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The 2022 NBA Playoff Predictions – Conference Finals

So, James, another disappointing playoff exit for you. Tell me, how much partying are you going to do this offseason? What size will you be for the start of training camp?
Good work Jarrod! So close to getting a complete sweep, picking Heat in 6, Celtics in 7, Warriors in 6 and…Suns in 7. Ayton, not surprisingly, let you down in a big game.
On to the next round. If only this counted towards fantasy scores. Luka, Tatum and Steph all still in it.

Eastern Conference

1 Miami Heat v 2 Boston Celtics

Troy Goostrey: Well the two favourites navigated the tough East and made it to the Conference Final.  I still think the winner of that Boston v Milwaukee series ends up winning the East, so I’ll be backing Boston here.  But it won’t be easy, they need to steal home court from Miami and ensure they wind it up on their home floor to get back to the Finals.  Jimmy, Bam and Co will scrap, fight and defend them all the way, but ultimately I just can’t see a back court of Vincent and Strus taking a team to the Finals.  Philly imploded in the last round, and made the Heat look better than they really are.  Boston have been the best team since All Star break, and just went through the series anyone had to win to get the title – taking it from Giannis.  Celtics in 6
Jarrod Cotton: Boston just looks so well rounded as a team this year, can’t see them not making it to the finals now. Miami has depth and great defense but I think their lack of reliable scoring will catch up with them. Celtics in 6
Jesse Cotton: A repeat of the ECF from in the bubble, where Bam’s block on the Tatum dunk in Game 1 set the tone for the Heat to pull that series off. These aren’t the same Celtics though. If you had to pick two guys in the East you didn’t want to see in the playoffs, arguably you’d pick KD and Giannis, and Boston has eliminated both of them like they were Zod and Non. In comparison, the Heat are Lex Luthor, touted as the main adversary but at the end of the day, just a human who the Celtics should be able to screw up into a ball and throw into the sun. Sure, the Heat have home court and the #1 seed, but really I think this year the East had 3 #1 seeds in the Heat, Bucks and Celtics, they were that close. And I can’t pick Bam Bam, Pebbles and the Heat when I’ve already said last round that the Bucks-Celtics series was the real ECF. So Tatum to get Conference Finals MVP and Celtics in 6
"I'm the strongest man in the world" - Brian Shaw
"Stronger than a tank?" - Sherman Douglas
"I'm still here El Guapo" - Jae Crowder

Western Conference

3 Golden State Warriors v 4 Dallas Mavericks

Troy Goostrey: Firstly, just to cover the Suns loss – surely now it means CP3 is not built for a title?  He just can’t seem to lead a team to the promised land, and maybe now he tries to ride the tails of someone else to grab one late, but Dallas taking the Suns out with Luka and a bunch of role players still amazes me.  So we have to give the Mavs some credit for getting here, but much like the above backcourt comment for the Heat, in the Mavs I just can’t see a starting lineup including future “hall of no-namers” like Powell, Bullock and DFS getting to the big dance.  Even if Luka goes All-World again, the Warriors have too much experience, depth and flexibility in the roster to fall away like the Suns did.  Curry, Klay and now Poole will continue to shoot the lights out, Green picking up his usual T’s and the Warriors move on fairly easily.  Perhaps a battle between Luka and Draymond for most whinging to the refs is what we should track here??  Warriors in 5
Jarrod Cotton: This series comes down to Golden state being a little bit more experienced, even though Luka will eventually win one of these off his own bat, scary good. Warriors in 7
Jesse Cotton: Side note – at the start of the Memphis series the Warriors were starting 4 sons of former NBA players – Dell Curry, Gary Payton, Mychal Thompson and Mitchell Wiggins. Dallas just need a couple more to join Rick Brunson and Tim Hardaway, surely Patrick Ewing Jr and Glenn Robinson III would come cheap, and there’s your 4×4 dads curtain raiser! This series has a feel of LeBron vs the Pistons in 2007 about it. You have a veteran team which has had years of success going up against a young star surrounded by relative scrubs. Or maybe, after Luka saw what Trae did last year, getting through the 4-5 matchup and upsetting the #1 seed, he didn’t want to be left behind and have everyone say the Hawks won that trade. Yeah, I think that’s it. So will Luka push his team through to the Finals a little earlier than expected like LeBron, or will he go down in 6 like Trae? I don’t think he’s overmatched like Trae was, but also the Warriors are not the ageing Pistons. So even though Luka will end up with Conference Finals MVP, I’ll go for a repeat of the 2007 first round and take the Warriors in 6
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