The road to the finals is one step closer with the conference finals starting tonight. This round by far is my favorite aside from the NBA finals. This is where you get to witness what team truly wants to be great from their perspective conference. Legends are made from this point out. In order to advance superstars have to truly excel and role players have to step up! Cleveland will face a battle tested Raptors team that overcame two 7 game series match-ups to get to this point. Golden State faces a strong Oklahoma City team who has now found their rhythm after knocking out the almighty spurs. With another round of great basketball ahead of us, lets jump into these predictions!
via vaughn ridley
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
The Cavs have coasted through the first two rounds going a combined 8-0 vs. Atlanta and Detroit. Lebron has his team meshing at every level. Kyrie is penetrating the lane and creating looks for his teammates. J.R. Smith is knocking down treys like never before and Kevin Love is spacing the floor with his long range shooting and attacking opponents in the post. Cleveland is finally playing the brand of basketball Lebron envisioned when rejoining the Cavs in 2014. Their upcoming match up against the raptors will be similar to their other match-ups. I expect Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan to finally show up in this series but those two alone will not be enough to overpower Cleveland. Lebron alone will dominate his match-up against Carroll and I expect Kyrie to play big against Lowry. If Toronto has their big man, Jonas Valanciunas, then it may become a more competitive series. Even so I do not see the raptors stopping Cleveland's 3 point onslaught. The Cavs will win big. Cleveland 4-0.
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
At last, the series I’ve always dreamed of. OKC vs. Golden State has always been a dream match-up in my eyes because the possibility of Russ and Steph going head to head along with Durant, Thompson, and Green all competing would simply be legendary. KD averaged 36 points this year against GS and I believe that this trend will continue in this series. The warriors simply have no one who is able to match-up against his length. His scoring prowess will be heavy in this series as will Curry’s. Curry will be in rare form as well, I expect him to average 30+ in this series also! The key to victory for the warriors will be whether their small ball lineup, vs. OKC's big men, will be able to exploit Kanter or Adams on the perimeter. When they go small, it is tough for any opponent to keep up because of the threats that are available on the court. If Golden State can capitalize on these match ups then they will have a chance to win. OKC on the other hand will win if the big men duo of Adams and Kanter can expose Draymond Green and the other Warriors big men on the glass. If they can do this, OKC may have a chance to win. Ultimately I think this will be one of the best series in the past 25 years and it will go 7 games. I am picking the warriors in 7 only because of home court advantage. Each game will be in the 115 point range. So sit back and enjoy, this series will be a classic. GS 4-3.