2019 NBA Conference Finals Preview & Predictions.

2019 NBA Conference Finals Preview & Predictions

Written by on May 14, 2019

For the past 14 years, the NBA playoffs were always centered around LeBron James. However, this year was different. LeBron’s Lakers didn’t make the playoffs and many people wondered how this year’s playoffs would take shape without one of the game’s greatest players? Would not having the star power of LeBron hurt the playoffs? The NBA hasn’t missed a beat without the King as this year’s conference finals are loaded with star power. In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors and their cast of NBA all-stars will take on the Portland Trail Blazers and their backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. In the East, the #1 seeded and NBA Betting favorites Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo will take on Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.

2019 NBA Conference Finals Preview & Predictions

Western Conference

Out West, we have a matchup of two of the best backcourt duos in the NBA. CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard will take on Golden State’s Splash Brothers. With Kevin Durant out until Game 3 at the earliest, Golden State will depend on Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to lead them to the NBA Finals. These two teams have met in two of the last three postseasons, with Golden State taking both series. In the two meetings, the Portland backcourt carried the Blazers, with Lillard averaging 30 points per game, and McCollum averaging just over 20 per game. Portland’s supporting cast will need to step things up to unseat the Warriors. Will Enes Kanter’s and Zach Collins’s offensive games justify their inability to guard the smaller Warriors? If so, Portland will be able to get some much needed offensive help for their backcourt. As for the Warriors, will Kevin Durant return? If he does, how healthy will he truly be? Could we also see a return by DeMarcus Cousins? In Durant’s absence, Klay Thompson has returned to his pre-Durant form and helped lead the Warriors to the conference finals. This series should be full of long-range shooting, and high scoring from the backcourts. The offenses will be featured and the team that struggles from long distance will be behind the 8 ball.

Eastern Conference

In the Eastern Conference, we have a meeting of the conference’s top 2 players in Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks. Although these 2 players are the focal points of their teams, they are far from one-man shows. Each of these teams has their own “Big 3”. The “Greek Freak” is joined by fellow All-Star Khris Middleton and standout point guard Eric Bledsoe. Leonard will be teamed with Pascal Siakam and All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Although this series will be billed as Giannas vs. Kawhi, these two probably won’t be defending each other. Look for Khris Middleton to be matched up with Kawhi, while Antetokounmpo will be shadowed by the lengthy and athletic Siakam. Eric Bledsoe who has played well on the defensive end this season will be asked to shut down Kyle Lowry’s offensive game. This series could come down to the benches. Milwaukee has been sparked all season by the offense from their bench players. The play of Nikola Mirotic, George Hill, Pat Connaughton, Ersan Ilyasova and the recent return of Malcolm Brogdon could be a deciding factor in this series. When Giannis and the other starters are off the floor, the Bucks bench hasn’t missed a beat. If the Raptors bench can neutralize the scoring of the Bucks bench, it will be a huge victory for the Raptors. No LeBron James, and not sure if and when we’ll see Kevin Durant again? Not a big deal. With or without Durant, this year’s NBA Conference Finals are loaded with star power and storylines. These four teams are very evenly matched, and this year’s NBA Conference Finals should be some of the most entertaining games we’ve witnessed this season.