nuggets are clicking on all cylinders. No one is going to stand in their way if they keep playing this way.

Question is: Can they keep it up?

Here are my picks for the later rounds:

Eastern Conference Finals: Cavaliers over Magic (same pick as before)

Western Conference Finals: Lakers over Nuggets (same pick as before)

NBA Finals: Lakers over Cavaliers (same pick as before)

Now onto the NHL: Once again, I called all four teams right in the East, but only half in the West.

My Stanley Cup Champion Sharks are out of the race early again. Sharks fans must be getting tired of this.

My Penguins are still in the race, but are now in a 2-0 hole.

Here are my picks:

Hurricanes over Bruins in six (previous pick was Canes over Bruins)

Cam Ward vs. Tim Thomas.

What a show Ward has put on so far, while Thomas hasn’t really been tested, but was the best goalie during the regular season.

I think the Canes have the experience—especially at goalie—to sneak past the Bruins.

Penguins over Capitals in seven (previous pick was Pens over Caps)

Man oh man, I’m so disappointed with the way the series is going, but only from a Penguin fan's perspective. As a hockey fan, I haven’t seen many better offensive games than the first two of this series.

Hat tricks for Crosby and Ovechkin in the same game!?

They’re putting on a show. The difference has been that Malkin hasn’t shown up and that Varlamov has been slightly better than Fleury. I don’t want to change my pick, but I’ll admit, I’m scared out of my pants right now.

Due to reseeding, my West picks are all messed up. I had the Sharks over the Flames and the Wings over the Canucks.

Here are my new picks:

Wings over the Ducks in seven.

I want to pick the Ducks, but I just can’t pick against the defending champs.

They have a big name at every position, from Hossa to Osgood to Zetterberg to Datsyuk, who is in the running for MVP.

Jonas Hiller has been great, but can he pull a Giguere? I don’t think he’ll be able to.

Canucks over Blackhawks in five.

The Sedin brothers are proving to be too much.

Khabibulin is not the same goalie he once was, and Luongo is proving to be a bit better right now.

The Blackhawks may steal another game, but I think the Canucks take the series.

Later round picks:

Eastern Conference Finals: Pens over Canes (Same pick as before.)

Western Conference Finals: Canucks over Wings (I'm changing my picks, I’ve become a Canucks believer.)

Stanley Cup Finals: Canucks over Pens (Poor Sharks’ fans.)

Until the next round, let me know what you guys think.