The NBA conference finals have come and gone. It didn’t lack excitement, to say the least. The Eastern Conference saw a 7 game series between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The west also had a 7 game series between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. Let’s begin with the Eastern Conference.
- In a series where you need to win 4 games, the most you can play is 7. The 7th game in a series is the holy grail of games in the NBA playoffs. Due or die, win or go home, put up or shut up, these are a few sayings to explain a game 7. Both the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers played a game 7 in the playoffs this year. They both had their 7 game series in the first round; of course, they both won their respected games. The Celtics played the Milwaukee Bucks and won with a score of 112-96. The Cavaliers played the Indiana Pacers in their 7 game series winning it with a score of 105-101. Now back to the series between the Celtics and the Cavaliers, after a bad game with only 15 points in game 1, LeBron James went off. The next 5 games saw LeBron score 42, 27, 44, 26, and 46. In game 7, LeBron didn’t disappoint. The Celtics haven’t lost a game at home all playoffs (including 3-0 vs Cavaliers) and the Cavaliers have struggled on the road. Game 7 was played in Boston so you would figure the Celtics would have the edge… Nope! The Cavaliers have LeBron James so that gives them the edge.
Game 7, a close game throughout saw LeBron James score 35 points, grab 15 rebounds and dish out 9 assist. But LeBron didn’t do it alone. Jeff Green had his best game of the playoffs for the Cavaliers, he scored 19 points and he scores a bunch of clutch baskets… so did LeBron. The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum gave his best effort scoring 24 points and grabbing 7 rebounds but it wasn’t enough. The young Celtics became prisoners to the three-point line, throwing up way too many without enough makes (7-39 from three-point land). The Cavaliers won the game 87-79. This means the Cavaliers will be heading back to the finals for the 4th straight year. And for LeBron, this will be his 8th straight trip me ninth overall in his remarkable career.
The Rockets and Warriors both have had easy routes in the playoffs, so a match-up between the two would, of course, mean a 7 game series.
- For a change, the Warriors will be starting a playoff series on the road since the Rockets had a better record during the season. This didn’t seem to bother the Warriors at all since they came out and won fairly easily with a 119-106 victory. Kevin Durant of the Warriors scored 37 points in the game. Game 2 saw the Rockets do what they were supposed to do, win and defend home court with a blow out victory, 127-105. The series shifted back to Golden State and the defending champion Warriors looked like champions blowing the Rockets out with a 126-85 victory.
- Game 4 saw something that most people and including myself didn’t think would happen since it rarely does. The Warriors lost at home. The Rockets played a suburb game, making all the right plays down the stretch of the game. The Rockets won 95-92. The Rockets went back home for game 5 and won a close battle 98-94. The Rockets were up 3-2, they had s chance to knock the defending champions out of the playoffs. Would that happen in game 6, back in Golden State? Of course not, the Warriors easily defended home court with a 115-86. That leads up to the due or die game 7, in Houston. Winner heads to the finals to play for a championship, loser goes home, what will happen?
- Well, guess what? I’m going to tell you what happened. The Rockets started out fast, jumping on the Warriors, putting them in an early hole. The Rockets were up by as much as 15 points in the first half and took a 54-43 into halftime. This wouldn’t hold up, the Warriors came out in the 3rd quarter looking like the defending champions that they are. Led by Kevin Durant, who scored 34 points, the Warriors came into Houston and won 101-92. They win the series and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals. This is the 4th straight year that these teams will meet in the finals. I cannot wait to see how this year’s match-up goes.