Predictions for the 2024 NBA Finals
The writers at NBA.com will occasionally comment on major plots or hot subjects in the league.
Which NBA Finals teams will square off in 2024?
Celtics-Suns. Beyond merely skill sets, I believe the Suns and Celtics to be the most skilled teams in their respective conferences. Should voters ignore Jayson Tatum's value as a member of Boston's squad, he might be the front-runner for the Kia MVP award. In addition, Jrue Holiday may be more useful in a title run than Damian Lillard, and Kristaps Porzingis brings a fresh perspective.
Like Boston, the Suns are desperate to get this all done quickly and are brimming with weapons. Any perception of a closing championship window should help both teams stay motivated as they both anticipated making it to the Finals in June of last year.
Nuggets-Bucks. With Monday's contract extension, Milwaukee's worries about Giannis Antetokounmpo's future are allayed ahead of the start of the season. In the pursuit of their second Finals appearance this decade, Milwaukee defeats Boston thanks to the combination of Giannis and Damian Lillard and their lethal pick-and-roll.
Denver's depth from the winning squad from the previous season was somewhat diminished, but the Nuggets are still the favourites because to Nikola Jokic's MVP-caliber play and a fully healthy Jamal Murray. But can they avoid a playoff maze of rivals, especially from the Suns and Lakers, in a deep Western Conference?
Celtics-Suns. There are just five legitimate Western teams. The Nuggets, Lakers, Grizzlies, Suns, and Clippers would be those teams. The Suns should provide just enough defence to win, and they can score just as well as or better than any of them.
It's a two-team match in the East. The Celtics and the Bucks. It's a difficult decision, but Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum make the difference in an East Finals Game Seven.
Either Kevin Durant breaks into the all-time top-10 or frenzied arena workers in Boston have to make room for another banner because of the NBA Finals.
Celtics-Suns. Defence is still important, because without stops, you cannot win. Although the Nuggets' defence wasn't particularly strong during the regular season, it was at its finest during the Finals.
But it's hard to truly stop tremendous offence at this stage in NBA history. The Suns and Celtics seem to have the biggest offensive ceilings as well, considering the skill at the top of each lineup. Phoenix boasts three of the best offensive players in the league (and more shooting), but Boston has an excellent top six and decent shooters beyond that.
The Nuggets should also be there with the two-man combination of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. There will be some difficulties for each of these clubs, particularly with forward depth. However, they have the upcoming half-year to work things out. Neither should be a bad defensive player; they should both be very excellent.
A. Michael Wright
Nuggets-Celtics. Significant changes in Boston and Milwaukee intensified the competitiveness in the Eastern region. But the Celtics prevailed in that battle. With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Kristaps Porzingis as four All-Star starters, Boston has the greatest overall talent in the East with continuity already present on the team.
The reigning champion Nuggets in the West lost Jeff Green and Bruce Brown to injury this summer. However, the starting five is still in place, led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and extremely gifted point guard Jamal Murray, who is set to play in his first All-Star game.