June 16, 2021 at 08:50 pm
It is now down to the homestretch in the NBA’s Conference Semifinals, but with only six teams involved in a best-of-three series.
This after the surprise of the season team, the Phoenix Suns completed their domination of the Denver Nuggets by sweeping their best-of-seven series, 4-0, as the team continues to shine.
Barring a sudden solar eclipse, the team is expected to match up well with the winner of the Utah-Clippers series, whoever that may be, and I would expect Chris Paul, now 36 years but playing like the way he used to, to go all the way and perhaps win his first NBA title.
To think that a lot of people had written off this guy after he suffered an injury a few years ago. Chris certainly has proven his critics wrong. But of course, the Suns have to win the Western Conference first before thinking of the finals.
As of this writing, aside from the Jazz-Clippers series, NBA fans are eagerly awaiting the results of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the not-so-mighty-now Brooklyn Nets against the surging Milwaukee Bucks, who seem to have awaken from a stupor, and the Philadelphia 76ers vs the Atlanta Hawks.
Starting off with the Jazz-Clippers match up, I was surprised when Utah won the first two games, but not surprised when the Clippers clawed back to contention with back-to-back wins in Games 3 and 4.
Kawhi Leonard, one of the best blue collar superstars, who plays both ends of the court, together with Paul George, who seems to have regained his form the last two games, have taken control of the Clippers when it matters most. Couple this with the fact that Jazz player Mike Conley, a solid contributor to Utah’s cause, is not at 100%, then I see the Clippers riding the momentum to a victory in the series.
For the Nets-Bucks series, it is a similar story when the seemingly unbeatable Nets won the first two games with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving able to take up the slack for the absence of James Harden. But the seemingly beatable Bucks went from Sucks to Bucks anew and turned the tables on the Nets in Games 3 and 4.
Now, Kyrie is out after suffering an injury, but James may return for Game 5 and between him and Kevin, they can carry the Nets, so it is an if game for me. If James plays the next 2 or 3 games with Kevin, I will go with the Nets, but if James and Kyrie are both missing, I think the Bucks can pull it off.
The Atlanta Hawks and the 76ers would be another what if game. If Joel Embiid is able to play at his max, odds will favor Philadelphia. But right now, nothing is definite about his condition, and without him, or him not playing his usual game, I believe the Hawks have enough firepower to win the series.
Whoever wins and face one another in the conference finals, it will definitely be an interesting series.
Now just remember, I have not been known to hit it on the nail when it comes to predicting game results, so please, do not blame me if I screw this up.