October 16, 2021

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals

Jarael and Ryan predict who will represent the East and West in the NBA Finals.

Western Conference

Suns(2) vs. Clippers (4)

Jarael: The Suns are playing like the most complete basketball team in the league. Even with Chris Paul sidelined they were able to dominate and play at their pace. If Leonard was in this series, I think it would be a lot more interesting. The Clippers fight hard but they are playing with rotations of players that they haven’t had all year and I don’t think that holds up over the series. The Suns look more equipped to adjust to losing their star than the Clippers, that is why I have to lean on the Suns. I think Booker’s ability to take over a game and most importantly get his mid-range jump shot any time he wants is the reason the Suns will prevail. Similar to KD against the Bucks, Booker has the ability to shoot difficult shots efficiently, which then limits the opposing team’s ability to get out in transition and play fast. I like the Suns and I have them losing one game, Suns (4-1). 

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Ryan: Choo Choo. That is the sound of me finally joining the Suns hype train. After watching the Suns completely power through the Nuggets and MVP Jokic, I finally believe. But this will be an interesting series, because the Clippers have also been red hot during the playoffs, even without their leader in Kawhi. Bring your popcorn and bet the over as this series will be high scoring basketball and that is the exact type of game the Suns want to play. Devin Booker will be a household name as he leads the Suns into the NBA Finals. Suns (4-2).

Eastern Conference

Bucks (3) vs. (5) Hawks

Jarael: I would like to happily announce I correctly predicted the two match-ups in the East. The Hawks edge the number 1 seed and the Bucks beat the heavily favored Nets. I think the Hawks offense is high powered and they are playing with a lot of confidence. If Bogdan is not 100% I don’t like the Hawks chances of winning 4 games against Milwaukee. When young teams get down, it is easy for them to give up. The Hawks haven’t done that but I don’t see them playing consistently throughout the series. The Bucks will be able to match up better with the Hawks and I don’t see them stopping Giannis from being productive. Jrue Holiday will have a better series as he will have more post-up opportunities than he did with the Nets. Not to mention PJ Tucker will be able to play off the ball on Huerter and Jrue on Trae Young. I like the Bucks chances. I am taking the Milwaukee Bucks (4-2).

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Ryan: What an incredible Eastern Conference Semifinals. Two close Game 7s and both underdogs prevailing. My betting account has been hurt, but I am excited to see a new team in the Hawks make it this deep in the Playoffs. This series will come down to the old fashion pick n roll with Trae Young. I see Giannis and the Bucks defending it well and P.J. Tucker clamping down on Trae Young. Bucks (4-2).

Jarael is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin but currently resides in Ankeny, Iowa with his wife and their two animals, Bill and Nala. Jarael graduated from Buena Vista University and received his masters in Communication from University of Northern Iowa. Jarael continues to attempt to impress his third cousin Lebron James as he attempts to become a 4-time Men’s basketball champion in the Des Moines metro area. If you have seen the movie Coming to America or lived through the 90’s, Jarael’s Halloween costumes will bring you joy. He can be found on Twitter @ThePrinceAkeem tweeting logical ideas and assisting NBA athletes on how they can perform better on a nightly basis.

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