NBA Conference Finals – Just Another Stepping Stone Before Cavs/Warriors IV

Abrahim Karzai, J1 Staff Writer

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The NBA Conference Finals are here!

The NBA world is jam-packed with excitement. Over in the Eastern Conference, it’s a sequel to last year’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. The familiar faces are present, including one LeBron James. Only this time, there is a new supporting cast of characters. One such character is Celtics rookie sensation Jayson Tatum. The small forward, who just turned 20 in March, has been more than a pleasant surprise for Boston as he rallied this team behind him after injuries to key players including free agent acquisitions Gordon Hayward and former Cavalier Kyrie Irving. However, with all due respect to this Celtic team, LeBron is being typical LeBron at this time of year.  James leads all players in points per game (PPG) this postseason with 34.3, and he’s coming off a clean sweep of the #1 seeded Toronto Raptors. The Celtics have a very bright future ahead of them, but not this year. Cavs in 5.

Over in the West, the matchup everyone knew was coming is finally here. The defending champion Golden State Warriors are up against the #1 seeded Houston Rockets. There are so many angles that one can view this matchup, but the key focal point will be defense. We know what we’re going to see from both offenses, as they have lit the stat sheets up all year, but whoever plays better defense should come out on top.  In April, Golden State coach Steve Kerr voiced his dismay for his team’s defensive efforts, saying,“We’ve got to get back to being a top-five defensive team.”

His team has gotten the message loud and clear.  Golden State has been the best defensive team this postseason, allowing just 99.3 points per game. With that said, this series has the potential to be an all-time great. I’m giving the edge to the Warriors simply due to the old adage of “defense wins championships.” Warriors in 6.                  

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NBA Conference Finals – Just Another Stepping Stone Before Cavs/Warriors IV