The first two rounds of this prediction series did not offer up a ton of surprises, but I can promise that my Conference Finals predictions will not be predictable (I hope). At this point in the playoffs, I imagine that the storyline would be primarily focused on the “Battle of LA” and seeing who will outduel each other between Lebron and Kawhi. The Eastern Conference Finals between Milwaukee and Boston will have us watching to see if Giannis is really THAT dude or if the collective Celtics can dethrone the Greek Freak.
Western Conference Finals: Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (2)
Both teams play at the Staples Center meaning that this will be an entire series for the Lakers having homecourt advantage (sorry Clippers fans). That aspect alone actually adds some pressure for Lebron to win. Whoever wins this series will be considered the kings of LA. Both teams have depth and firepower both offensively and defensively. I believe Lebron James and Anthony Davis will inevitably cancel out with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. After the superstars, it comes down to depth. I believe the Clippers simply have a little bit more oomph to get them over the hump here. I think that this will be the best series in the playoffs to this point and end in a Clippers victory.
Prediction: Clippers in 6, MVP Kawhi Leonard
Eastern Conference Finals: Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs. Boston Celtics (3)
This Eastern Conference Finals will include way more pressure on Giannis than last seasons against the Raptors. Last May, the Bucks went up 2-0 on Toronto but went down in the next 4 games to lose the series in 6. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s legacy is riding on a series like this. However, Brad Stevens is a top-notch coach in this league and will make it his goal to shut down the reigning MVP. This may include starting Semi Ojeleye to slow him down. This strategy has worked before and even as Giannis gets better and better, I believe this will work for Boston. The Celtics squad, led by Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker, will need to be near spotless in this series. I envision this series going long and being a bloodbath.
Prediction: Celtics in 7, MVP Jayson Tatum
Yea, I’m from Boston, so you’re probably saying, “this dude would obviously have the Lakers lose and Celtics win”. I looked through my bias and genuinely think that this is how it would turn out. Boston was picking up steam before the league’s shutdown with the emergence of Jayson Tatum and have always had a strong defensive identity. The Clippers have been resting up through the season and with all the pressure going against Lebron and the Lakers, I truly feel that the Clips would squeak into the Finals. Tune in next week to see who I think will win the NBA Finals!
NBA Finals: Los Angeles Clippers (2) vs. Boston Celtics (3)
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)
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