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NBA Conference Semifinals 2024: The Joker is On and Charged

NBA Conference Semifinals 2024

We’re well into the NBA Conference semifinals 2024. There were no upsets in the first round by the No. 7 and No. 8 seeded teams as the Lakers, 76ers, Pelicans, and Heat all lost. The No. 6 Indiana Pacers created the biggest upset by beating the No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t play in any of the games due to a calf strain. Point guard Damian Lillard missed the first two games due to an Achilles problem, but his return wasn’t enough to win the series. They had a similar issue in 2023 when Antetokounmpo missed two games, and they also lost in the first round.

Even though the Phoenix Suns beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in all three regular-season games, the Timberwolves were able to flip the script when it mattered most. I don’t know if any betting fans would have picked Minnesota to win in four against the Suns, especially since this is the first time in 20 years that the Timberwolves have won a playoff round.

NBA West Conference Semifinals 2024

The West is getting interesting as the Minnesota Timberwolves look to extend their dominance against the Denver Nuggets. Can the young Wolves overcome the experience of the defending champions and Nikola Jokic’s MVP firepower?

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets

After the first round of the NBA Conference semifinals, the Timberwolves continued their hot streak by beating the Nuggets in the first two games. But they won’t go down as easily. It’s not a good idea to bet against Nikola Jokic, the three-time MVP. The Nuggets have battled back, with Jokic and Jamal Murray getting into their grooves. The Timberwolves have the depth of talent and are healthy, but they’re battling their past and taking on the defending champs. It’s a big hill to climb.

Most experts expect this series to go to seven games. If the Timberwolves stay healthy, they may be able to outlast the Nuggets, but it’s doubtful. Can Minnesota surprise everyone again and win the second round?

Thunder vs. Mavericks

The Thunder came back and won Game 4 to even the series. The Mavericks won two consecutive games, even though Luka Doncic isn’t at 100%. The Thunder may be the No. 1 seed in the West, but the young team may not be able to handle the mental game that’s a big part of the playoffs.

NBA East Conference Semifinals 2024

The battle for the East begins as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the surprising top seed, face off against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Can the young Thunder handle the pressure of the playoffs against a seasoned Mavericks team?

Pacers vs. Knicks

The Knicks have the better team, but it’s doubtful they can make a deep run into the playoffs. They are battling through injured players on and off the court. The longer this series goes, the better it is for the Pacers, who are younger, healthier, and deeper. The Knicks have the talent edge and will have a home-court advantage if they can make it to game seven. They were 2-point favorites to win Game 5, which they easily covered (121-91). This team knows how to score.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers

If the Cavaliers can find a way to get past the Celtics in the second round, it would be the upset of the playoffs. The Celtics have a stranglehold on the series, and the Cavs are without Donovan Mitchell, who has a calf strain, and starting center Jarrett Allen, who has a rib injury. Mitchell scored 33 points in Game 3 but didn’t have the help he needed to pull off the go-ahead win in the series.

In Game 4, the Cavs tried to even the series with guard Darius Garland leading the Cavs with 30 points. He had help from guard Caris LeVert and forward Evan Mobley, who each put up 19 points. But on Boston’s end, Jayson Tatum added 33 points while Jaylen Brown scored 27.

Can Cleveland find a way to stop Boston in Game 5, or will this be their last game of the 2024 season? Without Mitchell, Cleveland’s style is more fluid and gets all its players involved in the offense. If they can score a high percentage of 3-pointers throughout the game, they have a chance—but only a chance. Bookies, keep your limits in for this game.

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