Save for Cleveland and Golden State sweeping their first round series, and with Houston just losing one before getting into the semis, it’s been pretty tight for the other five pairs of protagonists.

WEST:  SAS 3 MEM 2 | Prediction: Ends in 6

Without the Grizzlies’ elite defender Tony Allen in the lineup, t’was a bit puzzling that the two teams were actually locked at 2-2 coming into Game 5. Reason? Manu Ginobili. The Argentinian superstar was just atrocious to start the PlayOffs shooting 0-15 from the field in the first 4 games.

Okay, Manu may not be among the premier scoring options at this late stage of his career for San Antonio but without him contributing offensively, the Spurs could be in some trouble. Fortunately for the Spurs, Manu has awoken.

WEST:  UTA 3 LAC 2 | Prediction: Ends in 7

With Blake Griffin out for the rest of the PlayOffs, this could be the last stand for the Clippers -- not only for this post season but for them as a group. No championship to show, not even a conference finals’ appearance for this talented bunch led by their ‘Big 3’ in Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Why, when they even got a good supporting cast in perennial sixth man of the year Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick, and the rest of the gang?

Reason? Wesley Johnson. They’re just missing out on the small forward position. With Paul Pierce on his way to retirement, they’re just relying too much on Luc Mbah a Moute. Hey, Wesley is an athletic wingman who could help speed up their game and also shoot threes, so why leave him out?

EAST:  TOR 3 MIL 2 | Prediction: Ends in 6

The longer the series takes, the more favorable it would be for the more experienced team. Why? While they both play ball, the less experienced would be more rattled and prone to errors in crucial moments. That’s a fact. And it’s for that reason that makes experience truly valuable.

In short, this is gonna be a battle of character. Giannis may be ready but what about his teammates?

EAST:  BOS 3 CHI 2 | Prediction: Ends in 7

Rajon Rondo may have been out but the Bulls hung tough in Game 5 that if not only for those 2 momentum-breaking errors -- Cristiano Felicio’s 3 second violation, and Robin Lopez’s failure to see and catch the ball (Butler bad pass) -- Chicago could have had a good chance of taking Game 5 from Boston. That’s the value of Rondo.

Yet actually, the Bulls could not afford to sit either Rondo, Butler or Wade if they are to go deep into the PlayOffs.

EAST:  WAS 3 ATL 2 | Prediction: Ends in 6

Come to think of it, this series is really about John Wall versus Dennis Schroder -- whoever could get his teammates more involved would have the upper hand. And true enough, we did see the results. Game 5 Washington 103 Atlanta 99, Wall 14 assists, Schroder 11 assists. Hmm... Makes sense.

Well, these are just predictions that with the way the remaining 5 pairs are playing -- anything could happen!

Say what you?