Andrew: I have Golden State winning it all over Cleveland. If they are able to survive their first-round matchup with Steph Curry injured, the Warriors have to be the favorites once he returns. Golden State is in the midst of a dynasty and when firing on all cylinders, are as close to unbeatable as we have ever seen in any sport, period. Cleveland will cruise through the East, though Toronto will prove a worthy adversary. Warriors in five.
Tripp: I want to say the result of the playoffs hang on just how hurt Steph Curry is, but I also think Golden State may be good enough to win it all without him. Their toughest challenge would possibly come before the finals against OKC or Houston, but the Warriors still have the best player, not named LeBron James, in Kevin Durant on their roster and will find a way to get back to The Finals. Cleveland will be back in The Finals unless LeBron James decides to retire in the next few weeks, and I suspect they will make it look easy, per usual. I like to think perhaps the Cavs could make it a series against the Warriors, but my money would be on Golden State in five or six.
Monique: Honestly, I am not sure who’s going to be named NBA champions. Most likely, it’ll be Cavaliers and Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Given Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan’s track records in the playoffs, they will probably choke against Cleveland and LeBron James is the only reason I have Cleveland making it back to the Finals. Then, we have the Western Conference. Golden State is obviously the favorite, but injuries are not to be ignored. It seems like “the best player” aka Kevin Durant, by some people’s words, appears less efficient without Steph Curry than vice versa. Although, let’s not forget about Houston either. The Rockets have been extremely impressive, but they won’t last. They are not a battle-tested team. They haven’t had the full playoff experience. Mind you, James Harden choked in the elimination game against San Antonio in last year’s playoffs. With that being said, I am going with the dark horse, OKC. There is a guy on that team by the name of Russell Westbrook, and I think he has something to prove. He is nearly averaging a triple-double. Not only that, but they have proven that they can hang with the great teams. OKC’s record is subpar, but they did happen to defeat both Golden State and Houston twice in the regular season, some of which were blowout wins. I think OKC has what it takes to knock off either Golden State or Houston in the Conference Finals. I have OKC and Cleveland in the Finals. I’m going with Russ and the guys, in seven games.
Dougie: I am extremely far from an NBA aficionado. In fact, let’s establish who I am as a basketball player first; circa 2013 my high school established its first-ever basketball team. The prominent sports in Scotland were, and still are, rugby and football (soccer). As an avid rugby player, non-contact is not my style. Anyhow, we play our first game with most of the rugby team being present for the basketball team. I see this guy going in for a lay-up, and my brain crosses wires. My logically thinking brain says “oh no he’s going to score,” and my inner barbarian says “KILL.” So I spear tackle him, saving the lay-up and also he does not make the free throw, so I did save us at the expense of a technical foul. With that being said, my NBA predictions are the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Browns. Wait, they’re a football team. The Cavaliers is what I meant. When we want some rugby predictions, or soccer or football, then we get to see Dougie bust out the knowledge.
Daniel: Cavs over the Rockets in six games. Why? Because I am sick and tired of watching the Cavs/Warriors in the NBA Finals, and there is not a single team in the Eastern Conference that can seriously compete with a LeBron James in a seven-game series. The Western Conference is more competitive, so though I believe Golden State is still the best team, I do not want to see another Finals with Cleveland and Golden State. Sue me.
Trey: From the regular season all the way up until now, it’s been the Rockets’ year. James Harden is the runaway MVP. With that being said, I believe The Finals will include the Rockets after they shock the world, beating the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. I also have the Cavaliers and Lebron making it to another NBA Finals appearance after they beat the 76ers in a tight series. And as for the Finals champion, I believe that Lebron will pull the inevitable and win another title for Cleveland.
Kam: I’m going out on a limb here. The Houston Rockets will upset the Warriors in seven games and win the Western Conference. Also, the Philly sports magic will continue as the Philadelphia 76ers will defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to advance to the NBA Finals. The magic will end there, however, as I believe the Rockets will easily handle the Sixers in five and become NBA Champions.
Isaiah: I have the Houston Rockets winning The Finals because of the continuity both Chris Paul and James Harden have established with each other. They have made the Rockets an elite team. James Harden is hitting threes that are almost impossible to hit, and he’s finding ways to win games. Alongside Paul, the assists continue to pile up, and Clint Capela is a better big because of the two of them. They need to focus more on their defense, but if they do, they will be a force to reckoned with even more than they are now.
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