I think I agree with this John Hollinger take on the virtual version of rock-paper-scissors that we will have in the NBA playoffs this year:
If you're handicapping the race for the title, it also sets up a rock-paper-scissors situation among the contenders. I think Boston likes playing Miami more than trying to handle L.A. or San Antonio. I think Miami would much rather face L.A. or San Antonio than Boston. And I think L.A. or San Antonio would much rather face Boston than see Miami in the Finals.
I agree that the Lakers would MUCH rather play Boston than Miami, and would add that they would rather play San Antonio than Dallas in the West. Although they are very likely to have to beat both of them, unfortunately.