NBA Conference Finals: A Tale of Two Series
by John Jastremski
May 17, 2016 | 6883 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The conference finals are upon us in the NBA and thank goodness, because so far the NBA postseason has been a total bore.

Aside from the series that was just played in the second round between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, there has just not been the usual pop and sizzle in April and May like we usually have in the Association.

The NBA postseason has not delivered its usual fill of entertainment. Not yet.

The good news is that one of the matchups in the Conference Finals has a chance to be an instant classic.

The matchup between Oklahoma City and Golden State is as juicy as a steak dinner with a baked potato and cream spinach!

It features the Warriors, who broke the record for regular season wins with 73 and have the most electrifying player in the league in two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry.

Curry is certainly the straw that stirs the drink for Golden State, but he’s anything but a one-man show.

A one-man show can’t win 73 games in the NBA. A great, all-time team can.

The Warriors play a beautiful brand of basketball. They spread the floor, they find the open man and they frustrate their opponents with an un-guardable brand of small ball.

With Curry alongside Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, one would think the Warriors would be close to impossible to beat.

Just don’t tell that to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oklahoma City delivered the most impressive performance of the postseason knocking off the 67-win San Antonio Spurs in six games.

What made the series victory even more impressive for Oklahoma City was the fact that they lost Game 1 by over 30 points.

After watching the Spurs dismantle Oklahoma City the way that they did in Game 1, I never in a million years thought it was even possible that OKC could win four of the next five games of the series.

Well, they did just that.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook reminded the league why they are two of the eight best players in the sport.

The Thunder received all sorts of help from their supporting cast. The big lineup of Steven Adams and Enes Kanter caused problems, Dion Waiters hit big shots and the team finally learned how to play quality defense and close a game in the fourth quarter.

Defensive lapses and squandered leads were quite common for Oklahoma City in the regular season, it was not the case against the veteran-laden Spurs.

This has all the makings of a terrific series. If Oklahoma City’s big lineup can dominate the backboards the way they did against the Spurs and if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play as well as they did in the last series, the Thunder have a puncher's chance against the record-setting Warriors.

If OKC and Golden State is a steak dinner, well then the matchup between Cleveland and Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals is like some stale cold pizza in the fridge.

The Raptors have had a nice season, they’re in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history, but they have absolutely no chance against Lebron James in a best-of-seven series.

I understand that the Eastern Conference has not been a powerhouse conference the last decade, but Lebron James has been in the NBA Finals five consecutive years with Miami and Cleveland respectively.

I won’t bet against that man.

In order to just keep this series respectable, the Raptors backcourt of Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan will have to be great.

Considering that one member of the Raptors backcourt will be guarded by Lebron James throughout most of the series, I find it hard to believe the duo will deliver.

I would be surprised if this series went more than five games.

I’ll deal with some stale cold pizza if I can get a delicious steak dinner.

Enjoy the Conference Finals everybody.

JJ’s Picks: Warriors in Seven, Cavs in Five

You can listen to me on Friday and Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m., after Yankees baseball until 1 a.m. and Monday from 10 to 2 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM/101.9 FM.

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