The second round of the NBA playoffs are close to finished. All that's left is one final series between the 76ers and Celtics. Boston has a commanding 3-1 lead and are one win away from a rematch with the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.
As for everybody else, the Cavs took care of the Raptors with relative ease in a 4-0 second-round sweep. The Warriors and Rockets both won their series in a quick five games. It was a bit of a surprise to see so much dominance in the second round after such an entertaining and close first round.
Our CBS Sports experts made predictions before the second round began on who they believed would advance to the conference finals.
No. 1 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz
Reiter: A Rockets team that's not as sure a thing in the postseason as many want to believe have their hands full against a Utah squad that's seen the rise of rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell and has been among the game's best stretching back to January, when Rudy Gobert returned from injury. Prediction: Rockets in 7.
Forgrave: The best matchup of the second round: The NBA's best offense against the NBA's best defense. We saw in the first few games of the Rockets-Timberwolves series that the Rockets can sometimes struggle to find a rhythm - but when they do -- like in the third quarter of Game 4 -- watch out. Ultimately, Utah's lack of offensive creators will doom the Jazz. Prediction: Rockets in 7.
Botkin: This will not be an easy six. I'm tempted to say it'll go seven, but the Ricky Rubio injury hurts the Jazz more than I ever thought losing Rubio would hurt any team. As the Minnesota series went on, Houston found its stride and if they keep shooting the way they're capable of, I don't think Utah can keep up. But man, Donovan Mitchell is something. I'm having a hard time going against him right now. Prediction: Rockets in 6.
Herbert: I love this Jazz team, but I can't see Rudy Gobert dominating the way he usually does against the Rockets' 3-point-heavy attack. I was going to say this would last six games, but the Ricky Rubio news is a big blow for Utah. Prediction: Rockets in 5.
Ward-Henninger: While the Rockets have long been considered a shoo-in to face Golden State in the Western Conference finals, this Jazz team will not go down without a fight. Utah's playing cohesive, inspired basketball right now, and the only thing stopping it from winning this series is the Rockets' ability to put points on the board. The Jazz defense will be stingy as usual, but great offense beats great defense, particularly in a Game 7 at home. Prediction: Rockets in 7.
Maloney: The Jazz were terrific in their first-round series win, but unfortunately for them, they don't get to play the Thunder again. Instead, they'll face off against a much better (and more balanced) Rockets team. It should be an interesting series stylistically, as one of the best offenses in the league meets one of the best defenses. But in the end, the Rockets will prove too talented, and move on to the Western Conference finals. Prediction: Rockets in 5.
Barnewall: The Rockets blew through the first round, but they showed some offensive struggles against a pretty beatable Timberwolves defense. Houston is still the definite favorite going into this series, but Utah's a much stronger defensive team and should be taken very seriously. There is a lot of upset potential here. All of that said, it's hard to go against the likely MVP in James Harden. Prediction: Rockets in 6.
No. 2 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans
Reiter: It's a shot in the dark without knowing Curry's status. Still, give me the defending champions. Prediction: Warriors in 6.
Forgrave: With Steph Curry's injury keeping him out, and with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday continuing to play at a high level, the defending champs will struggle mightily and go down 3-2. But a triumphant Curry return in Game 6 will propel the Warriors to the Western Conference Finals. Prediction: Warriors in 7.
Botkin: The run ends here for New Orleans, though I don't expect it to be easy for Golden State. I expect Stephen Curry to return by mid-series, and defending Curry is different than defending Damian Lillard, with all due respect to the Blazers star. The Pelicans have the ability to match up with Golden State. Jrue Holiday is elite on the perimeter and can check Klay Thompson and/or Curry. Nikola Mirotic showed he can defend high as a switcher/shader on pick and rolls, and you'll see Anthony Davis on Kevin Durant plenty. But each one of those matchups is a little bit of a stretch, and by the end of games and the series, it'll just be too much for the Pelicans to maintain to keep up with Golden State. Prediction: Warriors in 6.
Herbert: Maybe I'm overreacting to almost the entire NBA intelligentsia underestimating the Pelicans (or overestimating the Blazers, I guess) in the first round, but I don't feel right predicting that they will go down easily against an incomplete Warriors team. Of course, if Stephen Curry returns earlier than expected and doesn't have much rust, this could be over much more quickly than my prognostication. Prediction: Warriors in 6.
Ward-Henninger: The Pelicans come in red-hot, but this is a focused, united Warriors team. New Orleans pushes the pace, which plays into the Warriors' hands, particularly if Steph Curry comes back. It's been a great ride for the Pelicans, but it ends here. Prediction: Warriors in 5.
Maloney: The Pelicans have a top six or seven guy in the league in Anthony Davis and played some fantastic basketball in their first-round sweep of the Trail Blazers, but their season will come to an end in the second round. Despite the momentum they carry into the series, the Warriors are just too good, too talented. Steph Curry's absence may cost them a few games, but the Warriors will take this series. Prediction: Warriors in 6.
