I.It is possible that nothing in the future final of the conference will compare with the thrills of the second round of this postseason, which was filled with young talented teams who are desperately fighting for their lives in the playoffs. Indeed, Sunday gave us not one but two games of 7. It would not be surprising if both of these series also come out at a distance. That’s how things can shake.
Eastern Conference Finals (Game 1: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat. Tuesday, 20.30 EST)
What to do “Miami Heat”: Win the battle of the three-pointers. When the Celtics stumbled during their seven-game series against the Bucks, it was primarily because their shooters struggled to hit from behind the arc. The Miami defense is capable of squeezing around the rim, which means Boston shooters will need to stay hot. After all, bad shooting breeds bad shooting, and it’s Boston’s young team that has demonstrated that it can be annoying.
What the Boston Celtics need to do: Take the page from Kendrick Lamar: Stay humble. As we saw in Game 5 against the Bucks – when Boston blew up a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and got a chance to bring the series to the ice early – the Celtics had a problem during the season when snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory by stopping on lazy throws and concentrating on the clock, not on their opponents, in late games. How much Boston learned from that second round could determine if they would win Heath.
Main player: Bam Adebayo, Central, Miami Heat. After his stellar turn in the conference semifinals it would be tempting to give this to Jason Tatum of Boston. But we will take this opportunity to praise the key cog of Miami’s punitive defense. When Adebayo was excluded from the list of finalists for the best defensive player of the year, the award he eventually received by Boston playmaker Marcus Smart, he replied: “I can do everything other guys can do.” Here’s the perfect chance for a great man to prove it against the Celtics crime, which is ruthlessly adapting to its opponents ’schemes.
Forecast: The Celtics-Bucks felt he had demonstrated the top two teams in the Eastern Conference and that the winner would advance to the NBA Finals. The Celtics not only won the series, but may have beaten Milwaukee in two of three defeats. In the era after the new big three, the Celtics have become accustomed to reaching the finals of the conference only in order not to reach the promised land – twice because of the heat. This strip will end here if they remain calm. Boston at 6 p.m..
Western Conference Finals (Game 1: Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors. Wednesday, 9pm EST)
What the Golden State Warriors need to do: Solve Luka Doncic’s problem. Doncic averaged 31.5 points against Golden State in the regular season. What does head coach Steve Kerr do: collect Doncic twice or get defenders to help? Does he admit that Doncic is going to fill out a statistical sheet and work on limiting the production of his teammates? There are no good answers here, only less bad ones, and Kerr can’t afford to stick to a pre-prepared plan if it doesn’t work.
What Dallas Mavericks need to do: Explore their Game 7 tape, perhaps? The Mavericks have been tough outsiders against the Phoenix and are likely to be outsiders against the Golden State team, which has a long playoff summary, but they are clearly capable of beating even more experienced teams. The Warriors will be preferred, but Dallas has a lot of momentum, nothing to lose and (oh yes) the best player in any of the other four teams. It also helps if the whole crime doesn’t revolve around Doncic: the contribution of Spencer Dinwidi and Jalen Branson helped them shock the Suns.
Main player: Luka Doncic, Guard-Forward, Dallas Mavericks. As a result of the fact that Janis Antetakunmpa, Joel Embid and Nikola Jokic have come out of the playoffs, Doncic now has strong arguments that he is the best man. In 7 games against the Phoenix Suns, he scored 35 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals in just 30 minutes of playing time to help lead the Mavs to full pressure against the Suns, who reached the NBA Finals last year.
Prediction: Golden State at 7. The hardest thing about the Phoenix Suns throwing the ball in the 7th game is that they would probably have won the second final in a row if they had won another game. Maybe Chris Paul is really doomed to never win the ring. While the Warriors had to regroup after losing in the 2019 final after the abrupt resignation of Kevin Durant and the devastating injuries of Clay Thompson, they are the best team still living in the playoffs. In the post-season, which is dominated by younger players, the united Splash Brothers have rediscovered their blows, and this should give them an advantage.