With the conference finals games about to go underway in the coming days, now is a good time to take stock of the remaining teams in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
Of all the teams so far in the playoffs, I don’t think anyone has been more impressive than the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team is an unreal 8-0 in the playoffs with two straight sweeps against quality teams. Not only have Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Lebron James been superb, but other players have been coming up huge. In the series against Atlanta, the team also had an unreal series for shooting the three, even showing up the Golden State Warriors. And speaking of the Warriors, the Cavs likely have a sour taste in their mouths after last year’s finals and there is no doubt they would love to book another date with the Warriors in the finals of this years playoffs.
Of the four teams that have made it to the Conference Finals this year, none is more surprising to most fans than the Toronto Raptors. And unlike most of the other teams here, their road to where they are now was not an easy one. In fact, both of their series’ came down to seven games and the team has had to deal with some awful shooting performances along the way. But all that matter is that when all the chips have been on the table, their two star guards Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry have performed amazing. But if they are to get past the Cavs, they will have to be flawless.
Oklahoma City Thunder
While most were probably expecting for it to be a Spurs/Warriors Western Conference Final, the Thunder had other ideas. Their superior offensive superstars were just too much for the aging Spurs teams. Not only did it only take the Thunder six games to beat the Spurs, they managed to win two of three games in San Antonio, who is notoriously known for being a great home team. If the Thunder’s big two of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can play up to potential and their role players can offer support, don’t count out the Oklahoma City Thunder as the possible representative from the Western Conference in this years finals.
Golden State Warriors
Last year’s champions are definitely and absolutely the favorite to win their second straight NBA title. While they are a well-rounded team in general with good defense and role players, they definitely seem to often live and die with the three point shot. This record breaking team hit more threes than any other team and Steph Curry basically all but solidified himself as the best shooter of all time. Despite Curry going down with a frightening injury early in the playoffs, the team didn’t miss a beat and when Curry got back, he took right over where he left off and played out of this world. The team has only lost two games all playoffs and looks very strong.