The Golden State Warriors remain heavy favorites to reach the NBA Finals out of the Western Conference.
Which begs the question: Which Eastern Conference team is best-suited to take down the Dubs?
Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman agreed Monday on ESPN’s “First Take” that the Houston Rockets (the No. 4 seed in the West) pose the biggest threat to Golden State’s chances of winning another title, but they disagreed on which Eastern Conference foe could give the Warriors problems.
Kellerman believes the Milwaukee Bucks (the No. 1 seed in the East) are the pick, whereas Stephen A. Smith remains firmly seated on the Boston Celtics’ bandwagon.
The Celtics became the first team to punch their tickets to the second round of the NBA playoffs Sunday by completing a four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers. In the process, the C’s showcased the potential that made them Eastern Conference favorites before the season.
Boston had a tumultuous regular season en route to securing the No. 4 seed in the East, but Smith’s confidence in the Celtics hasn’t really wavered. The Celtics are well-coached with Brad Stevens at the helm and boast a ton of talent, highlighted by Kyrie Irving’s ability to close out games in clutch situations.
The Celtics will have their hands full in the second round as they’ll almost certainly face the Bucks, who posted the NBA’s best regular season record (60-22). But there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Celtics after an impressive showing against the Pacers.