I was correct in every one of my 1st round picks that I posted back on April 13, 2017.
Here are my predictions through the Finals…
Cavs vs Raptors: Cavs will win in another sweep 4-0. LeBron is in high gear and the Raptors don’t have any answers.
Celtics vs Wizards: Celtics defense has got it together. Celtics will win 4-2.
Cavs vs Celtics: Cavs will win in a great series 4-3. It will go 7 due to the Celtics’ strong defense.
Spurs vs Rockets: Despite the Rockets absolutely destroying the Spurs in Game 1, Spurs will get their defense back and will win in a thrilling series 4-3.
Warriors vs Jazz: Although the upstart Jazz took care of the Clippers, seems like everyone takes care of the Clippers in the Playoffs. Warriors will sweep the Jazz 4-0.
Warriors vs Spurs: Warriors will be well rested while the Spurs come off of a hard fought 7 game series with the Rockets. Both defenses are great but the Warriors offense will trump the Spurs offense.
Warriors vs Cavs:
The Warriors will not forget what happened last year when they were up 3-1 in the Finals and LeBron willed his Cavs to a tremendous comeback win. There were a lot of well chronicled events leading to the Cavs championship but no excuses will be used. The Cavs won and they deserved the trophy.
Because of what happened last year, the Warriors will be extra motivated. Even without their leader, Steve Kerr, the players know Kerr’s system so well, they will continue to thrive and dominate. The other big factor is Kevin Durant. KD left the Thunder in search of a team that he could have fun playing for and with players that he could have fun playing with. This season has panned out very well for KD and the Warriors as they lead the league with the most wins during the regular season for three consecutive years.
The Warriors lost Durant for 6 weeks during the last part of the regular season but the team adjusted very nicely and won 13 straight games without him. This actually made the team stronger as the bench got extra work and responded fabulously. The Warriors’ theme is “Strength in Numbers”. Their bench is the strongest in the NBA which will be the difference in this year’s Finals. The addition of JaVale McGee and his “vertical spacing” on both ends will result in a plus points during his time on the court. I also believe that the addition of Matt Barnes will have a positive impact. He is another “enforcer” type player that the Warriors need when Draymond is resting. Thank you, Sacramento Kings for trading Boogie Cousins to the Pelicans which lead to the Kings having to drop Barnes from their roster.
The Cavs improved their team, also. There is no team in the East that can challenge them. As I said, the Celtics, can give them a good series as they are a good defensive team. However, LeBron will ultimately take over that series putting them into the Finals. The Cavs are also deep with their roster with any one of LeBron, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Korver, JR Smith (if he is able to come back from his thumb injury), Channing Frye, Mo Williams, or Deron Williams being able to “go off” and have great games.
LeBron will be ready as he always does come playoffs. And, he will have his team ready as he always does come playoffs.
Having said that, the Warriors bench strength and defense will be the difference and hold the Cavs in check at the critical times to take a hard fought and memorable Finals series 4-3.