NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Wednesday May 6

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Wednesday May 6

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Wednesday

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Wednesday, May 6.

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Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics, 8:05PM ET

The defending champion Boston Celtics lost the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Orlando, then they turned on the television and watched Los Angeles, their opponent in last year's NBA finals, lose Game 1 of its second-round series in the West.

Paul Pierce doesn't understand why anyone is surprised.

``The teams that are left are the top four teams in their conferences. Every series is going to be competitive,'' he said Tuesday, a day after the Celtics erased most - but not enough - of a 28-point deficit and lost 95-90 to the Orlando Magic. ``Whatever you did in the regular season, it's a whole new ballgame.''

The Celtics needed no reminder after their first-round series against the seventh-seeded Bulls, in which a record four games went into an unprecedented total of seven overtimes. Boston also lost Game 1 of that series to cough up home court advantage but took Game 3 in Chicago to win it back.

NBA Free Pick: Boston | Best Line: -3.5 Sports Interaction

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:35PM ET

The Lakers were abject failures in their Western Conference semifinal opener against the Houston Rockets. It was hard to tell, though, by Kobe Bryant's downright cheerful attitude Tuesday.

``We played really bad,'' he said of the 100-92 loss in which the Lakers shot 44 percent from the floor, were 2-of-18 from 3-point range, and 12-of-19 from the line.

Sensing panic in the streets among Laker fans, Bryant offered up some calming words.

``It's not like it's the end of the world,'' he said. ``We're not the first team ever to lose a Game 1 at home, it's just here in Los Angeles, people get pretty nervous.''

Bryant isn't among them.

NBA Free Pick: Houston | Best Line: +9.5 Sports Interaction

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