/ 25 September 2020

African Blogtable: Who makes it out of the NBA conference

Boston Celtics V Miami Heat Game Four
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Jae Crowder #99 and Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat smile and celebrate on the court after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on September 23, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at AdventHealth Arena. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

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 on their way to the Western Conference finals. 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 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 to inspire me about their chances. Without even mentioning all the good assets Miami has, such as 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 Eastern Conference finals with a roster mostly under the age of 30 is such a promising side.

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 the Celtics had a heated argument after the second game, 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 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 games in both conference finals. If the Lakers and the Heat had thought they got it after two wins out of the gate, game three came to change that outlook. The outcome could have gone the Nuggets way in game two 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 Heats’ collective should be enough to have them qualify for the 2020 NBA finals