The Highlander

NBA Conference Finals Preview

Ed Walters, Sports Editor

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Despite an NBA season of many ups and downs, the two conference finals matchup are the ones many experts predicted going into the season. In the east, the LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers to take on the injury-ridden Boston Celtics. Out west, the perennial favorite Golden State Warriors take on the red-hot Houston Rockets led by likely MVP James Harden.

Eastern Conference Finals

In a rematch of last years Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James looks to carry his team to an eighth straight NBA Finals appearance. LeBron James is averaging a league-leading 34.3 points per game thus far in the playoffs and seeks to carry this momentum into a tough matchup with the Celtics. The young Celtics team look to continue their miraculous playoff run past the Cavaliers. The Celtics lost their two best players, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, during the regular season, but still find themselves in a strong position to advance to the NBA Finals. The game schedule is as follows:

-East Game 1: Cleveland at Boston: Sunday, May 13, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

-East Game 2: Cleveland at Boston: Tuesday, May 15, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

-East Game 3: Boston at Cleveland: Saturday, May 19, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

-*East Game 4: Boston at Cleveland: Monday, May 21, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

-*East Game 5: Cleveland at Boston: Wednesday, May 23, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

-*East Game 6: Boston at Cleveland: Friday, May 25, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

-*East Game 7: Cleveland at Boston: Sunday, May 27, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

* = if necessary

Prediction: Cavaliers win in 6 games. While the Celtics have been playing great team basketball all playoffs, LeBron James will prove to be too much for the young Celtics team.

Western Conference Finals

In what is likely the most anticipated matchup in this year’s playoffs, the Houston Rockets take on the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets had the best regular season record in the NBA this year, finishing with a record of 65-17. They will seek to derail Golden State’s search for three titles in the last four years. The Warriors are hoping their stars Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson will be enough to overcome Houston’s star-studded backcourt duo of James Harden and Chris Paul. The game schedule is as follows:

-West Game 1: Golden State at Houston: Monday, May 14, 9 p.m. ET on TNT

-West Game 2: Golden State at Houston: Wednesday, May 16, 9 p.m. ET on TNT

-West Game 3: Houston at Golden State: Sunday, May 20, 8 p.m. ET on TNT

-West Game 4: Houston at Golden State: Tuesday, May 22, 9 p.m. ET on TNT

-*West Game 5: Golden State at Houston: Thursday, May 24, 9 p.m. ET on TNT

-*West Game 6: Houston at Golden State: Saturday, May 26, 9 p.m. ET on TNT

-*West Game 7: Golden State at Houston: Monday, May 28, 9 p.m. ET on TNT

* = if necessary

Prediction: Warriors win in 6. Despite Chris Paul being one of the best players in the playoffs this year, the Warriors are just much more talented than any other team in the NBA.

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NBA Conference Finals Preview