NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Friday, May 8

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Friday, May 8

NBA Playoff Picks and Predictions for Friday

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Friday, May 8.

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Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic, 7:05PM ET

With Rafer Alston suspended and Jameer Nelson already injured, the Orlando Magic are running out of point guards.

The NBA suspended Alston one game Thursday for slapping Eddie House in the back of the head, leaving the team in the hands of 34-year-old Anthony Johnson and seldom-used Tyronn Lue for Friday's Game 3 against the Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Alston contended afterward that House goaded him into the play. A Magic spokesman said Alston was not planning to comment until Friday's morning shootaround.

Physical play has frustrated the Magic throughout the playoffs and ballooned into a series of foolish retaliations, a formula the Celtics look to continue as the series shifts to Orlando tied.

Dwight Howard lost his cool and elbowed Samuel Dalembert in the head to draw a suspension for Game 6 of their first-round series against Philadelphia - but Orlando still managed to win. Hedo Turkoglu was ejected in Game 6 for an incident with Dalembert, and the usually calm J.J. Redick was tossed Wednesday against Boston for arguing with officials after he fouled out.

NBA Free Pick: Boston | Best Line: +4.5 Sports Interaction

Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets, 9:35PM ET

Round 3 might be a more fitting label than Game 3 when the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets meet Friday night in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Ron Artest of the Rockets and Derek Fisher of the Lakers were ejected in separate incidents and a total of five technical fouls were called in Los Angeles' testy 111-98 victory on Wednesday night that evened the series at 1-1.

On Thursday, the NBA suspended Fisher for Game 3 after he decked Luis Scola with a shoulder block as the Rockets forward set a pick. Houston coach Rick Adelman called the shot ``malicious'' and said the suspension was justified.

NBA Free Pick: LA Lakers | Best Line: -1.5 Sports Interaction

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