Cavaliers in 5
While the Western Conference Finals tips off on Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers await the winner of Game 7 between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards on Monday Night. I am going to make my Eastern Conference Finals picks now, nonetheless. The Cleveland Cavaliers will win the series in five games no matter who they play, and that is being generous to the Celtics and Wizards. The Celtics would actually get the home court edge if they beat the Wizards in Game 7, but that is because the Cavaliers were disinterested the final two months of the regular season. Since the postseason began we have seen Cleveland at its best as they have swept away the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors. In the regular season the Cavaliers for the most part had their way with both times, taking three of four games against the Celtics and two of three against the Wizards. It has been a coming out party for the Cavaliers top three players, as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have all taking their game to the next level. This is what truly makes a championship team, and while some questions were raised by how they finished the regular season, all has been forgotten with LeBron averaging 34.4 points, 9 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. Kyrie Irving, meanwhile has been solid with 23.8 points per game, while Kevin Love has averaged 13.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. For LeBron James playing in June has become and every year occurrence as this will be his seventh straight appearance in the NBA Finals, making four in Miami and three straight since his return to Cleveland as we get set for Warriors-Cavaliers III.
Warriors in 4
The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have been on a collision course all season. After finishing with the top two records for the last two seasons, the Warriors and Spurs finally meet in the postseason. The Spurs got the best of the Warriors, winning two of three matchups, including a 129-100 win in the season opener at Oakland. However, in one of the other two meetings in Sa Antonio, the Warriors treated the game like an exhibition and rested most of their star players in a game that helped spur the debate of the NBA taking the regular season seriously. The Warriors have dominated their way through the first two rounds, winning eight straight against the overmatched Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz, while the Spurs need a pair of six-game series against the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets. Despite not having Coach Steve Kerr on the bench, Golden State appears to be getting stronger and healthier with Kevin Durant coming off a strong series against the Jazz. The Spurs on the other hand are hobbling into Oakland, with Tony Parker out for the rest of the playoffs, with a leg injury, while Kawhi Leonard missed the Game 6 clincher in Houston with a sprained ankle. Leonard is expected to be ready for the start of the Western Conference Finals, but just how effective will he be? Without Kawhi Leonard playing at 100%, San Antonio does not stand a chance, especially with the Warriors on a mission to erase the bad taste out of their mouths from last year’s NBA Finals. I see the Warriors getting the jump at home and after winning a close Game 3 on the road, using that newly found killer instinct to win the series in four straight once again.