NBA Western Conference Championship Predictions

Posted by Aaron . on May 11, 2016 in

Now that the two Western Conference semifinal series are approaching the end, it’s not too early to start thinking about which two teams will be in the finals — and who will come out to face the East champion in the NBA finals. Find the latest pro hoops sportsbook odds here,

NBA Western Conference Championship Predictions

 

 

Portland – Golden State

The Trail Blazers have played this series a lot tougher than the 3-1 Warrior lead in games would seem to indicate. However, the fact that Portland has held leads through much of Games 2, 3 and 4 has not paid off, as the Warriors have found another gear to win. When Stephen Curry went off for 17 points in overtime of Game 4 after leading the Warriors on a furious fourth-quarter comeback, the Trail Blazers had to be asking themselves what they had to do to get a win, even though they had just won Game 3. Now that the series shifts back to Oakland, I don’t see the Trail Blazers mustering the strength to hold off Curry & Co. for four whole periods. So this series will end in five, and then the Warriors will have some time to rest and wait for the Spurs and Thunder to take either six or seven games to end their series.

Oklahoma City — watch the defense

How have the Thunder won not one but two games in San Antonio during this series? A commitment to defense. All season long, when they have made defense a priority, they have dominated the opposition. Their offense is going to be high-powered — they’ve made a solid reputation with the Durant-Westbrook duo. But when they have lost, it has been because their defensive effort fell short. They are up 3-2 on San Antonio because they have shut down the Spurs in the fourth quarter in three of those games, and they have an excellent shot at doing the same thing in Game 6. But if the Thunder take their foot off the defensive gas in Game 6, all bets are off for Game 7.

 San Antonio — is Father Time finally here?

The problem for the Spurs isn’t Kawhi Leonard or LaMarcus Aldridge, the two youngest standouts on the roster. Tim Duncan has been curiously quiet, though, while Enes Kanter and Steven Adams have been dominating the inside in this series — another reason why the Thunder are up a game. It’s too early to call the Spurs over the hill, but they are getting outhustled and outmuscled in this round so far.

My prediction right now? I think the Thunder will meet the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, and I think that the Warriors will win in six. The Thunder might be able to slow down the Spurs, but no one has slowed down the Warriors yet.