NBA: A Sneak Peek Into the Eastern and Western Conference Finals

The second-round of the NBA playoffs was much more entertaining than the first-round. There were two Game 7’s in the second-round between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. Portland prevailed on the road after trailing by 17 points and Kawhi Leonard hit a bouncy buzzer beater for Toronto as time expired.

Kevin Durant injured his calf in Game 5 against the Houston Rockets and his availability for the rest of the playoffs is in question. Will the Golden State Warriors go back to the pre-Durant era Warriors or no?

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Golden State is looking to three-peat. The last time it happened was in 2000-2002 with the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, the last time the Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA title was in 1977. Also, the last time the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title was in 1971. The Toronto Raptors have not won the NBA title before. Who will be playing each other in the 2019 NBA Fina

Western Conference Finals

(3) Portland Trail Blazers vs (1) Golden State Warriors

This series has the potential to have a ton of fireworks. During the offseason, Kevin Durant told CJ McCollum during McCollum’s own podcast that his NBA team wasn’t championship caliber. Now, these two teams will face each other in the Western Conference Finals. Wouldn’t it be funny to see the Portland Trail Blazers knock off the Golden State Warriors after those comments? To be honest, I don’t see it happening.

Portland has been a nice story and they have overachieved. With that being said, I don’t see them winning this series even if Kevin Durant misses it. He will be out for Game 1 and possibly Game 2, and we don’t know what will happen after that. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is the backcourt in the game and Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is the second best backcourt in the game. The difference in this series will be once again in the frontcourt. The pick: Golden State in 5.

Eastern Conference Finals

(2) Toronto Raptors vs (1) Milwaukee Bucks

This could be the most entertaining series of the playoffs we have had yet. The obvious storyline is going to be Kawhi Leonard vs Giannis Antetokounmpo. I expect both of those players to go off during this series. Mike Budenholzer has been an excellent coach for the Milwaukee Bucks this season, but Nick Nurse is a better coach than people give him credit for with the Toronto Raptors. Toronto is also very underrated defensively. I think their defense will be able to get under the skin of their role players and I think Pascal Siakam will be a problem for Milwaukee. Khris Middleton has also been very good for the Bucks, but I could see him struggle in this series. Having Malcolm Brogdon healthy will help big time, but I think the Raptors could wear down Milwaukee. The pick: Toronto in 6.

How do you feel about the NBA Conference FInals? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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