The NBA playoffs are underway after a successful season resumption at the Disney World Bubble with zero positive COVID-19 tests.
There have been many exciting series so far, including the two seven game series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets in the first round and the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors in the second round, with the Rockets and Celtics ultimately coming out on top. In the second round, there were many unexpected results that shocked the NBA community. The Miami Heat upset the No. 1 seeded Milwaukee Bucks, winning in five games and the Denver Nuggets defeated the No. 2 seeded Los Angeles Clippers after trailing 3-1 in the series. The Los Angeles Lakers also advanced to the Western Conference Finals after defeating the Rockets in five games.
In the Western Conference Finals matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets, I predict that the Lakers will win in six games. First and foremost, the Lakers’ superstar duo, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, is undeniably better than the Nuggets’ Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. James and Davis are both currently top-five players in the league, and they have been performing exceptionally well since the playoffs began.
Although the Nuggets are coming off two consecutive comebacks from a 3-1 deficit, I believe their momentum will end against the Lakers. Davis will easily dominate in the paint, as centers Jokic and Mason Plumlee are simply not defensively good enough to guard him. He has already shown his dominance against the Nuggets, scoring 25 or more points in the regular season. They will probably look to restrain Davis by double-teaming him, allowing him to find open teammates. Despite Murray putting on offensive clinics in his recent performances, the Lakers will find a way to contain him like they contained Damian Lillard in the first round. The Lakers are also 3-1 in the regular season series against the Nuggets, with their only loss being without James.
In the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Heat and Celtics, I predict that the Heat will win in six games. With a mix of a defensive and offensive composition, I believe they have the right pieces to advance to the Finals. Alongside the offensive threat of sharpshooters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, Heat’s All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are also great both offensively and defensively. Not to mention that their starting point guard Goran Dragic has been consistently performing well, and they have a clear shot at the win.
Ultimately, in the NBA Finals matchup between the Lakers and the Heat, I believe that the Lakers will win in six games. In my opinion, Davis and LeBron James are far too powerful for the Heat. Davis will be able to guard Adebayo and James can match up with Butler. Lakers’ guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green are also capable of guarding the Heat’s sharpshooters, however, they will have to step up offensively as well. Furthermore, the Lakers have an established precedent for success, having gone 2-0 in the regular season series against the Heat.
I look forward to seeing the Lakers win their 17th championship in October, in tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.