The NBA Play-offs have been a prelude to the inevitable. Warriors Vs Cavaliers for the third straight year in the NBA Finals. However, The Warriors must overcome The Spurs and The Cavs must beat The Celtics.
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are both unbeaten in the play-offs which is no easy task. Both teams swept their way to the Western and Eastern conference finals. It is all but confirmed that these two will complete the third leg of their finals rivalry, with both teams having won one title each.
The Eastern Conference teams built their teams to beat Cleveland. The Western Conference built theirs to beat the Warriors. The Cavaliers built outside their big 3, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, to combat The Warriors. We will finally see both teams at full strength (hopefully) heading into the NBA finals (should both teams, as expected, win their conference).
The key players left in the play-offs for each team.
Eastern Conference Finals:
LeBron James – Cavaliers. The only man who can get close to Michael Jordan. Even at the age of 32, he is the dominant force of the NBA. He bought a championship to his home town and now he wants to repeat. The Celtics will struggle to guard him as they have no-one who is capable. They are either too slow or too small. The other teams The Cavs played had a player specifically to slow down LeBron. The Celtics, without one, will be doomed if they can’t find a solution.
Isaiah Thomas – Celtics. The smallest player on the court but he is the key player for Boston. He has a great year and continues to improve in the play-offs. He is a perfect fit for their system and he must be great in order to get The Celtics to the finals. Him playing at a high level is a must and if The Celtics fall short then it will not be Thomas’ doing.
Western Conference Finals:
Kawhi Leonard – Spurs. The Western Conference finals have already started. He is the key man because he will miss the rest of the season. Broken Ankle in game 1, sparking conversation about whether it was deliberate or not, The Spurs best player is out. This will hurt San Antonio tremendously. Kawhi is a great defender who could guard any of the Warriors perimeter players, Durant, Curry or Thompson. They had a big lead and his injury sparked a huge run for The Warriors who are in command in the series.
Kevin Durant – Warriors. The most controversial man of the off season, is now they key piece for the Warriors. It was hard to choose between the big four they have but Durant is now the key. The loss of Leonard will free him up to be a big factor in the WCF. It is important he continues his high level of play. He has to vindicate his decision to leave The Thunder and join The Warriors and a massive performance in this series will shut people up, having fallen at this stage a year ago.