A look at how the two series that start on Monday night shape up.
2 Oklahoma City vs. 3 Clippers
Season series: Tied, 2-2.
Key stat: Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook averaged a combined 55.5 points per game during the Thunder's first-round series victory over Memphis.
Outlook: These teams are so evenly matched that it's hard to envision the series going any shorter than six games. The Clippers offset the Thunder's duo of Durant and Westbrook with superior depth and feature advantages in the coaching and intangibles departments, having withstood the furor of owner Donald Sterling's controversial comments and ensuing lifetime ban. Now it's going to be all about basketball, at least until the NBA makes its next move in its efforts to oust Sterling or V. Stiviano makes her next stop on the talk-show circuit. Oklahoma City has its own issues with the irrepressible Westbrook, who scores at a high volume but likes to run whatever play he wants, often involving out-of-control drives or forced jumpers. The Clippers could be the biggest coach killers of the playoffs after beating the Warriors' embattled Mark Jackson and potentially putting the Thunder's Scott Brooks in jeopardy of losing his job two years after reaching the finals.
Prediction: Clipper Nation continues its rapid border expansion. Clippers in seven.
1 Indiana vs. 5 Washington
Season series: Indiana, 2-1.
Key stat: Washington's Trevor Ariza made 46.4% of his three-pointers in the Wizards' first-round victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Outlook: Everything is trending toward an upset. Indiana needed seven games to dispatch eighth-seeded Atlanta in the first round, extending its struggles that started in early March when the team went 10-13 to close the regular season, including a loss to Washington. The Wizards defeated the defense-oriented Bulls in the first round, giving them the confidence they need to topple the similarly styled Pacers. Ariza is playing like it's 2009, enjoying a mid-career renaissance that plateaued against the Bulls when he averaged 15.6 points per game. Indiana's Roy Hibbert resembled a backup (and a bad one, at that) for the first six games of the series against the Hawks, scoring in single digits in each of the first four games and going scoreless in Games 5 and 6. The Pacers allowed Hawks guards to constantly spot up for open three-pointers; they will need to do a better job of slowing the Wizards' backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Prediction: A disastrous late season finishes in fittingly calamitous fashion for the Pacers. Wizards in six.