After two Game 7 matchups on Sunday, the 2019 NBA Playoffs are onto the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. It’s all top-three seeds advancing to the semifinals, and regardless of who advances, the NBA Finals are bound to feature major storylines and a great matchup.
In the West, it’s the No. 1 seed Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Houston Rockets in six games. They took the final game of the series with both DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant battling injuries and sidelined. They’ll be without both to start the upcoming series against the No. 3 seed Portland Trail Blazers and the duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The Blazers pulled off a road upset in Game 7 to advance to the Western Conference Finals, setting up a matchup between two exceptional backcourts.
Looking at the East, the Milwaukee Bucks are a major storyline after rolling through the first round by sweeping the Detroit Pistons then winning four-straight after a loss against the Boston Celtics in round two. They’re the top seed and proved why they deserve it with their playoff run thus far. Now, they’ll meet Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, who defeated the Orlando Magic in round one and won a crucial Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers in the next round.
2019 NBA Playoff Bracket Updated
These are two high-profile matchups with star power in each of the games. It’s hard to overlook the chances of both series going to seven games. Regardless, fans are going to be in for a treat once the action gets underway this coming week.
The Western Conference Finals will be held aired on ESPN/ABC while the Eastern Conference Finals are on TNT, per Sports Media Watch.
NBA Eastern & Western Conference Picks
While I love rolling with the upsets and predicting the underdogs to get the job done, it’s hard to bet against the Warriors, especially after seeing what they did against the Rockets while shorthanded. With that said, I do think that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors can hold the fort down until Kevin Durant and Cousins return.
As good as Lillard and McCollum are, Golden State just has too much firepower and will make life tough for Portland. The Blazers will come close, and even push it to seven games, but I think Golden State advances.
Western Conference pick: Golden State Warriors in seven games
As far as the Eastern Conference goes, the Raptors’ wild game-winning bucket from Kawhi Leonard was incredible to watch. While Toronto is a great group, they’re going to have a tough time against a well-rounded Bucks group and arguably the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in Giannis Antetokounmpo. With that said, I think home-court advantage pays off for the Bucks in a big way as they advance, but also need Game 7 to do so.
Eastern Conference pick: Milwaukee Bucks in seven games
Moving to the NBA Finals in a potential matchup of the Warriors against the Bucks, it would be a series that will be must-see television. Golden State would likely have Durant back and potentially Cousins as well. Although betting against a fully healthy Warriors squad is no easy task, the Bucks have looked incredible this postseason.
Milwaukee hasn’t faced a team as talented as Steve Kerr’s group, but they’ve been dominant all year and although I think we see this series go to seven games also, I’m backing the Bucks to win. Three consecutive seven-game series sounds like a good time, and it wouldn’t be surprising.
NBA Finals pick: Milwaukee Bucks over Golden State Warriors in seven games