The Road to the NBA Finals

Jon Iosso, Writer

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The past two weeks highlighted two major playoff series: the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Western Conference Finals. The Western Conference Finals saw the Portland Trail Blazers face off against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have the most talent out of any team in the league that consists of five all-star caliber players. However, the Warriors have two out of these five players injured so going into the series, the Warriors were already playing with a disability. On the other hand, the Trail Blazers had just played a great series lead by their two stars, Damian Lillard and CJ Mccollum. Therefore, going into the series the two teams seemed to be somewhat even to an extent. Every game was close, but early on in Game 1 Damian Lillard got hurt and played through the rest of the series with an injury. Overall, this hurt the Trail Blazers greatly and they ended up getting swept by the Warriors in four games. This took the Warriors to their fifth straight finals, marking the second time ever that a team has been to five straight finals.

The Eastern Conference Finals saw the Milwaukee Bucks face off against the Toronto Raptors. This was the first time the Bucks had been in the Eastern Conference Finals since 2001 and had the best record in the league in the regular season. They were rated number one in defense and rated top five in offense throughout the regular season. They were lead by Giannis Antetokounmpo who is the favorite to win MVP this season. On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors were almost just as good as the Bucks and were riding on the momentum that they had coming from the previous series, where Kawhi Leonard hit a crazy fadeaway buzzer beater in game 7 to win the series. Therefore, going into the series it was evenly matched up, and the Bucks had won game 1 and 2 mainly due to there home city advantage. Then, after these two victories Paul Pierce, a analyst known for jinxing teams, said that the Bucks were going to win the series. Then, in the next four games the Bucks defense fell apart, and they began to play for iso basketball than team basketball. They went on to drop the next four games and lost to the Raptors in six games.

The Bucks did not just play poorly in the series, but the Raptors played very well behind the play of Kawhi Leonard and sharpshooter Fred Vanvleet. The Raptors are overall a very good team, and for the first time in NBA history the Raptors are in the NBA finals. Additionally, for the first time in NBA history there will be a finals game played outside of the USA. However, with all the momentum and hype there is built around the Raptors, the Warriors are most likely going to still beat them. The Warriors will most likely have their two injured all-stars come back and will just have too much talent on their team that will carry them to their fourth championship in five years.