Is there a series in the 2009 Playoffs -- outside of Lakers v. FearMongers Jazz, that seems less likely to end in an upset? Because I'm pretty sure the answer is "no." (See our predictions, if you don't believe me.) I'll justify the other sweeps like this: Detroit is still Detroit, Boston doesn't have Kevin Garnett and we're all to scared to pick against Dwyane Wade. Of course, a certain post-powered, caped-crusader is the same reason that I'm not even contemplating a Philadelphia win, so maybe it evens out.
The same reason you watch the Discovery Channel when they show an 800-pound gorilla storming through a village, mauling locals with its size, leaving a trail of destruction in its path: Dwight Howard! (What? It's better than abusing that worn out bull-china-shop thing.) Seriously, do you need a better reason?
How Philadelphia Can Win
By hiring Judge Smails to take out Howard's hamstring. No, no. Seriously. That's the only way. Well, actually the Sixers do have enough big bodies to throw at Howard (including the corpse of Theo Ratliff and the young and talented Marrese Speights) and at least hope to get him in foul trouble. Assuming they can pull that off -- or at least keep him from being uber-destructive -- then the perimeter defense has to keep Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis from going berserker from three-point land. Note the last time these teams met (granted it was late February) Howard was relatively ineffective -- 12/8/3 -- but Turkoglu and Lewis went 8/13 from beyond the arc in a Magic win.
Elton Brand. You may recall the Sixers' huge free agency splash, when they signed Brand this offseason. A few quick fantasy draft selections by yours truly and the big man was out for the year. Now, the Sixers have to advance in the playoffs against man-beast-bear-pig-child Howard with little-to-no post game. That seems a bit unlikely. Plus, you totally dogged me Brand. Tanks for nothin'!
Philadelphia: No one.
Orlando in four. Philly's had too much good postseason karma lately. Bring the brooms.