2024 Conference Finals Predictions

May 20th, 2024

by Alan Lu

It has been quite an interesting NBA playoffs. The former defending champions (Denver Nuggets) got ousted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and as I accurately predicted in a previous article, Denver would lose in seven games to Minnesota, and sure enough they did. The loss of Bruce Brown depleted Denver’s depth and they didn’t have the flexibility to match up in their second round series, but Minnesota also rose to the occasion due to the strong play of Anthony Edwards and their team in general.

(Well of course, I did only make the pick after Minnesota won Game 1 in Denver, but that was enough to sway me and reconsider the idea of the supposed “altitude” argument, which seemed kind of flimsy in the first place, and I suppose I did make the right call on that series, that the Denver Nuggets were slipping.)

Another surprise was the Indiana Pacers defeating the New York Knicks in their second round series after the Knicks’ strong start to the postseason. The Knicks’ main players started get hurt left and right, and the importance of having a strong bench and making sure the starters are well-rested seems to be of greater importance in the playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks continued to thrive as they defeated a young and upstart Oklahoma City Thunder team, and Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have been a terrific duo in the postseason. Also, the Boston Celtics have won games as expected, as they defeated a Cavaliers’ team to advance to the Conference Finals.

In the first round of my picks on my website, I went 6-2. In the second round, I went 2-2. It’s been increasingly tougher to make predictions with the next round. Anyways, without further ado, here are my predictions on how the Conference Finals may turn out this year.

Projected 2024 Eastern Conference Finals

Jayson Tatum and Tyrese Haliburton will face off against each other in the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals this year. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/Associated Press, via TheDay.com)

(1) Boston Celtics over (6) Indiana Pacers in 6

The Boston Celtics came in to the playoffs as one of the favorites, and they haven’t disappointed, with the exception of dropping the occasional game, they’ve won handily in both of their series against Miami and Cleveland. The Celtics have been a strong all-around team, and Derrick White and Jrue Holiday have been crucial to their team’s success. Their superstars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been solid, and Kristaps Porzingis has been a dynamic presence when healthy. The Pacers showed some fight and won against a depleted, injury-plagued Knicks’ team, and star guard Tyrese Haliburton has been a revelation. Pascal Siakam has proven to be a great get for them this year. That said, the Celtics’ talent and depth should win out, especially if things go as expected in this series.

Projected 2024 Western Conference Finals

Luka Doncic and Anthony Edwards will battle it out in the 2024 Western Conference Finals this year.
(Photo: Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports, via Sports Illustrated)

(3) Minnesota Timberwolves over (5) Dallas Mavericks in 7

I picked Minnesota over Denver in the previous series, and I think the Timberwolves have enough to ride that momentum into the NBA Finals. Anthony Edwards is having an incredible postseason, and he’s becoming the superstar that the NBA didn’t know they needed. Towns and Gobert are gelling well at the right time, and the Timberwolves boast having a strong bench that features the Sixth Man of the Year in Naz Reid. At the same time, it’s admirable what the Dallas Mavericks have done in this postseason, and they’ve bounced back in a big way, especially with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving having been so dominant in the first two rounds. For now though, I’ll stick with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but I do think it’ll be a long series that could go to seven games.

All in all, those are my picks for how the Conference Finals may turn out. We shall see what happens. Anyways, thanks for reading.

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