THE 2nd ROUND
BEAST DOME NATION.
UTAH @ HOUSTON
Houston is already up 1-0, and they can easily make this 3-0 before Rubio returns. Without Ricky Rubio, the Jazz do not even belong this far in the Playoffs. The Rockets offense is on cruise control at this point and are getting too many 3PT shots off against the Jazz semi-soft preimeter defense. Jazz dominate teams that want to go down low, but against a team like Houston that can shoot the lights out of a gym, the Jazz have too much of an uphill battle.
Look for the Jazz to take one game at home. Rockets advance 4-1.
PELICANS @ WARRIORS
Anthony Davis can only do so much. While Steph Curry/Jrue Holiday should be a good matchup, Kevin Durant is playing like the MVP he was last year in the Playoffs and the Pelicans have nobody who can guard him. They sure do miss Dante Cunningham, but without him Etwan Moore and Solomon Hill really stand no chance. Klay Thompson will start to score at will if the Warriors try to hide Rajon Rondo on him.
The key is, Steph Curry is healthy. When Steph is healthy and the team is playing better than ever, hard to say this is another but a Warriors Sweep.
CAVS @ RAPTORS
LeBron James takes his circus to Toronto to face Drake who is being more of a factor than people think. It should not be allowed for him to do the things he does, but the Toronto refs are letting him get away with everything. You can expect the Drake/LeBron rivarly to be more exciting than the actual game. However the games will be great.
Raptors will be able to score many ways. George Hill’s Defense on Kyle Lowry is a HUGE X-Factor if he can get his vintage days. Which is possible. J.R. Smith needs to play all the defense he can on DeMar DeRozan. Tristan Thompson needs to stop My Name is Jonas from getting easy layups. The Raptors do have the edge in all these matchups, as well as Serge Ibaka stopping Kevin Love.
So how are the Cavs going to win this series. LeBron James.
As good as LeBron is, the Raptors are a really strong team and their 2nd unit is playing with fire. The Raptors know this is their time they can beat the Cavs and they are going to give it their all to make it happen. LeBron and that motor could start to tire down, he has been playing MAX Minutes and effort the last 3 months of the NBA Season, usually LeBron is resting for the Playoffs at the end End of March, not this year.
76ERS @ BOSTON
While there is no doubt Kyrie is one of the best PGs to ever play this game, it could be a blessing in disguise that there are more minutes for Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart who play amazing defense. Ben Simmons does not have the handles to take these guys like he would Kyrie, and the 76ers have no choice but to run everything Joel Embiid. The Celtics have nobody who can stop him, and that was evident in Game 1, as it was all during the regular season.
The 76ers will need to pound all of their bigs, and that is the best way they can win by using their size.
The Celtics are playing great all-around team ball, and Scary Terry Rozier is playing like a Top Fantasy Pick next season. 76ers have no answer in stopping the ball, which is leading to a lot of open shots and it is going to make life tough for the 6ers.
Boston and their team ball is too strong at home, Celtics advance.
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
WARRIORS @ ROCKETS
The Series everyone is waiting for. The series that could be over before it even starts?
Steph Curry is healthy and the Rockets have nobody who can guard him & Klay. Rockets best move would be to start PJ Tucker at the 4 and have him guard Durant. Put Ariza on Klay to stick with him for speed, and Harden on Draymond. Still leaves a huge mismatch with Chris Paul guarding Curry, but the Rockets will get a mismatch in their favor as well on offense with that. Chris Paul and James Harden are going to have to do a ton of heavy lifting and shooting 3s as Capela could have his hands full with Javale McGee who is playing very BIG these days.
The Warriors have too much Championship pedigree in them, they are born winners. The Rockets are still unproven this deep into the playoffs. Harden nor CP3 have been able to get past Durant & Curry the past 3+ Years and we can expect that trend to continue. Warriors if healthy, they are the best team in the West with their move of grabbing Durant last year.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
BOSTON @ RAPTORS
Very even matchup, both teams play great team ball. Al Horford will deal with Ibaka, which will cancel eachother out. Kyle Lowry and Rozier cancel eachother out. Lots of Smart on DeRozan which will throw off his game. Raptors will rely on Jonas getting them buckets early, but Baynes is a similar size. The Celtics will be working team ball, Rozier can get past Lowry, Tatum and Jaylen Brown can find ways to score the bucket.
This has all the makings of being a 7 games series where each team wins on their home court setting up the finale in Toronto. However the Celtics have a much better chance of stealing one on the road as the Celtics court is too legendary during Post season and it is too hard to win there. They could easily go undefeated through this part of the Playoffs, and win one in Toronto and steal the series.
CELTICS vs. WARRIORS
Preview Coming Soon