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The 2021 NBA Playoff Predictions – Conference Finals

The ladder tightens up a bit, with Jarrod making up ground picking the Clippers in 6. Ash and I still in front though, picking Bucks in 7. Troy’s Suns-Nuggets coin toss landing sunny side up, and Dan sticking with DK Dream Team regular Kevin Huerter, saving them from going 0/4.

David Ashman, Jesse Cotton: 26
Dan Kelly, Jarrod Cotton: 19

Troy Goostrey: 18

Four teams left now. Are we going to see Bucks and Clippers in the battle of “we don’t care what you do in the regular season, you have to show us in the playoffs”, or Bucks and Suns in the battle of “did Chris Paul pick the right team?”, or Hawks and Clippers in the battle of “who won the Dominique Wilkins-Danny Manning trade after all”, or Hawks and Suns in the battle of “do you guys even remember we HAVE playoffs?”. Only time will tell, because our predictions probably won’t!

Western Conference

2 Phoenix Suns v 4 Los Angeles Clippers

Troy Goostrey: Players missing from both squads to start the series – CP3 with Covid protocols vs LAC with Kawhi injured.  CP3 and what he means to the young Suns squad is the bigger loss here, but there’s no mention of him missing more than Game 1 at the moment, where Kawhi hasn’t travelled to Phoenix so he looks likely out for the first two.  As such, I draw this even.  Now for the overall series, again the youth of Phoenix (except CP3 and Crowder) versus the experience of the Clippers.  It is almost as though LAC was built for coming up against CP3 with Beverley and Rondo there to hassle him, when he does come back it will be tough.  Booker will have a challenge too against Paul George, although which PG do we get?  If it is the lazy checked out PG, then Booker will dominate – even more if Kawhi remains out.  My heart wants a Suns win, but my head says the experience of the Clippers if fully fit.  I think there is more to the Kawhi injury though which we don’t know about yet, and with that in mind I’m going Suns in 6 as LAC will fold without Kawhi and I don’t think we see him again this year.  Reggie Jackson and Terance Mann won’t be as effective in this series and the Suns have Bridges and Crowder to throw at PG (and Kawhi if he does houdini appear).  Suns look more a team at this point, so yeah, Suns in 6

Dan Kelly: I love the Clippers. Patrick Beverley is my favourite player in the whole league. I also definitely wrote this, not Jesse. Suns in 5

Jarrod Cotton: Clippers problem- The Klaws knee. Where as Phoenix’s post season has some inevitably about it. Whether it is team chemistry, Booker’s leap or Chris Paul’s final great symphony, they seem destined to move on. Suns in 6

David Ashman: Here come the Suns, doin do doooo. I’ve picked the Suns all the way through this so I will stick with them seeing they’ve taken out the Lakers and Nuggets convincingly. Booker has been great and his supporting cast has been on. Including Ayton who has been complacent in the past but is now looking like he’s turned the corner and becoming the beast we’d hoped he’d be in the paint. CP30 over PG13, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Suns in 6

Jesse Cotton: Will Chris Paul play? Will Kawhi Leonard play? Does Devin Booker have what it takes to carry a team to the Finals? Does Paul George have what it takes to carry a team to the Finals? Will Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo get into a fight? Does Marcus Morris even remember playing for the Suns? Does Torrey Craig even remember playing for Brisbane/Cairns? Does DeMarcus Cousins even remember playing?
Anyway…it sounds more likely that CP3 will be available than Kawhi. And while I trust PG13 to win a couple of games scoring in the mid-30s, I also trust him to go missing a couple of times scoring in the mid-teens. The Clippers can’t afford that in this series. Suns in 7

“I say I say, what did Boy George want to be when he grew up?” – Danny Manning
“I don’t know, what DID Boy George want to be when he grew up?” – Chris Paul
“Mann George” – Danny Manning
“Who made that guy a comedian?” – Quentin Richardson
“I did sir. He’s my Cousins” – Sam Cassell

Eastern Conference

3 Milwaukee Bucks v 5 Atlanta Hawks

Troy Goostrey: Sidney Moncrief’s Bucks vs Dominique’s Hawks….  well, 35 years later anyway!!  I haven’t picked the Hawks in a series yet and the trend will continue here (Sorry Jesse)!  With Milwaukee slaying the dragon that was the Brooklyn Nets, I think the confidence in Giannis and Middleton will be sky high.  Jrue Holiday is proving to be a difference maker and massive upgrade over Bledsoe, and with the momentum rolling they will be a force too much for the Hawks.  Trae Young has been amazing and although another tough matchup awaits with Holiday, I’m sure he’ll continue the Ice Trey form.  But the Hawks inexperience will finally bring them undone here.  Milwaukee aren’t as one dimensional as Philly, Middleton and cohorts are stepping up more frequently now to give Giannis some help.  Fear the Deer – Bucks in 5

Dan Kelly: Even though I think Bucks in 4, Hawks in 7

Jarrod Cotton: It feels like this is the right time for Milwaukee to break through to the finals. The previous two runs have ended earlier than expected but this year will be different. Jrue will be a lot better this round. Trae has and is exceeding expectations but Atlanta has some gate crashing vibes about this run, maybe a couple of years too early. Bucks in 5

David Ashman: Wow the Hawks have proved everybody wrong and are now set for a showdown with the Bucks. The Bucks finally got over the Nets and scraped through which was fantastic to see after so much hype with the KardashNets. As much as I’d love to see the Hawks make it through on the back of a Trae Young miracle, I think the Bucks will take it in the end. The Bucks have some strong D and Giannis is ready to push for a title with this team. Bucks in 7

Jesse Cotton: Is Mike Budenholzer coaching the right team? Did Bogdan Bogdanovic end up at the right team? Did the Bucks really deserve to get past the Nets? Did the Hawks really deserve to get past the Sixers? Did Greg Anderson adopt the nickname Cadillac to not be confused with the Crows player? What about ball hawk Steve Henson? Henson’s in the backseat of my Cadillac, let me take you there. Yeah yeah.
Anyway…Holiday didn’t get to show it last series, but he has the ability to cut the head off the snake by limiting Trae Young. And the Hawks won’t be able to exploit Giannis’s lack of shooting like they did Ben Simmons, because Giannis will just get to the rim more like Joel Embiid, which the Hawks didn’t have an answer for. Because not everything’s shooting you know. The only important thing these days is rhythm and melody. Mmm yes delightful. Bucks in 6

“It didn’t matter who won out of Philly or Atlanta, I was always going to make an appearance” – Toni Kukoc
“Me too” – Glenn Robinson
“Me three” – Ersan Ilyasova
“Me mumble mumble” – Moses Malone
“Eh?” – Sidney Moncrief
“I said FOUR!” – Moses Malone

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