The stage is almost set. By the end of Sunday’s games, four teams are left standing in the NBA playoffs. On the Eastern conference side of things the top two teams are ready to battle. The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics are the beast in the east. The Heat humbled James Harden and held off Joel Embiid enough to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in 6 games. Meanwhile, The Celtics withstood an historic performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo and beat the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in 7. On the Western conference side of things, the Dallas Mavericks shocked the NBA world embarrassing the Phoenix Suns in game 7 by 33 points, advancing to the conference finals for the first time in 11 years. The Golden State Warriors found themselves in a brutal 6 game series with the upstart Memphis Grizzles. Game 6 Klay once again made his presence known with 30 points on 8 for 14 shooting from deep. For the second round I went 3-1, making my overall record for the NBA playoffs 11-1.
Here’s what to expect in the conference finals:
1)Miami Heat v 2)Boston Celtics. Jayson Tatum scored 46 points in a must win scenario in game 6 of the second-round tilt with Milwaukee. Then game 7 Grant Williams was dared to shoot, and he obliged. Going 7 for 18 en route to Boston making a game 7 record 22 three pointers. Tatum and Jaylen Brown are continuing their stellar play leading Boston during the second half of the season. Miami has been the most consistent team in a loaded eastern conference all season long. The Heat has the edge in depth with a reserve squad lead by sixth man of the year Tyler Herro. The problem for Miami will be matching personnel with Boston’s ability to guard inside and on the perimeter with defensive player of the year Marcus Smart. The role players will play their part at their respective homecourts as this will be a duel between 2 of the top 3
players this postseason when Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum square off on Tuesday. This series will be won by who wants it most. I believe the winner of this series will hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June. Boston in 6.
3)Golden State Warriors v 4)Dallas Mavericks. Dallas has continued its magical postseason run thanks to Luka Doncic. Luka has been the best player this postseason. He picked apart the Phoenix Suns one by one. He viciously attacks every Suns defender that stood in his path. On the block, stepback threes, and driving the lane creating and-1 opportunities. The Mavs became one of the best teams in the league after trading for Spencer Dinwiddie and when he steps up and becomes a secondary scorer, Dallas is unbeatable. Golden State has championship DNA with some newcomers alongside. Jordan Poole is emerging as a walking bucket; Andrew Wiggins is starting to show why he’s an all-star, and Kevon Looney is providing a different element on the glass. The way Steve Kerr employs his lineup will be crucial. Jason Kidd has done some impressive mid series adjustments to disrupt the opposing team’s best player. The problem with that is it could backfire as the Dubs are the best team when it comes to moving without the basketball. This series will be about adjustments, which team can complete a pivotal 12-2 run to end a game. Warriors in 7.