NBA Playoffs Fearless Forecast: Golden State Warriors – San Antonio Spurs on the West, Cleveland Cavaliers – Toronto Raptors on the East
By Jeff Villanueva
Now that the first round of NBA Playoffs is over, we pretty much have some insights going into the next round, the Conference Semi-Finals. And by the looks of what transpired during the first round, we have come up with a forecast of who will play against each other on the Western and Eastern Conference Finals.
Western Conference Finals
San Antonio Spurs
Bias as I may be but I'm a huge San Antonio Spurs fan, and with the way they literally manhandled the two highest scorers in the NBA back in Game 1, I can say without a shadow of doubt there's a big chance that the Spurs' series against the Oklahoma City Thunders led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who scored only a combined 30 points, will end sooner than expected.
With the offense of almost everyone Spurs coach Gregg Popovich puts on the floor led by the winningest trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, plus the presence of the indefatigable LaMarcus Aldridge who scored 38 points in Game 1 and the swarming defense led by two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard and the Danny Green, there's no doubt the Spurs are once again looking forward to stepping on the Western Conference Finals after missing it last season.
Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry may be out for a couple of games but don't count the Golden State Warriors just yet - they are not the defending NBA Champions for nothing. And with the Splash Bros.' other half Klay Thompson and Draymond Green's brilliance, the Warriors are out to defend their title.
What more can we say about the Warriors? They have broken records after records all season long, the last time being the great Chicago Bulls' regular season win-loss record. And with Steph all set to get back with a week or so, it's just a matter of time before the Warriors face the Spurs on the Western Conference Finals.
Eastern Conference Finals
The three biggest names in the NBA today and future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are out to make a statement again this postseason. And they are hoping to come up free of injury this time to ensure can have another crack at the NBA Finals.
And with a solid roster backing up the trio: JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavadova and Richard Jefferson and the return of Iman Shumpert from injury, there's no doubt the Cavs are in for another ride this offseason.
They cannot have the second best record in the Eastern Conference just for nothing; the Toronto Raptors, fresh from a crucial, back-breaking win against the Indiana Pacers led by the come backing Paul George, are out to prove they are no fluke.
With many basketball experts, analysts and even die-hard basketball fans tagging them as the most balance team in the NBA, the threats coming from the Raptors arsenal are, simply put - balance: inside and outside shooting, perimeter and interior defense, a fluid-like offense and defense, this is the team any coach would like to handle any time of the year.
Led by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, both of whom are enjoying the best scoring season thus far, the Raptors are in place to make a franchise history this postseason, against the LeBron-led Cavaliers.