Raptors will face off with the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. This will be a rematch of last years Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 will be in the Q at 7pm ET. The Cavaliers will be coming off a full week of rest after sweeping the Pacers in the first round meanwhile the Raptors were only able to accumulate 3 days of rest going through a strenuous 6-game series with the Bucks. The Cavs have only lost 1 of their past 16 home games against Eastern Conference teams in the playoffs meanwhile the Raptors are 1-11 all time in Game 1 of a playoff series.That lone win came 16 years ago in 2001 against the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Raptors may have momentum with the way they ended their series with the Bucks winning 3 straight games convincingly to close out the series but the Cavs got the rest they needed to fully recuperate. The Cavs are fully healthy and with a rested Lebron leading the way it’s hard to go against them in any game this series. I’m sure the Raptors will figure out a way to get at least one win this series but it won’t be game 1 tonight. All signs lead to Cavs cruising to a win tonight and eventually winning the series ultimately.
The 2 seed Spurs and 3 seed Rockets face off for game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. This will be a great 7-game series matchup. I believe this will be an interesting series due to the Spurs excellent team defense that ranks second in the league in opponents points per game going against the Rockets high-powered offense that ranks second in the league in points per game. In their season series the Spurs won 3 of the 4 games against each other winning by an average of 3 points. This will be a very even matchup all series long but to focus on each game at a time, I believe the Spurs will overcome the Rockets in game 1. The Rockets may have the MVP candidate in James Harden although the Spurs have the best two-way player in the game in Kawhi Leonard and the best coach in the league in Gregg Popovich. Kawhi has shown that he isn’t scared of the moment has he has been knocking down clutch shot after clutch shot for the Spurs especially as of late. His cool and calm demeanor gives him the edge needed for a player to live up to those moments successfully.Popovich has proved he has the best basketball mind the NBA has ever seen in the past 20 years that he has been the head coach of the Spurs. Popovich has dominated D’Antoni in the playoffs every time they have faced off to say the least has he has never lost a playoff series against him (4-0). In fact, his overall playoff record against D’Antoni is 16-3. With that being said, Pop will draw up a game plan to keep the Beard and company contained. And that game plan will be divinely executed.