Predicting every playoff round

How far will Kobe's Lakers go? Will Dirk's Mavs repeat as champs? Can Melo's Knicks upset the Heat? Getty Images

We can look backward, but we can't see forward. And that's sometimes the problem when it comes to projecting the playoffs -- we're looking for the teams that are peaking in April, because that's what we've just seen, when what is far more important is who will be peaking in May and June.

The 2011 Mavs, 2010 Celtics and 2009 Magic should have driven that point home by now. None of them covered themselves in glory during the final month of the season -- in fact, all three were much better earlier the season -- but each started clicking in late April and made a push to become surprise contestants in the NBA Finals.