NBA Conference Finals Preview: Predictions For Celtics v Heat & Lakers v Nuggets

Here’s everything you need to know, including a tip for each series
14:00, 16 May 2023

The NBA season is into its final stages. This week sees both the Western and Eastern Conferences begin with the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat all vying for a place in the all-important NBA Finals.

Here’s everything you need to know, including a tip for each series. 

Western Conference Finals: Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers

Game 1 Wed 17th May, 1.30am (BST), Ball Arena (Denver, Colorado)

TV: Sky Sports

Game 2 Fri 19th May, 1.30am (BST), Ball Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Game 3 Sun 21st May, 1.30am (BST), Arena (Los Angeles, California)

TV: Sky Sports

Game 4 Tue 23rd May, 1.30am (BST), Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Game 5 (If necessary): Thur 25th May, 1.30am (BST), Ball Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Game 6 (If necessary): Sat 27th May, 1.30am (BST), Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Game 7 (If necessary): Mon 29th May, 1.30am (BST), Ball Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Regular Season Results: 

Oct 27th: Nuggets 110, Lakers 99

Oct 31st: Lakers 121, Nuggets 110

Dec 17th: Lakers 126, Nuggets 108

Jan 10th: Nuggets 122, Lakers 109 

Betfred’s Series Winner Odds: Nuggets 8/11, Lakers 11/10

It’s a battle between Nikola Jokic and LeBron James in the Western Conference Finals as the top-seeded Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers go head-to-head. 

The Nuggets have been probably the most impressive team all season and held top spot in the Western division for more than 100 days heading into the playoffs. They secured a dominant 4-1 win over the Timberwolves before beating Phoenix Suns 4-2 to secure their place in the Western Finals. The Coloradans, who have never won an NBA Championship, also recorded a perfect 6-0 record at home in the playoffs. 

The Lakers secured the seventh seed in the play-in tournament, upsetting second seed Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. LA went on to seal a 4-2 series win over defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors in the semi-finals, wrapping things up with a 122-101 win over Steph Curry and co. on Saturday.

Denver Nuggets to win the series 4-2 - 11/2

Eastern Conference Finals: Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

Game 1 Thur 18th May, 1.30am (BST), TD Garden (Boston, Massachusetts)

TV: Sky Sports

Game 2 Sat 20th May, 1.30am (BST), TD Garden

TV: Sky Sports

Game 3 Mon 22nd, 1.30am (BST), FTX Arena (Miami, Florida) 

TV: Sky Sports

Game 4 Wed 24th, 1.30am (BST), FTX Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Game 5 (If necessary): Fri 26th, 1.30am (BST), TD Garden

TV: Sky Sports

Game 6 (If necessary): Sun 28th, 1.30am (BST), FTX Arena

TV: Sky Sports

Game 7 (If necessary): May 30th, 1.30am (BST), TD Garden

TV: Sky Sports

Regular Season Results:

Oct 21st: Celtics 111, Heat 104

Nov 30th: Celtics 134, Heat 121

Dec 2nd: Heat 120, Celtics 116 (Overtime)

Jan 24th: Heat 98, Celtics 95

Betfred’s Series Winner Odds: Celtics 1/5, Heat 7/2

Last year’s Eastern Conference Champions Boston Celtics were pushed all the way in the semifinals by the third-seed Philadelphia 76ers but, with the series tied at 3-3, a remarkable 51 points from Jayson Tatum, an NBA game seven record, helped fire The Green to a comfortable 112-88 victory. 

For a third time in four years, the Celtics will square off with Miami Heat for a place in the NBA Finals. In 2020, the Heat won in six games while last season’s match-up went all the way to game seven, with the Celtics clinching their place in the Finals on Miami’s home patch. The Heat are only the second eighth-seeded team to reach the Conference Finals.

Celtics have been favourites for the Eastern Conference for a while now, particularly since the Milwauckee Bucks were dumped out of the playoffs. However, the fact it was the Heat that did that dumping will perhaps give the second-seed outfit a certain amount of caution heading into this one. The pressure is certainly on the Celtics and with the Heat almost experts in grinding out opposition, they could run the favourites close. This could go all the way. 

Boston Celtics to win the series 4-3 - 7/2

18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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