Four teams remain in the NBA playoffs as both the conference final matchups have been set. The Golden State Warriors host the Portland Trail Blazers with Game 1 tipping off on Tuesday, May 14. The Milwaukee Bucks take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, May 15.
Damian Lillard’s late-game heroics have been a big reason for the Blazers deep playoff run, but it was C.J. McCollum that willed Portland to victory in Game 7. After the game, McCollum noted that he understands it is Lillard’s team, but tried to step up when his team needed him most.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team and he’s done a great job of empowering us and leading us,” McCollum said, per USA Today. “… I just kept trying to be aggressive and he seen that I had it going, so he kept making sure I was staying involved in the offense and taking shots.”
NBA Playoff Schedule: Eastern & Western Conference Finals 2019
|Tues., May 14||Blazers vs. Warriors Game 1||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Wed., May 15||Raptors vs. Bucks Game 1||8:30 p.m. TNT|
|Thurs., May 16||Blazers vs. Warriors Game 2||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Fri., May 17||Raptors vs. Bucks Game 2||8:30 p.m. TNT|
|Sat., May 18||Warriors vs. Blazers Game 3||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Sun., May 19||Bucks vs. Raptors Game 3||7 p.m. TNT|
|Mon., May 20||Warriors vs. Blazers Game 4||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Tues., May 21||Bucks vs. Raptors Game 4||8:30 p.m. TNT|
|Wed., May 22||Blazers vs. Warriors Game 5||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Thurs., May 23||Raptors vs. Bucks Game 5||8:30 p.m. TNT|
|Fri., May 24||Warriors vs. Blazers Game 6||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Sat., May 25||Bucks vs. Raptors Game 6||8:30 p.m. TNT|
|Sun., May 26||Blazers vs. Warriors Game 7||9 p.m. ESPN|
|Mon., May 27||Raptors vs. Bucks Game 7||8:30 p.m. TNT|
NBA Finals Prediction: Warriors vs. Bucks
The Bucks and Warriors both enter the conference finals somewhat rested. Portland and Toronto had to pull out Game 7’s in the closing minutes. Look for Golden State and Milwaukee to meet in the NBA finals. It has little to do with the fact they will be the more rested teams and more to do with the two squads being the best two teams throughout the season.
Lillard and McCollum have enough offensive firepower to get the Blazers a couple games in the series. Golden State is also in a bit of disarray with the status of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins up in the air. The Warriors will be able to figure it out no matter the lineup, and I expect Golden State to once again advance in six games.
Milwaukee could be in for more of a fight with Toronto. Kawhi Leonard has been unguardable through two series and it will be interesting to see if the Bucks try to use Giannis Antetokounmpo on him at all during the series. Look for the Eastern Conference Finals to go seven games, but The Greek Freak to earn his first NBA finals appearance.