By Jazmine August
The 2015 NBA Playoffs have been filled with buzzer beaters, epic collapses and superstars rising to the moment. It has now come down to the “Final Four”, consisting of the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Might I add, these are the four teams I picked to be in the Conference Finals. Let’s get into these predictions:
Western Conference Finals
(1)Golden State Warriors vs. (2) Houston Rockets
The NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the NBA MVP runner-up James Harden will face off in a best of seven series where Harden has everything to prove. Criticized for not showing up in the post-season; James Harden will not only get a chance to exercise those demons but also prove why he deserved to be the league MVP. Don’t get your hopes up so fast Rockets fan. The Rockets comeback from a 3-1 deficit was more of a collapse by the Los Angeles Clippers than the shear talent and ability of the Houston Rockets. I’m still not convinced that Dwight Howard can dominate the post over Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut. Not only has the Warriors offense been exceptional but so has it’s defense. If a combination of Klay Thompson and Andre Igoudala’s defense can slow James Harden, the Rockets will be dependent on an aging veteran Jason Terry and streaky at best Josh Smith. The exceptional shooting abilities of Stephen Curry will be too much for the Rockets to bear.
Golden State in 5.
Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Atlanta Hawks vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers
Overcoming the depth, defensive abilities and the health of the Chicago Bulls has made the Cleveland Cavaliers my favorite to win it all (not that they weren’t already). Lebron proved that his bench is deeper than most thought and his role players have stepped up tremendously. For the better part of these playoffs Lebron has not been his usual efficient self with the exception of Game 5 of the Chicago series. But even without Lebron being efficient, the loss of Kevin Love and the diminishing health of Kyrie Irving; the Cleveland Cavaliers have proven to the league they can beat you in multiple ways. Now they are set to match-up against the Atlanta Hawks who barely beat a Washington Wizards team who was without their star player, John Wall, for the better part of the series. The Atlanta Hawks are an offensive threat to any team when they are clicking and their ability to score can be problematic for a Cavs team whose offense can be stagnant at times. But when Atlanta’s shot isn’t falling, they have no “go to guy” to win the game for them. This will be the edge that the Cavs need and send Lebron to his fifth straight Finals appearance.
Cavs in 6.