The Golden State Warriors are once again in the NBA Finals, for the fifth consecutive year, sweeping a gallant Portland Trailblazers 4-0.
It may have been a series sweep, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked.
Portland led by 17+ points in 3 consecutive games! Leading by 15 at half time in game 2, 17 points in the 2nd Qtr of Game 3, and finally 17 points with 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd Qtr of game 4, yet couldn’t hold on to any of these leads.
Golden State trailed for 101 minutes in the series, leading only for 83 minutes, an incredible statistic. One quarter of basketball was always the difference for Golden State to do what they do best.
Steve Kerr must have the greatest Half Time speech of any coach in the league, as they are just about unstoppable in the 3rd Qtr, what’s now known as their championship Qtr.
Once the Warriors can smell blood in the water, there’s no stopping them. Steph Curry and Draymond Green completely dominated that series, as it’s almost like they needed Kevin Durant to go down with an injury to remind everyone of how great they actually were.
Portland can still hold their heads high, and are only a wing away from being right back in it again next season. Tobias Harris and/or Trevor Ariza would be high on their wish list to get them one step further next year, as they really need something better than Aminu.
The Eastern Conference is yet to be decided, as the Raptors held home court in dominating fashion in Game 4. The Raptors snuck away with an OT win in Game 3, as Giannis battled all night (eventually fouling out), along with Kawhi Leonard playing on one leg!
Game 4 was a completely different story, as they jumped on the Bucks early and never looked back. Marc Gasol has played like a different man at home (along with Serge Ibaka), and they have seemingly unlocked Norman Powell, who has produced offensive explosions off the bench at home.
Giannis hasn’t been himself away from home the past couple of games. Drake has been getting into him on the sidelines for air balling 2 FTs across the 2 games, but as we’ve seen this season he won’t stay down for much longer.
Eric Bledsoe has given the Bucks absolutely nothing in this series so far, and he seems to be the X Factor coming into these last few games of this series.
If he produces, it’s hard to see the Bucks getting beat. But if he continues to offer what he’s thrown up over the first 4 games, the Raptors are every chance of stealing Game 5 and taking it back to Jurassic Park and finishing them off in 6 games.
Kyle Lowry also looks to have removed his playoff demons, and it definitely helps having Kawhi Leonard (a closer unlike Mr DeRozan…) by his side this time round.
While the Warriors wait on their opponent and get a whole lot healthier coming into the NBA Finals, let’s enjoy the last 2-3 games of the East Finals, as it’s sure to be an absolute cracker come Friday morning!