Boston's impressive display against Cleveland hasn't convinced ESPN's NBA experts. They all unanimously picked Orlando to win the series. John Hollinger even goes so far as to say, "There's simply no plausible reason to bet against them." The overall consensus is that Orlando is superior on both ends of the court. The Celtics will certainly have something to say about that later today. Below are the picks of ESPN's Chris Sheridan, Kevin Arnovitz, John Hollinger, and Marc Stein:
Abbott: Orlando. Boston manages to make every playoff series it ever plays in into a dogfight with that most honorable effort on defense, but the Magic are the better team, and they have home-court advantage.
Arnovitz: Orlando. The Magic have the best offense remaining in the postseason coupled with the stingiest defense. They're indomitable until proven otherwise.
Hollinger: Orlando. The Magic are 27-3 with a +14.0 scoring margin in their past 30 games, have home-court advantage, won three of the four regular-season meetings, and beat Boston last year with Rafer Alston in place of Jameer Nelson. They have the best players, more depth and more rest. There's simply no plausible reason to bet against them.
Sheridan: Orlando in seven on the strength of its 3-point shooting, and Howard raising his game to a new level over the course of the series. I'd even venture to say his free throw shooting takes a sharp turn for the better.
Stein: Orlando in six. The Magic's offensive prowess will trump Boston's suffocating D.
Looks like the Celtics will have to try and prove the world wrong, again. Or, atleast ESPN's experts.