With punks like me questioning their intensity, it wouldn't be surprising to see Detroit take a quick 2-1 or 3-1 lead. But there is a reason LeBron James receives as much hype and fanfare as he does. He is one of those players capable of carrying a team on his back when he wants to, and while evidence so far implies he is somewhat hesitant to grab a game by the horns in this manner, a 3-1 series deficit would prove convincing enough. If he still is doing everything on his own though, the series might still end in that fifth game. If he gets the rebounding presence from Gooden that he expects, if he gets a second scorer to take some of the defensive pressure off, if Cleveland plays up to their defensive ceiling, and if the Cavs’ bench performs as it should against Detroit's weaker reserves, Cleveland can win this series in six or seven. But that's a lot of "ifs," and the final result will probably be somewhere in between Detroit in five and Cleveland in six.
Ultimately, the tale will sound familiar to both teams' supporters: Detroit is impressive early but lets a desperate team claw back into the series, but that seventh game is at the palace in Auburn Hills, and that will be the difference. The Pistons will come out of the East.