The Conference Finals are set in the West and the East respectively. Coming out of the West, and with no surprise, the 1 seed Golden State Warriors and they will take on the 3 seed Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the East it will be LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They will take on the 2 seed in the Toronto Raptors. The action starts on Monday.
With that info out of the way most people already have their minds set up on who will win their conferences, and who will hold up the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.
The consensus is that it will be Stephen Curry and the Warriors taking on the Cavs. These teams are both the top seeds coming out of the playoffs.
The Warriors were able to surpass the previous NBA record for most wins in a season with 73 wins passing up the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan (the Bulls won the NBA Finals that season).
If that was not enough, you have Stephen Curry winning the MVP unanimously for the first time in the awards 61 year history. He also won the trophy last year. The Warriors are also defending champions.
In the other conference you have LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love playing for the Cavs. It could be a Finals rematch from last year. There is James who is a 4-time MVP, two-time NBA champion, and probably in the top three for the most dominant players in the NBA for the past 5 years. He won’t be alone this time.
This time around though LeBron will have the help of Love who was out for last year’s playoff, and Irving who will be healthy this time around after exiting early last year in the Cavs playoff push.
Both Love and Irving seem to be playing well and will definitely be striving for a Finals and a Championship push.
After being able to digest this info it is easy to say that either the Cavs or the Warriors will win the Finals. The Warriors besides having probably the purest NBA shooter in history, and with a supporting cast in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala coming off the bench it is hard to bet against these Warriors.
They have the best player in the NBA, arguably the best squad and bench, and also they have to live up to winning an astonishing 73 wins in an NBA season, that means that they only lost nine times during the 2015-16 season.
Where does that leave the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder, chopped liver? Not necessarily, the Oklahoma City Thunder made easy work of the depleted Dallas Mavericks in 5, and a straight slobber-knocker with the San Antonio Spurs in 6 hard fought games.
This will be the Thunder’s fourth conference finals in the past six years. They have former MVP in Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook who is having one of his best, if not his best season of his career. Westbrook and Durant are playing real well in these playoffs, but they most continue to do so. Neither of them can have an off night. If they do the Warriors will capitalize off of their mistakes.
When it comes to the Raptors they will need to play their best, and where they have been playing up to now will not cut it. They have some great young players and some All-Stars on their roster, and adding some promising free agents this past summer.
DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are these All-Stars that need to show up for the Raptors for them to have any chance of beating the red hot Cavaliers who were able to sweep both of their opponents on their way to the East Finals. The Cavs took care of the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks in four straight games each.
The Raptors on the other hand are coming off of two seven game series with both the Indiana Pacers in the first round and the Miami Heat in the second round. Cleveland will have eight days rest to the Raptors 3.
The expectations including my own will be the Warriors coming out of the West, and the Cavaliers coming out of the East. I have the Warriors in 6 games to win it all.
Both the Cavs and Warriors will reach the Finals after fighting for 6/7 games with the Thunder and The Raptors who will not go away that easy even though that’s what all the reporters, stats, and records point to.
They will give these teams their hardest challenges of these NBA playoffs. This does not mean that the Thunder or the Raptors could be in the finals; this is just what people are expecting.
It is up to these teams to make the expected the unexpected. If not the expectations will come true about the Cavaliers and the Warriors in the Finals.
This could be what to expect when you’re expecting in the NBA.