Reseeding the playoff teams after the opening round is practically over.
1. Boston Celtics-Despite their advancing basketball age and questions of interior toughness after the trade of Kendrick Perkins, the Boston Celtics showed the world in round 1 that they still have what it takes to win it all. After sweeping the Knicks, Boston got some much needed time to rest and heal and should be fresh for their match-up against the Miami Heat.
2. Los Angeles Lakers- For the first four games of their series with New Orleans, the Lakers looked old and tired, barely managing to eek out 2 wins. Then Kobe put down a ferocious dunk early in game 5 and the Lakers have since looked like the team everyone expected them to be. With a second round match-up against the always dangerous Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers will need every ounce of that swagger to advance to the Conference Finals.
3. Chicago Bull-They are young, hungry and have home field advantage. They also got a break when Atlanta came out and clobbered the Orlando Magic. The Bulls stack up well against the Hawks and should be able to advance as long as Derrick Rose stays healthy.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder-Speaking of young and hungry, the Oklahoma Thunder are for real. Looking at round 1, I feel they had the toughest opponent in the Denver Nuggets and they managed to handle them with barely a sweat. If the pressure doesn't get to them and Westbrook can slow down a bit with all the shots he's taking, then the Thunder are legit threats to make it out of the West.
5. Miami Heat- As long as the Heat have their 'big 3' then they are going to be a threat in any game they play. Unfortunately, without depth and quality bigs, they are about to run into a buzz-saw when they face the deeper, overall more talented Celtics.
6. Dallas Mavericks- Dallas has to fall under the headline of underachievers due to their recent playoff disappointments. They face a tough test in the Lakers and will need to overcome any doubts and play above themselves if they hope to advance.
7. Atlanta Hawks-Kudo's to the Hawks for curb-stomping the Orlando Magic in the first round and probably causing the end of Dwight Howard's Magic career. Atlanta finally played up to their talent and potential, something they have struggled with in the past. They will need an even greater performance in round 2, however, if they are going to beat the Bulls.
8. San Antonio Spurs/Memphis Grizzlies-Whatever the outcome of this series, I don't like the future forecast of either of these teams as the winner is set to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in round 2. That match-up is not going to be good for either team and a possible sweep is in the future for one of these teams.