Thanks to lockout, the 2012 NBA Playoff Schedule is a bit wacky. We've already had two games played in the Eastern Conference Semifinals while in the West, Round 2 doesn't start until Monday and Tuesday. To get the schedules back on tract, we'll also be treated to back-to-back games in the Spurs vs. Clippers and Lakers vs. Thunder series while the Heat vs. Pacers and Celtics vs. 76ers will play a more normal playoff series.
Here's predictions for the four series and the schedules for the next games:
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Game 1 Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on TNT
The Spurs rolled through the first round and have been resting and practicing for ages. They will be as healthy as any team still playing and with their depth and versatility should have no problem taking care of the Clippers. Tony Parker will make Chris Paul work on the defensive end and wear him down and the Clippers don't have enough size to both San Antonio in the front court.
Prediction: Spurs in five
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Game 1 Monday at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on TNT
This series has the potential to go seven games. The Thunder has a huge advantage at the point guard spot while the Lakers still have the best two bigs in the game...sometimes. A lot of these games will be determined by how physical the officials allow Metta World Peace to be with Kevin Durant away from the ball. We've seen Durant limited at time when guys play him tough and deny the pass. The Lakers have the tools to win this series but we've not seen them play well enough as a team to think they will.
Prediction: Thunder in seven
Game 2 Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT on ABC
The Heat already hold a 1-0 lead in this series but they will potentially be without Chris Bosh due to an abdominal strain. Indiana has a lot of weapons without Bosh, they should be able to focus their defense even more on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The Heat are still the favorites but the Pacers can win this series.
Prediction: Pacers in seven
Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Game 2 Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT on TNT
The Celtics took the first game of this series, but the 76ers are far more athletic and younger. We already saw Ray Allen and Paul Pierce struggle through the first round and if the Sixers can extend this series by winning Game 2 on the road, they have a very good chance of winning in seven.
Prediction: Sixers in seven
What are your picks?