No. 1 Cleveland Cavaliers
How they got here: Defeated No. 8 Detroit 4-0; defeated No. 4 Atlanta 4-0
Coach: Mike Brown (fourth year).
Why they will advance: The Cavaliers have dominated in the first two rounds of the playoffs and have homecourt advantage throughout thanks to their 66-16 regular-season record. Orlando will struggle to find a way to slow league MVP LeBron James, who has averaged 32.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists during the playoffs.
Why they won’t: If there is any chink in the Cavaliers’ armor, it could be rust. They will enter Wednesday night’s opener having not played a game since May 11. The Cavaliers and their coach, Mike Brown, have both said it’s difficult to maintain a rhythm with such extended periods of rest, but at the same time, it keeps them fresh.
No. 3 Orlando Magic
How they got here: Defeated No. 6 Philadelphia 4-2; defeated No. 2 Boston 4-3
Coach: Stan Van Gundy (second year in Orlando, fifth overall)
Why they will advance: It will be tough, but the Magic at least can bank on the fact that they are battle-tested. If Van Gundy gets Dwight Howard the ball, the Cavaliers will have their hands full in the middle.
Why they won’t: Cleveland is such a formidable opponent with the ultimate threat in LeBron James and perimeter threats surrounding him. Orlando struggled to dust off a limited Boston squad and likely will struggle with the Cavaliers as well.
— Mike Jones