PORTLAND – Damian Lillard will hurry to tell you that all the Golden State Warriors have done so far is “protect home.” Likewise, there are no white flags being hoisted by the Toronto Raptors, despite a 2-0 deficit that arose from a combination of being wasteful in one game and woeful in another.
That mix is equally familiar to the Trail Blazers, who threw away a big Game 2 lead akin to the Raptors' Game 1 meltdown against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The upshot is that both conference finals have the potential to turn into blowouts, with the possibility of a pair of sweeps still on the table.
Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo: Greg M. Cooper, -USA TODAY Sports)
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Optimists, television schedulers and most certainly the NBA will sincerely hope otherwise. Everyone loves a Game 7, not just for the inherent drama but because it naturally signifies a tight, competitive and intensely-fought series.
However, should the power brokers of each conference, Golden State and Milwaukee, continue to forge their way to an NBA Finals matchup, it may actually be no bad thing. We’ve had late series excitement aplenty already in this postseason. There have been three Game 7s, two of them coming on the same day last weekend.
The Trail Blazers pulled off perhaps the most impressive feat, scaling the altitude of Denver and toppling the might of Nikola Jokic to win their decider on the road. For thrills, the extraordinary last-second heroics of Kawhi Leonard against the Philadelphia 76ers provided everything you could need to get the goosebumps bubbling.
Meanwhile, the Warriors and the Houston Rockets packed so much soap opera-worthy script into their semifinal that they only needed six games to write the tale.
Yet if both conference finals were to end at four games – and you can bet your card collection that Portland and Toronto will have much to say about this – it would have at least one positive side effect.
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