30 April 2016

2016 NBA Playoffs Predictions: Conference Semifinals

Although the 1st Round is not quite finished, the Conference Semifinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs kick off this weekend. It's hard to give a definitive statement for a round that has yet to have concluded so we'll just leave at that. Stay tuned over the next couple days as the picture of the next round clears up as I add more pick but in short, this post will tell you who is going to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.

TV Schedule

1 Cavaliers vs. 4 Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers (1984 - 1994)Atlanta Hawks (1973 - 1995)
It wasn't that easy for the Cavaliers but they were able to sweep out the Pistons thanks to superb performances from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in conjunction with LeBron James. If that team is getting those kind of performances from their star trio, nobody is going to stop them from getting to the Finals. The Hawks showed off their defensive prowess against the Celtics in Round 1 but it won't be enough here.
Cavaliers in 5

2 Raptors vs. 3 Heat
Toronto Raptors (2004 - 2008)Miami Heat (2000 - 2006)
It was not en easy opening round for either of these teams as Toronto needed the full seven games to outlast the Pacers while the Heat needed seven to finish off the Hornets. Needing seven to take out Charlotte is nothing to be ashamed of but if you believe in "We The North," having Indiana take you the full way is a little concerning. The defense of Miami will be the difference here.
Heat in 7

Golden State Warriors (1998 - 2010)Portland Trail Blazers (2003 - 2006)
Perhaps the Warriors are vulnerable without Stephen Curry for the next couple of weeks, but let's not get too crazy now. There are still too many pieces on this club for them to fall short of the Western Conference Finals. The Trail Blazers did themselves good by taking out the Clippers but even as the Clippers eventually lost Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, it wasn't exactly easy. If Houston can snag a game, they probably could as well.
Warriors in 5

San Antonio Spurs (2003 - Pres)Oklahoma City Thunder (2009 - Pres)
I don't even think it is a question about which of these series will end up being the best one. After all, these two are not strangers in the postseason and these two had memorable showdowns in 2012 and 2014. San Antonio has the better team, the greater consistency, the proven coach and the stronger defense, but OKC has some guys named Durant, Westbrook and Waiters. Okay, we're kidding about the third guy (although he did play well against Dallas) but both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are certainly capable of going bonkers and pulling wins out of thin air. But in the end, San Antonio is too much of the well-oiled machine in my opinion and that will be the difference.
Spurs in 7

2 comments:

  1. I agree with your picks so far. Portland is good, but not enough to stop the defending champions. I would say Spurs in 6 or 7 because the Thunder are a team that could be great one day but the next they look like the 76ers. Either version of OKC is not good enough to beat SA. The Cavs may sweep considering last year the hawks were better and could not take one game.

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    1. Now with Miami-Toronto tied, unsure who wins that battle.

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