Barnewall: The Warriors could easily blow this series out of the water and sweep the Pelicans handily. However, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday have earned the respect of giving them at least two games, and especially if Curry doesn't play at the start of the series. If New Orleans is going to have a chance it will be through Davis and his size, but the Warriors are just too talented. They still have Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green is a defensive force. How do the Pelicans plan to slow down and keep up with Klay Thompson? There are just too many problems the Pelicans have to solve if they're going to win four games. Prediction: Warriors in 6.
No. 1 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers
Forgrave: A difficult series to predict. The Raptors were tied for the best home record in the NBA, and have home-court advantage all through the Eastern Conference playoffs; the Cavaliers were basically a .500 road team this season. The Raptors biggest strength may be their depth; the Cavaliers are, um, a bit imbalanced, with a supporting cast that veers between mediocre and awful (and lately more toward the awful). And yet: LeBronLeBronLeBronLeBronLeBron. Maybe his body breaks down after a grueling seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers. But I'm not going to bet against LeBron. Prediction: Cavaliers in 7.
Botkin: I picked the Cavs at the start of the playoffs, but to see how much they had to struggle to get through Indiana, LeBron having to avenge 42 points in the four wins, I just think it's too much to ask of one guy against a deep Toronto team that has Fred VanVleet back. Kyle Lowry will have a big series with Cleveland's defensive attention focused more on DeRozan, and I don't see Tristan Thompson repeating his Game 7 effort over an entire series. Prediction: Raptors in 6.
Herbert: No outcome in this series would surprise me. I guess I'll take the more cohesive and deeper team rather than the one that is just sort of winging it. (Yes, I realize I'm betting on a 24-year-old second-year player -- Pascal Siakam -- and a 20-year-old rookie -- O.G. Anunoby -- to be LeBron James' primary defenders. Ugh, this feels stupid. Can't I just sit this prediction out?) Prediction: Raptors in 6.
Ward-Henninger: This series is incredibly hard to predict even though the Raptors are a far superior team, since we just saw the Cavs beat a superior team based solely on the efforts of LeBron James. You have to believe that he's going to get more contributions from his teammates this round as the Cavs continue to learn to play together and Tyronn Lue figures out the rotation. Toronto has a huge bench advantage, but ultimately I trust LeBron in a Game 7 more than I trust the Raptors. Prediction: Cavaliers in 7.
Maloney: I'm just not picking against LeBron James when he's playing the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs. Prediction: Cavaliers in 6.
Barnewall: Picking against LeBron James is never the right decision, but the Raptors have spent this entire season consistently exceeding expectations. The Raps could have handled the Wizards a little more easily, but they were missing Fred VanVleet for nearly the entire first round. The Cavs, on the other hand, struggled to play consistently all season long. No switch has been flipped. Kevin Love doesn't look healthy. George Hill might be hurt too. James is the ultimate equalizer and is good enough to win this series on his own, but can his supporting cast rise up for him? So far they haven't and against Toronto that isn't going to be enough. Prediction: Raptors in 6.
No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers
Forgrave: Another obstacle in a season full of obstacles for Brad Stevens with Jaylen Brown's injury keeping him out of Game 1, and perhaps longer. Obstacles haven't seemed to matter all that much to Stevens so far; find me another NBA coach who will win a first-round series despite missing his two best players. But Stevens' magic runs out here. The talent disparity is just too big. And while I think Marcus Smart can keep Ben Simmons in check, I can't imagine Al Horford or Aron Baynes being able to stop Joel Embiid. Prediction: 76ers in 6.
Botkin: It is bordering on amazing that this Celtics team is in the second round despite being without their two best players, but the run stops here. Just too much talent on the Sixers, plain and simple. They have shooters everywhere, perhaps two of the 10 best players in the world, an elite defense, and a ton of confidence. The Sixers will win going away. Prediction: Sixers in 5.
Herbert: The Celtics overcame a talent disadvantage against the Bucks because of coaching and cohesion, but these are not areas in which the Sixers struggle. Philadelphia might take a game or so to adjust to Boston's stout defense, but it has much more firepower and an awesome defense of its own. Prediction: 76ers in 5.
Ward-Henninger: As great of a story as the resilient Celtics have been, Philly is just far too talented on both sides of the ball. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid present matchup nightmares, and Boston just won't be able to score enough to keep up. The Celtics' defense and grit will get them a couple of wins, but ultimately it'll be the Sixers in the Eastern Conference finals. Prediction: 76ers in 6.
Maloney: I'm not sure this series is going to be as easy for Philly as a lot of people are expecting, but they should advance. The Celtics were likely already too shorthanded heading into the series, and now it seems as though Jaylen Brown is not going to be 100 percent due to the hamstring injury he suffered in Game 7 vs. Milwaukee. A Celtics win wouldn't shock me just because of how well they've responded to adversity this season, but this is probably where the run ends. Prediction: 76ers in 6.
Barnewall: The Celtics are just too injured to hang with the 76ers. They needed seven games to beat a not-so-great Bucks team. Philadelphia has been rolling and it's hard to not see it getting past Boston. If the Celtics are going to have a chance, they'll need to find a way to contain Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Is that possible? We'll find out. Prediction: 76ers in 5.