Who are your favorites to come out of the Eastern and Western Conferences to advance to the 2020 NBA Finals?
Amine El Amri, Le Matin (Morocco): My pick goes to the Denver Nuggets. This team has got all the components of an upset. A true leader, a prolific scorer and that hunger that keeps on pushing them. They should be praised for doing what they have done in their way to the Western Conference Finals. But just to think that a team as highly rated as the Lakers needed a top-notch LeBron-Davis association to get over the first two games, says a whole lot about how dangerous and determined the Nuggets are.
As much as I like this Boston team, I don't see them going past Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics have made too many errors and it just doesn’t inspire me much about their chances. Without even mentioning all the good assets Miami has, such as the Bam Adebayo’s great composure in the paint, Boston has not yet reached the NBA Finals milestone. Having said that, a team that reached the ECF with a roster mostly under 30 years of age, is such a promising side.
Rotimi Akindele, Beat FM (Nigeria): It’s got to be the LA Lakers form the West and Miami Heat from the East. The Lakers have never been this close in a decade so I feel they will jump at it with all of their might and everything in their arsenal. They’ve got experienced and established stars more than the Nuggets who I feel there Cinderella run will be halted at this stage. It’s been a good try by the Nuggets no doubt but the Lakers led by Lebron James will not bust this chance. They are my favorites to win the series, on getting the ring, I will hold my thoughts for now. For the Heats, asides from being the team I support (winks), I will definitely pick them to go through in SIX. Celtics are a hard nut to crack but I love the way the Heats have started the series, I don’t think it will be an easy run through but the mental depth should be enough to see the team advance to the NBA FINALS.
Nicasius Agwanda, Clouds Media (Tanzania): My basketball mind tells me to say the Lakers will win and take care of business in the Western Conference, but my heart feels the Nuggets will fight to the end and take care of business, plus surprise everyone else. Every basketball fan in the world now awaits some surprises as we missed out on the Los Angeles battle in the Finals and I am inclined to wait for the Nuggets to win it all. I am picking what my heart feels today.
I previously thought the Celtics were made to beat the Miami Heat, but my God, I was wrong. Not to say that I undermined the Heat, but I believed Tatum, Kemba, Smart and Jaylen have what it takes to prove themselves right. Seeing players like Duncan Robinson, rookie Tyler Herro stepping up, and the veteran leadership of the likes of Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Goran Dragić speak a lot about Eric Spoelstra and Pat Riley. With the news coming out that Celtics had a heated argument after Game 2, I firmly believe this is all on the Heat’s plate now and it’s theirs to lose.
Refiloe Seiboko, Mail & Guardian (South Africa): Honestly, I'm just enjoying these matchups! The competition is… Just. So. Good! A Lakers win would be poetic, but the Nuggets are such a fun team to watch. They're definitely my favourites in the West. On the East side, I'm undecided. I love how fiery the Heat are, but the Celtics are so solid at their best. I'm happy either way. May the best team win!
Woury Diallo, Le Quotidien (Senegal): There have been some great game in both conference finals. If the Lakers and the Heat had thought they got it after two wins out of the gate, Game 3 came to change that outlook. The outcome could have gone the Nuggets way in Game 2, if Anthony Davis hadn't made that beautiful three-point basket with the buzzer. In the East, we also have a great showdown. But I think the Lakers’ experience and the Heat’s collective should be enough to have them qualify for the 2020 NBA Finals.