WITH the ouster of the defending champs last week, the road to the Larry O’Brien trophy is wide open.
Here are the semi-final matchups:
Jazz vs Clippers
Nuggets vs Suns
A well-rested Jazz team will have their hands full against the Clippers, who just survived the first round.
Clippers may be tired after that series, but we see the resurgence of Kawhi and PG. If they sustain their stellar play, the Clippers may have the edge in this series. But a young and talented Jazz team might be up for an upset. So I’d go with the Jazz in 6.
After conquering the defending champs, the Suns are definitely on a high. If they can maintain their focus, they can fight the Nuggets, who sorely miss Jamal Murray. Suns in 6.
76ers (0) vs Hawks (1)
Bucks (0) vs Nets (1)
Starting strong is the theme for this series between the Sixers and the Hawks. With a 42-27 advantage established in the first quarter, the Hawks were able to withstand the 4th quarter rally of the Sixers en route to their first win in the series. Whoever starts strong will win. I am picking Hawks in 6.
Giannis and Co. may have eliminated the Heat, but the Nets will be tough to deal with. Down one game in the series, the defense will factor in for the Bucks if they wish to upset the perennial title favorites, Nets. They cannot go toe to toe in scoring with this Nets team.
If they cannot get the job done in 6 games, the Nets will be poised to become the new kings of the East.
Notes from the sidelines:
Congratulations to Yuka Saso for winning the 76th US Women’s Open. At 19 years of age, the future looks bright for our fellow Filipino. Finally, we have another world champion after our boxing greats.