A spot in the conference finals are the prize and 16 teams are vying for it.  Let’s take a look at both of the leagues who are battling it out in the post season right now.

NBA

There’s only one game set to take place tonight, with Atlanta Hawks going to Orlando to face the Magic in game 2.  Orlando won the first game by a wide margin and it’s likely they will continue winning this series unless they sustain a serious injury to Dwight Howard or Jameer Nelson.  I don’t have a stake in this series, as neither team would be my pick to go to the NBA Finals, as I believe either one would lose to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

Friday night sees game 3 of the high profile series between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers, each having already won a game.  Though I’d be fine if the Celtics won the championship this year, I’d prefer to see LeBron James finally get an NBA Title, as that seems to be the differentiator people continually use to state that Kobe Bryant is the better player.

Also on the slate for Friday night is game 3 of the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs, with Phoenix holding a 2 game lead.  I like Steve Nash and would like to see the Suns in the NBA Finals, so I’m happy with how this series is progressing.

All the Los Angeles Lakers fans will have to wait until Saturday to see game 3 with the Utah Jazz.  The Lakers hold a 2 game lead in that series, and though I dislike both of these teams, I don’t care which one advances.  If either of them gets to the NBA Finals, I’d love to see either the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers take the title.  The Utah Jazz would likely pose less of a threat, but everyone I talk to who supports LeBron James would like to see the Cavaliers defeat Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals.  I’d be nervous to see that match-up, but it doesn’t matter to me much either way.

NHL

Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers last night 4 to 1, putting Philly on the brink of elimination at 3 games to 0 in a best of 7 series.  I couldn’t be happier about this as a Washington Capitals fan.  I like the mix of veteran and young talent that Boston has, and I like their chances in the Finals and the Stanley Cup if injuries don’t wear them down (as we’re seeing with the Flyers).  Bruins centerman David Krejci is out for the remainder of the playoffs after suffering a broken wrist last night.
My prediction:  Boston wins game 5 after the Flyers pick up a single victory to avoid the sweep.

Chicago Blackhawks took control of their series with the Vancouver Canucks last night, going up 2 games to 1 with a 5-2 victory, gaining an unlikely hat trick from defenseman-turned-forward Dustin Byfuglien.  I’m a fan of the Red Wings after having visited my wife’s family in Detroit, and I’d like to see the Sharks do well based on Joe Thornton being one of my favorite players dating back to his days with the Boston Bruins, so it doesn’t really matter to me which of them moves on to the Western Conference Finals, but I would like to see Chicago Blackhawks advance to play one of those teams.  Chicago’s got a great young team, and I’d be excited about either match-up for them.  Plus, Chicago’s a great town that I’d be interested in living in someday.
My Prediction: Chicago wins the series 4 games to 1

Tonight has two games on the slate.
Pittsburgh Penguins look to put the Montreal Canadians further in the hole in game 4 of their series tonight.  The defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins are winning 2 games to 1, but you can expect the Canadians to fight until they’re completely eliminated as they did in the first round against the Washington Capitals, staving off 3 straight elimination games.  When they played on Tuesday night, the Penguins won 2-0, though it was a 1-0 game until the last minutes of the game.
My Prediction:  Pittsburgh wins the series 4 games to 2.

The San Jose Sharks can eliminate the Detroit Red Wings tonight, but with Game 4 in Hockeytown up in Michigan, you can bet that Detroit is going to be tough to beat.  The Red Wings lost in overtime on Tuesday by a score of 4-3, but that game was in Detroit’s favor late into the contest by a score of 3-1 and the Red Wings couldn’t find the knockout punch to end the game.
My Prediction:  San Jose wins the series 4 games to 2.