The NBA Playoffs are down to the Final Four. Kawhi takes on Giannis for the Eastern Conference title and Damian Lillard and the Blazers will try to dethrone the four time defending Western Conference champion Warriors. Here is my preview and predictions for the Conference Finals.
#2 Toronto Raptors @ #1 Milwaukee Bucks (-275)
The Raptors have advanced to the conference finals and will not have to face Lebron. However, they may face a bigger challenge against Giannis and the NBA’s best team the Milwaukee Bucks. Kawhi has been lights out throughout the playoffs, single handedly carrying the Raptors to the conference finals with some help from Pascal Siakim. However, Kyle Lowry will need to step to ease some of the offensive pressure on Kawhi against one of the NBA’s best defensive teams. Kahwi and Giannis are obviously the two stars, so this series may come down to role players. Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe for the Bucks along with Lowry and Siakim for the Raptors may be the x factors in this series. Both teams have solid depth and good coaching. However, I think coach Mike Budenholzer for Milwaukee has the coaching advantage over first year Raptors coach Nick Nurse. Giannis will be too much to overcome and home court for the Bucks is key. Milwaukee wins a hard-fought series in 7 games.
#3 Portland Trail Blazers @ #1 Golden State Warriors (-530)
With Kevin Durant sidelined due to injury for at least the first two games, this series may very well be a battle of two of the best backcourts in the league. The splash brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will battle Portland’s duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in what should be a very entertaining West Finals. The Warriors have been here five straight times now, while the Blazers are making their first appearance since 2000. I think Lillard and McCollum will not be afraid of the spotlight and will play great for Portland. The key for the Blazers may be the play of big man Enes Kanter, who has filled in nicely during the playoffs for the injured Jusuf Nurkic. However, if Durant returns in this series and is healthy, I think Golden State will simply be too much to overcome. Warriors win in 6 games.
Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments down below.