NBA Semi-Finals preview

Round 2 of the NBA playoffs start tomorrow but just a quick recap of round 1. No real sunrises in the first round with the winners maybe just a couple of the results and with the Clippers and Jazz going to game 7 tomorrow to wrap up the series and an entertaining round 1 of the playoffs.Round 1 results 

East 

Boston beat bulls 4-2 

Wizards beat Hawks 4-2 

Raptors beat Buck 4-2

Cavs beat Pacers 4-0
West

Warriors beat Blazers 4-0

Rockets beat Thunder 4-1

Spurs beat Grizzlies 4-2

Clippers v Jazz game 7
The Semi Finals of the playoffs kick off tomorrow in the East with the Wizards taking on the Celtics so we will start there.
Boston v Washington

The Celtics got a bit of a scare with the Bulls dropping the first two games of the series but then swept the next four to take out the series, put it down to nerves of some of the younger players coming up against a team with the likes of Wade a hardened finals player. The Wizzards where just too classy for the Hawks in the end never really looked like losing just did what the had too to beat them off in six games. This will be a very entertaining series, both sides play a different style of ball. The Wizards interior will look to gain ascendancy as the Bulls exposed the Celtics on the glass in the first two games. The Celtics need to keep rallying around Thomas who is the man in Boston, Wall who is not a renowned defender will need to step it up to help shut Thomas down and restrict the Celtics office running through him.

A key factor in this game will be the use of the bench, the Celtics are not afraid to use their bench and run quite deep while the Wizards have arguably one of the worst benches in the league. The Stars generally decide who wins and loses a series and the backcourt of both sides will have a great battle, but the bench will play a massive part here and is where the Celtics will eventually get the edge. They split the regular season 2 games a piece so expect this to go the distance.
Predict Celtics win in 7 
Cleveland v Toronto

Can the Raptors finally take those final couple steps and get though to the championship series or will Lebron and the Cavs just keep marching through again this season. The Raptors did what they needed to to get past the feisty Bucks and the Cavs showed why they are favoured to go back to the finals with a sweep of the Pacers. It’s so hard to go past this Cavs side and while the Raptors are not a bad side they just don’t seem to be in the same league as the Cavs. The Raptors picked up Ibadan who gave them much needed big man power to go along with Lowry and DeRozen in the back court. The Cavs play a great team defence and can shut sides down very quickly, but it is their offensive power that will carry them in this series. The Cavs have played chess all season rested players at every turn, lost games when it didn’t matter it has always been about getting to the finals again and having a chance to go back to back. The Cavs have a very deep roster and so many offensive weapons the Raptors just won’t be able to cover them all, they may steal a game but it is the Cavs on a mission and nothing will get in there way yet.
Predict Cavs win 4-1

Western conference 
Spurs v Rockets 

Defence v Offence the old saying offence wins games but defence wins championships, this theory will be tested in the next couple weeks in the NBA. The Spurs let in under 100 points a game yet the Rockets average over 115 points per game, will it be Harden v Kawahi that decides the series. These games go one of two ways either Rockets offence fires and they shoot the lights out and win or the Spurs grind them down and shut them down and they win. The games could be won or lost with a five minute burst from Harden or a tight display by the Spurs defence. 

It’s too hard to split the teams, so hard to predict which team fires and when it could possibly be the best series in all the finals so far. The Spurs can match the Rockets offence they have a league best 3 point percentage but don’t take as many shots as the Rockets who shoot a league most 40 attempts a game. The regular season saw the Spurs win 3-1 and while I don’t think they will get it this easy in the finals they will be too good for the Rockets
Predict Spurs 4-3
GSW v Clippers/Jazz

It simply won’t matter Warriors win in 4 or 5 

Out of the two even though we predicted an Clippers narrow victory the way the series has gone it should be the Jazz that progress to face the Warriors. 

The Warriors flexed their muscle against the Blazers and swept the series leaving little doubt that they are the ones to beat in the West. It is almost salivating looking forward to the next series against the Rockets or Spurs but they need to get the job done here first. They will do what they do best and shoot the lights out on the way to another Western conference finals series. 
Predict GSW win 4-1 



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