Matchups in the second round of the NBA playoffs:
No. 1 INDIANA (56-26, 3-2) vs. No. 5 PHILADELPHIA (49-33, 3-1)
Probable starters: Indiana -- Rik Smits, Dale Davis, Jalen Rose, Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson. Philadelphia -- Theo Ratliff, Tyrone Hill, George Lynch, Allen Iverson, Eric Snow.
Key reserves: Indiana -- Travis Best, Austin Croshere, Derrick McKey. Philadelphia -- Aaron McKie, Matt Geiger, Toni Kukoc, Kevin Ollie.
Season series: 2-2.
Storyline: One of the league's greatest scorers, Iverson, against one of its best playoff performers, Miller. Subplot: Larry Bird vs. the coach he replaced, Larry Brown.
Prediction: 76ers in 6.
No. 2 MIAMI (52-30, 3-0) vs. No. 3 NEW YORK (50-32, 3-0)
Probable starters: Miami -- Alonzo Mourning, P.J. Brown, Jamal Mashburn, Dan Majerle, Anthony Carter. New York -- Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston, Charlie Ward.
Key reserves: Miami -- Tim Hardaway, Bruce Bowen, Voshon Lenard, Clarence Weatherspoon, Otis Thorpe. New York -- Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Chris Childs, John Wallace.
Season series: Miami 3-1.
Storyline: Fourth straight playoff meeting. Expect the unexpected, and don't believe all this recent talk that the rivalry is less intense than it once was.
Prediction: Knicks in 7.
No. 1 LOS ANGELES LAKERS (67-15, 3-2) vs. No. 5 PHOENIX (53-29, 3-1)
Probable starters: Lakers -- Shaquille O'Neal, A.C. Green, Glen Rice, Kobe Bryant, Ron Harper. Phoenix -- Luc Longley, Cliff Robinson, Shawn Marion, Penny Hardaway, Jason Kidd.
Key reserves: Lakers -- Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry. Phoenix -- Rodney Rogers, Kevin Johnson, Todd Day.
Season series: Lakers swept 4-0.
Lakers edge: No surprise that O'Neal dominated the season series against the Suns' and their one true center, Longley. More of the same can be expected in this series.
Suns edge: Kidd is recovered from a broken ankle and looked good in the finale of the first-round series against the Spurs. Hardaway can give Bryant problems if he plays inspired defense, and Rogers gives the Suns the edge off the bench. Robinson has the capability to shut down Rice if coach Danny Ainge gives him that assignment.
Storyline: If the Kings can throw a scare into the Lakers, why can't the Suns? After all, they just knocked off the defending NBA champions.
Prediction: Lakers in 5.
No. 3 PORTLAND (59-23, 3-1) vs. No. 2 UTAH (55-27, 3-2)
Probable starters: Utah -- Olden Polynice, Karl Malone, Bryon Russell, Jeff Hornacek, John Stockton. Portland -- Arvydas Sabonis, Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen, Steve Smith, Damon Stoudamire.
Key reserves: Utah -- Howard Eisley, Armen Gilliam, Greg Ostertag. Portland -- Brian Grant, Detlef Schrempf, Bonzi Wells, Greg Anthony.
Season series: Portland won 3-1.
Storyline: Sloan, Malone or Wallace: Who gets called for the most technical fouls?
Prediction: Blazers in 5.
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