The second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs is alive and well after two games played out on Monday night. The Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder both entered as the top seeds, yet still managed to drop the first game of their series.

The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat look to avoid that fate, as they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets to their home courts, respectively.

With the way the playoffs have gone so far, it’s nearly impossible to predict how matchups will play out. However, the Nets had Miami’s number during the regular season and the Blazers they have proven they can hang with anyone.

Here’s to trying to pick winners for tonight’s NBA Playoff action:

Brooklyn Nets (6) @ Miami Heat (2) – 7:00 PM ET

The Nets owned the Heat during the regular season, although it’s pretty important to point out the all of the games came down to the wire. In the playoffs, the much more talented Heat have to have the upper end. It won’t help Brooklyn that the series tips off in Miami, either.

In fact, the Nets may not have survived the first round had it not been for two big performances by big man Kevin Garnett, who played over his season average in minutes. He may have to do so again all series for Brooklyn to stand a chance. The Heat are well rested and at home, though, so it’s doubtful the Nets get off to the hot 1-0 start they desperately need.

Pick: Heat 106, Nets 104

Portland Trail Blazers (5) @ San Antonio Spurs (1) – 9:30 PM ET

This is a very interesting series, as the Blazers present the same matchup problems that the Dallas Mavericks did in round one, and that first round series took the Spurs to seven games. The main difference is the Blazers are simply younger and more explosive than Dallas, and present an even bigger threat.

With that said, the Blazers also play no defense and lack experience. It’s great for them to get out of the first round against a good Rockets team, but it’s a whole different story to come into San Antonio and push the Spurs around. San Antonio will have their work cut out for them, but after surviving a first round scare, look for them to be a little more disciplined on both sides of the ball. Gregg Popovich is also a master at in-game adjustments, so the minute LaMarcus Aldridge starts going off, the Spurs will look to cool it down.

Pick: Spurs 97, Blazers 95

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