2022 NBA Finals Prediction
The NBA Playoffs are one of the most exciting events in the world of sports. The event is filled with iconic moments, electric crowds, and the performances of a lifetime. Last year, the Finals featured two relatively small-fry teams when the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games. In that series, Giannis Antetokounmpo solidified himself as one of the game’s best. He won Finals MVP, and put up 50 points in the sixth game of the series. So what can we expect going into this year’s NBA Playoffs?
The Eastern Conference:
Of the two conferences, the Eastern Conference was the more competitive one this regular season. The one seed Heat and the five seed Raptors were separated by just five games at the end of the year. While the Western Conference has more top-heavy standings, the East has several different teams that could make a run. However, there can only be one King of the East. This year, the Milwaukee Bucks will repeat as Eastern Conference champions.
While they are the three seed, the Bucks have all the necessary components to make it to the Finals. It doesn’t hurt when you have one of the best players in Giannis Antetokounmpo in your starting five. But when you have players like Khris Middleton, Serge Ibaka, and Jrue Holiday complimenting him, it becomes a truly lethal lineup. This year, the Bucks were third in the league in points per game, fifth in three point percentage, and were 12th in team field goal percentage. While their defense is a slight liability, their overall offensive firepower will be able to propel them past teams like the Celtics and Heat to the Finals.
One sleeper team to definitely keep your eye on in the East is the Brooklyn Nets. This team could potentially be the most loaded seven seed to ever make the playoffs. The lineup features two of the best overall players in the NBA in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They have a
multitude of veterans with playoff experience like Lamarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills, Blake Griffin, and Goran Dragic. With Ben Simmons potentially being available in early rounds, and a solid head coach in Steve Nash, the Nets are poised to potentially shake these playoffs in a major way.
The Western Conference:
As aforementioned, the Western Conference is a top-heavy conference. The one seed Phoenix Suns finished eight games ahead of their closest competitor, the Memphis Grizzlies. Make no mistake, there are several teams in the West who are in great position to pose a serious threat to the Suns’ Western Conference domination. The Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks are teams that come to mind. But there is one team that has all the right components to topple the Suns. That team is the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors will be the victors of the West for two reasons: experience and Stephen Curry. The Warriors have the most playoff experience of any team in the Western Conference. The trio of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are no strangers to the spotlight. Head coach Steve Kerr has about as much experience as a team could hope for, both as a player with the Bulls, and as a coach with Golden State. Their veteran poise will enable them to weather the tough stretches of certain games, and ultimately put them in the best spot to play their best brand of basketball. But the Warriors ace in the hole is Stephen Curry. He is their best player. He is their x-factor. And he is the reason why they will have the opportunity to host another Larry O’Brien Trophy. Even though he dealt with an injury at the end of the season, he is projected to play the entire playoffs. And his unparalleled ability to score points in bunches will push Golden State over the edge, and put them in the Finals.
Like the East, there is one dark horse fans should be on the lookout for- The New Orleans Pelicans. Yes they are an eight seed. And yes they start their playoffs by facing off against the vaunted Suns. But the Pelicans have some nice pieces on their roster that include Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum. And if the Pelicans make it past the Suns, they could potentially get
young star Zion Williamson back into the fold for later rounds. With that trio on the floor, the Pelicans could shock the league.
It’s looking like a matchup of the three seeds in this year’s finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors. Both of these rosters have starpower with Giannis and Curry, veteran leadership, and two fantastic coaches. It surely will be a matchup for the ages. But there can only be one winner, and this year, the Milwaukee Bucks will repeat as NBA champions.
The Bucks have one of the most complete rosters in all of basketball. Mike Buddenholzer has transformed this unit into a well oiled machine. Ultimately, they have too much star power for the Warriors to keep up with. Giannis is a matchup nightmare by himself, but players like Middleton, Holiday, and Serge Ibaka will flourish in the spotlight. They didn’t shy away from the pressure last year, and they’ll be up to the challenge this year. Get ready, Milwaukee. The O’Brien Trophy is coming home for a second straight year.