NBA Playoffs 2024: Driscoll’s Conference Finals Predictions

2024 NBA Playoffs - Conference Finals - Mavericks, Timberwolves

The Second Round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs came to a close on Sunday, and it was absolutely wild. Two of the series went seven games, and one went six. Even the series that ended after Game 6 came down to late free throws.

With Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets eliminated, only three superstars remain.

We’re now gearing up for one of the most interesting Conference Finals in the past few years given that it is not top-heavy with superstars.


Here are my predictions for the 2024 NBA Conference Finals.

Western Conference Finals

#5 Dallas Mavericks vs. #3 Minnesota Timberwolves

A tale of two teams who are the complete opposite. One of the hottest teams in the league, the Mavericks, takes on the league’s best defense in the Timberwolves. While there’s buzz that this could be a quick series, it is going to be a lot closer than people think.


For the Mavs, they have had a roller-coaster season. After many considered them strictly an offensive juggernaut, they have been super impressive in the past couple of months. They were the No. 8 seed as late as March 16 but finished the season on a 12-3 run. In that span, they were first in defense and eighth in net rating. Luka Doncic has not been 100 percent for the playoffs. If he gets back to playing like Luka Doncic, watch out.

The Wolves have been one of the more interesting teams all season long. Their young and upcoming superstar in Anthony Edwards took a massive jump and elevated his game in the playoffs. You would not think the Wolves had a below-average offense in the regular season. People still doubted them after only playing a super weak defense in the Suns, but they proved many skeptics wrong by beating the eighth-best defense in the Nuggets last round. Their three big men in Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Naz Reid deserve plenty of credit for slowing down Nikola Jokic. They should have no problem doing the same thing against Dallas. However, their biggest concern is slowing down the perimeter, even though they have been great all season long.

This is going to be a far better series than people think. I believe the X-factor will be Kyrie Irving. If both he and Doncic are hot, regardless of how great Edwards and their defense plays, it will be hard to overcome two elite scorers. With this being said, I expect the Timberwolves’ defense to carry over in the second round. In addition, I expect Edwards to continue elevating his game.

Prediction: Wolves in 7


Eastern Conference Finals

#6 Indiana Pacers vs. #1 Boston Celtics

The two best offenses in the league go head-to-head in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics have been far better in both the regular season and the playoffs. However, it’s the Eastern Conference Finals now. The past is in the past. Plus, we rarely see one-sided series this late in the playoffs.

Many people dubbed the Pacers “In-Season Tournament Frauds,” but they have certainly exceeded expectations in the playoffs. They were the No. 3 seed on Nov. 15 and No. 4 on Jan. 13. They dropped as low as No. 8 on March 9, then climbed up to the sixth seed. Though many will say they only got this far because of injuries to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and a good chunk of the Knicks’ role players, good teams capitalize when their opponents are in bad situations.

If Indiana wants a shot to win this series, Tyrese Haliburton must continue playing like he did at the beginning of the season. Additionally, Pascal Siakam and co. will need to work off him well. In addition, they will need to play the best defense they have had all season long. They must find a way to slow down Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Just slowing down one of them might not be enough.

For the Celtics, a lot has to go wrong for them to lose. However, they do not want any extra drama in this series. Although Tatum played much better in the last three games of the series, he should find a way to be more consistent. They also need to crash the board better. This will be difficult with Al Horford (not Kristaps Porzingis) guarding Myles Turner. However, Tatum and Jrue Holiday should help with that.

Even though Aaron Nesmith has been super impressive on the perimeter on defense, it will take a lot more than him containing Tatum or Brown. Both of these players will need to play pretty badly for them to lose the series. While anything is possible, I would be shocked if the Celtics don’t emerge as Eastern Conference champions.

Prediction: Celtics in 5

Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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