This week, Danny made his predictions for the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final:
If you listen to my show or read my columns, then you know I like a good prediction. Especially this time of year, where we have both playoff basketball and playoff hockey to predict.
And now, we have the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final going on. Here in Boston, we’re obviously a whole lot more invested in the Stanley Cup Final because the Bruins are involved. So let’s start with them.
I’m taking the Bruins in six games, but I’ll be hoping they finish off the St. Louis Blues in five games. That’s because I’m getting greedy. I don’t just want the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. I want the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup at home, at the TD Garden. And it’s a 2-2-1-1-1 series, so Game 5 is in Boston, and Game 6 is in St. Louis.
In 2011, the B’s won the Cup in Vancouver. In 2013, the Cup was given out at the Garden, but it was given out to the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s time for the Bruins to celebrate the greatest trophy ceremony in sports on home ice, in front of their home crowd.
If Game 7 is necessary, that would also be in Boston, so I guess that could work. But anything can happen in a Game 7, and I think we should all hope that it doesn’t go that far.
I’m not picking the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup because I’m biased. I’m picking the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup because they’ve already proven that this is their Stanley Cup to lose. Not to jinx it or anything, but it almost feels like there’s something missing to this Cup run for the B’s. It almost feels too, dare I say, easy.
I suppose that’s what happens when you play the No. 8 seed in the second round, and the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference Final. The first round series against Toronto was their only real test in the first three rounds. And that series feels like it was a year ago.
Maybe all the memorable moments will come in this series against the Blues. Either way, it doesn’t matter how you win the Stanley Cup. Just go out and win it. And I’m confident that this Bruins team will do just that.
As for the NBA Finals, I’m taking the Golden State Warriors to win their third straight NBA Championship, and their fourth NBA Championship in five years. And I’m saying that while knowing Kevin Durant has been ruled out for Game 1 in Toronto.
Durant hasn’t played since the second round against Houston, but his absence hasn’t affected Steph Curry and Co at all. That’s not to say the Warriors are a better team without Durant, because they’re not. But to me, there’s no question that Golden State can win it all without him.
People seem to forget that these Warriors have already won an NBA Championship without Durant. It was Durant who had to leave Oklahoma City and join the Warriors in order to win a title, not the other way around. So can a Durant-less Warriors team now beat Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals?
It might surprise some to see Games 1 and 2 in Toronto and not in Golden State. Well, that’s because the Raptors had 58 wins in the regular season, while the Warriors had 57. Toronto is a one-point favorite at home in Game 1. And Durant did make the trip, meaning we could see him return for Game 2. But either way, Golden State is still a more talented team top-to-bottom than Toronto.
I do believe that the Raptors will put up a fight, thanks to the dominance of Kawhi Leonard, who won an NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and was named NBA Finals MVP. Leonard has been they key piece to getting Toronto over the hump and into the Finals, and I expect him to do his thing against Golden State.
But I’m picking the Warriors to win it all in six games, with that Game 6 being in Golden State. Your Finals MVP? I’m going to give that to Klay Thompson. I just have this feeling that Thompson is going to be the biggest difference maker in this series. You see the way he’s felt disrespected this season. It’s a contract year. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. And if he’s on fire, this Warriors team won’t stop feeding him.
They should just hope it’s not the last time he puts on a Golden State uniform.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at PodcastOne. Also available on iTunes, Spotify, and dannypicard.com. Subscribe to Danny’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/dannypicard.