2023 NBA Conference Finals Prediction

BYZachary Roberts1089 Views
Link Copied to Clipboard!
nba conference finals 2023
DENVER, CO - APRIL 07: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles against the Memphis Grizzlies at Ball Arena on April 7, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 30: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts late in the fourth quarter during game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2023 in New York City. The Miami Heat defeated the New York Knicks 108-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after scoring during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Chase Center on May 10, 2023 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 14: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics points against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter in game seven of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden on May 14, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
With the conference semifinals finished, it's time for an NBA Conference Finals prediction. Here's what we think will happen next.

With the conference semifinals finished, it's time for an NBA Conference Finals prediction. Only four teams remain in the playoffs as each one searches for a crucial victory to get them to the Finals, where they can taste the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Ironically, these four teams are the exact teams that stood in these positions three years ago during the bubble: Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics. It's been an upset-filled playoff as a seven and eight seed have somehow made it this far. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Ja Morant, De'Aaron Fox, Jalen Brunson, Donovan Mitchell, and others are eliminated, but Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, and Jayson Tatum remain.

These star players have dragged their teams to the Conference Finals. Many of them are probably exhausted from the work they've had to put in to get here. However, as the late, great Kobe Bryant once said: "The job's not finished." These teams would like to have two more series and end with a ring to cement their place in history. Here's which teams will actually be able to do just that.

NBA Conference Finals Prediction: It's Denver's Ring To Lose

By most metrics, the Denver Nuggets are the best team remaining. They have arguably the most complete roster. They also have, with ease, the best player left in Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets dispatched Kevin Durant and withstood a historic Devin Booker series to win against the Phoenix Suns in six games. While the Suns were missing Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton in Game 6, the series wasn't all that difficult for Denver.

On the other side, it's a miracle that the Lakers are still standing. They took on the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies and ousted them, thanks in part to the disrespect Dillon Brooks (who won't be re-joining the team) showed LeBron James. Waiting next for the Lakers was Steph Curry and the reigning world champions, the Golden State Warriors. They dispatched them in six games without struggling all that much, either.

Can The Lakers' Magic Continue?

Anthony Davis and LeBron James are possibly a stronger duo than any other team in the league. However, they don't have the depth to take on Denver. While Anthony Davis is a defensive threat, no one has been able to stop Jokic. Denver has come up short the past few seasons and Jokic has been arguably the best player in the world during that time. They're due for a championship if there ever was such a thing.

Jokic is the kind of player who can carry a team all the way. Fortunately, he doesn't have to do it alone. His complementary pieces in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. give them a nice starting lineup. Even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is playing well. The Lakers have been on a magical run. It's one that would go down in history if it were to go all the way. Unfortunately, a juggernaut stands in their way once again.

NBA Conference Finals Prediction: Denver Nuggets in seven games

NBA Conference Finals Prediction: Miami's Luck Runs Out

The Miami Heat have had an impressive run to the Conference Finals. They withstood the play-in tournament to earn the eighth seed. They went on to dismantle the number one-seeded Milwaukee Bucks with relative ease. Jimmy Butler reminded everyone why he's considered one of the best in the game in the process. They followed it up by dispatching the New York Knicks, too. They enter as major underdogs (+400 to Boston's -525) in the series.

The Boston Celtics just had one of the more intense and enjoyable (from a fan perspective) series of the entire playoffs. They found themselves down 3-2 to the newly crowned MVP and his Philadelphia 76ers. Boston also trailed late in Game 6. They came back, Jayson Tatum said he was one of the best in the world. He followed that statement up with 51 points in Game 7 (a new Game 7 record) to seal it.

Will Boston Redeem Last Year's Finals Loss?

The Celtics are a much better team than the Heat. Where the Heat is led by Butler and Bam Adebayo (two admittedly great players), the Celtics are led by two elite players in Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both teams are extremely well-coached and this should be an entertaining series where everyone forgets that Miami is an eight-seed. Still, the Celtics' talent should win out.

Tatum will be guarded by a top defender in Butler. Humbly, he is one of the best players in the world, though. If he's being shut down, too, the C's have other stars that can carry the load. They're too deep and the Heat are too thin for their unprecedented run to continue. They should be applauded for making it this far, but it likely ends here. Both teams have been to a Finals recently (Boston last year and Miami in 2020 in the bubble). Ultimately, this means talent will win out.

NBA Conference Finals prediction: Boston Celtics in seven games

[Via]

About The Author