Everyone had their presumed Finals team picked out when the playoff bracket released. The majority of opinions, though, pegged the Warriors and Bucks to meet for the title. But the first games of the second round in the playoffs have yielded some interesting results.
After considering the first-round results, and the early second-round results, these are the top
three teams that can win the NBA Finals, as of right now.
1. Golden State Warriors
Yeah, they barely beat the Rockets at home in Game 1. And yes, officiating may have been questionable in the game. But the Warriors are the Warriors, what more is there to say?
Until proven otherwise, they are still the favorites to win the title. Unlike the other no. 1 seed in the playoffs, the Bucks, they at least won the first game of the second round at home. Plus, holding the Rockets to 100 points is pretty good, considering what Houston is capable of. The Warriors also did not have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at full health.
They were able to keep the momentum going and win Game 2.
2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics were a head-scratching case in the second half of the regular season.
Everyone wondered why they struggled so much, considering the amount of talent they
Sweeping the Pacers is not that impressive, since Indiana was missing its best player. But defeating the one-seeded Bucks on the road is. Not only that, but Boston beat Milwaukee by 22 points, while making Giannis Antetokounmpo score 22 points on 7-21 shooting. Only two other Bucks scored more than 10 points, and that is not a winning formula.
Boston found a way to contain the Bucks, and considering how strong Boston is defensively, Milwaukee needs to shake this funk fast. Even though the Bucks won Game 2, taking one on the road is huge for the Celtics.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
It may not seem too impressive to beat the sixth seed in the Western Conference, but Portland
did it in convincing fashion (4-1), including a win in Oklahoma City. And the Thunder were no slouches.
Damian Lillard carried Portland throughout the series and looks like he will not slow down. Portland’s depth is a concern, but the talent off the bench is there. If Lillard and C.J. McCollum are making their shots, Portland will be fine.And the times when those two are off will be very few. But when they are having a slow night, will the bench step up?
That is the one question that is still out there for Portland, but Portland’s momentum can be enough to help them defeat even the Warriors.