Before I get started with this rather tardy 2015 NBA conference finals preview, let me first give the Los Angeles Clippers a quick shout-out for making me look rather stupid for picking them to win the Western Conference before the season and during these playoffs. Now that my acknowledgement of those Cottonelle-soft choke artists is out of the way, let’s continue with this brief preview.
These conference finals represent “chalk”: the top two seeds from both conferences. Will this “chalk” continue into the NBA Finals? Inquiring minds want to know.
Now, without further ado…
#1 Atlanta Hawks vs. #2 Cleveland Cavaliers
Analysis: Even though the Hawks swept the Cavs during the regular season, both teams are a bit different since then. Atlanta played .500 ball after the All-Star break, and has not looked all that impressive in the playoffs. Cleveland is banged up to be sure, but as long as it has LeBron James, it is all good. Kyrie Irving at 80% is better than his counterpart Jeff Teague at 100%. The Cavs also have a deeper bench.
Truth be told, LeBron is on a mission to get his hometown team back to the NBA Finals. The inexperienced Hawks may be in over their heads here…
Prediction: Cavs in 6
#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #2 Houston Rockets
Analysis: It wasn’t the matchup I (and the rest of America) was looking for, but it’s still a compelling one. It features the two top vote-getters for NBA MVP in Stephen Curry and James “Please Trim that Damn Beard” Harden. I still think the Warriors are much deeper and tougher than the Rockets. By the way, I know the Rockets played well tonight, but the fact that they still lost to the rusty Warriors is a bad omen for the rest of the series…
Prediction: Warriors in 5