Saturday, August 30, 2014

2015 NBA Finals Prediction

          Last year the best team won the NBA Championship. This year, I predict the same will happen again. the San Antonio Spurs resigned all of their key players, and should stay atop the Western Conference until another proves that they can beat the defending champions. It is really hard to see that happening, as the Spurs have the defense, three-point shooting, strong bench play, veteran leadership and experience, and a core of proven winners who play incredibly well together for the best coach in the league.
          The Eastern Conference, on the other hand, has seen quite the mashup over the offseason, with the moving of LeBron James back home to Cleveland, and the balance of power shifting away from Miami to be more evenly spread out throughout the entire conference. The Cavaliers will be expected by many to win the conference, although the Bulls, Heat, and Wizards will have something to say about that. The Bulls have an incredibly talented roster, with a deep group of big men and some good young talent on the perimeter. They also have the former MVP of the league in Derrick Rose, who FINALLY seems to be healthy and ready to go. Although the injury-prone label certainly applies to him, if Rose is around when the playoffs start, that is all the matters and he is a true difference maker.

Spurs Predicted Lineup:

Tony Parker, PG
Danny Green, SG
Kawhi Leonard, SF
Tim Duncan, PF
Thiago Splitter, C

Key Reserves:

Manu Ginobili, SG
Boris Diaw, F/C
Marco Belinelli, SG
Patty Mills, PG
Kyle Anderson, G/F

Bulls Predicted Lineup:

Derrick Rose, PG
Jimmy Butler, SG
Mike Dunleavy, SF
Pau Gasol, PF
Joakim Noah, C

Key Reserves:

Taj Gibson, PF
Nikola Mirotic, PF
Kirk Hinrich, PG
Doug McDermott, SF

          Looking at these projected lineups, the Bulls have certainly enough talent to get them through the Eastern Conference, and have been together long enough with the same coach that they will gel immediately. The rookie Doug McDermott offers some intriguing possibilities for a team that is so strong defensively but last year needed other weapons on offense. With so much focus on Rose, McDermott should be able to thrive on the wing and put up some huge offensive numbers. The Spurs have a talented small forward of their own in Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who could very easily take the jump this year to become a league MVP candidate. He is an all-around talented player who will carry the Spurs this year in order to give their veterans some rest until the playoffs. The Spurs also have such depth on the bench that it seems impossible, even for Chicago and its solid role-players like Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy, for any other team to come out on top in a best-of-seven series.

Finals Prediction

Spurs over Bulls: 4-2

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