Tuesday night brought an easy win to the reigning champs, as the Golden State Warriors easily defeated the Portland Trailblazers 116-94 in Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson put up monster games with 36 and 26 points, respectively.
While the West seems to already have a clear winner, the same cannot be said for the East. The Eastern Conference Finals will see the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Toronto Raptors. Here's a look at the Vegas odds, schedule and predictions for Game 1 of the series.
The Bucks are 6.5-point favorites over the Raptors with the over/under total at 218.5, per Caesars.
Game 1 Schedule
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee
Live Stream: TNT app
The Eastern Conference Finals are stacking up to be just as exciting as the NBA Finals.
The series will see two of the biggest stars in basketball face off against one another—Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard.
Antetokounmpo stands at 6'11" and towers over opponents, giving him the ability to dunk and block easily. In the postseason, the Greek Freak is averaging 27.4 points per game, 1.6 blocks per game and 11.3 rebounds per game. The power forward is also a team player and recognizes when to give up the ball—averaging 4.4 assists per game in the postseason.
He is joined by Khris Middleton, who has averaged 21.9 points per game in the last 10 games, on the Bucks. Middleton has shot 46.7 percent beyond the arc in the postseason and can hit threes during crunch time.
Antetokounmpo will be up against an equally impressive basketball player in Leonard. The small forward is averaging a whopping 31.8 points per game in the postseason—putting up 41 in Game 7 against Philadelphia to win 92-90 and move on to the conference finals.
Leonard has added 8.5 rebounds per game and 2.6 assists per game to his repertoire this postseason. He has also been shooting over 40 percent from the three-point line.
Point guard Kyle Lowry and power forward Pascal Siakam join Leonard for the Raptors. Lowry leads the team with an average of 7.1 assists per game this postseason, while Siakam has averaged over 20 points per game.
Leonard and his squad are going to be tough to beat; however, they don't have an answer to Antetokounmpo. Even Siakam, standing at 6'9", won't be able to properly defend Antetokounmpo due to his sheer size and power. We've watched the Greece native bulldoze his way through some of the best players in the league, and without someone standing face to face with him, he will continue to do so.
The winner of Game 1 wins the series 76.6 percent of the time, according to NBA.com, making this game crucial for both teams. For the Raptors specifically, they will need a win on the road if they want a chance at taking the series from the Bucks.
However, Antetokounmpo and his team were already dealt a tough Game 1 loss against Boston, which they were able to bounce back from. They know it won't be as easy against Leonard and the Raptors, so they're going to come out ready to win.
Pick: Milwaukee 118, Toronto 109
All stats courtesy of ESPN.