2016 NBA Playoff Preview: Conference Finals

nbaOne more step before the inevitable Warriors-Cavaliers finals rematch.  And while the Thunder may make things exciting (as evidenced by last nights’ Game 1 win), I just wish I could fast-forward to what should be one of the most epic Finals in recent memory…

Eastern Conference

#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #2 Toronto Raptors

Analysis:  While this may be the Cavs toughest challenge yet, they are just too talented for the Raptors.  I think DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will win the Raptors one game.  However, those two brothers are too inconsistent to challenge the likes of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

Prediction: Cavs in 5.

Western Conference

#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #3 Oklahoma City Thunder

Analysis:  THIS is the series I have been waiting for, though it would have been great if the San Antonio Spurs were playing the Warriors.  This will mark the rare occasion where Golden State faces a team with more superstars (Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook) than it has (Stephen Curry).

I would like to see if the Thunder will find a way to tire Curry, whether it’s by putting Westbrook on him or create mismatches where Curry would have to D up on either Westbrook or Dion Waiters.  The Thunder has to at least slow Klay Thompson down a bit to even have a shot of winning this series.

Even though OKC won Game 1 last night, I still think Golden State comes out on top in the end.  In addition to Curry and Thompson, the Warriors have Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes in the starting lineup, with Andre Iguodala, Leonardo Barbosa and Shaun Livingston coming off the bench.  Meanwhile, while Enes Kanter and Stephen Adams aren’t bad, who do the Thunder have coming off their bench aside from Waiters?  Exactly.

The Warriors are just too deep, and that alone will be the difference.

Prediction: Warriors in 7.

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