The NBA Conference Finals also begin on Tuesday. The Milwaukee Bucks face the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors face the Portland Trail Blazers with a shot at the NBA Finals on the line. As of now, the NBA odds favor the Warriors and Bucks, who just happen to be the respective #1 seeds in each conference. Here is how the Sports Media 101 staff thinks the two series will play out when things are all said and done.

Matt Birch

  • Bucks in 7. A masterpiece of a superstar duel is upon us as two complete game-changers in Giannis and Kawhi seek to officially dethrone LeBron in the Eastern Conference. This one goes the distance, and it’ll be the home crowd advantage that plays the X-factor that sends Milwaukee back to it’s first NBA Finals since 1974.
  • Warriors in 6. I love me some Dame and CJ, but the Blazers’ overall starpower still doesn’t equate to Golden State’s enough to be a consistent matchup for 7 games.

Jeff Fox

  • Bucks in 6. I’m all in on Team Giannis. He’s lifted that entire organization up and raised everyone’s level of play. The fact that they get Brogdon back is big on the defensive end for Milwaukee and I won’t bet against a club that dismantled the Celtics the way they did.
  • Warriors in 6. Never bet against the champs. I’m not picking against any team that can lose one of the greatest scorers in NBA history and still win a Game 6 on the road. Don’t see the Blazers having enough firepower to match Golden State.

Neil Dalal

  • Raptors in 7. Call me crazy but Kawhi Leonard may be the best player in basketball right now with Kevin Durant hurt.
  • Warriors in 6. The OG Golden State crew did win 73 games for a reason.

Marcelo Villa

  • Bucks in 7. Giannis and Kawhi go head-to-head but ultimately the likely 2019 NBA MVP prevails and leads the Bucks to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1974.
  • Warriors in 6. Steph Curry leads the Warriors to their fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance despite an injured KD.

Noel Obusan

  • Bucks in 6. Giannis is my MVP and I feel like Kawhi’s going to need more help to make it to the Finals.
  • Warriors in 6. Even though KD and Cousins might be out, Blazers going win some games at home but that’s about it.

Joshua Vinson

  • Bucks in 5. Yes, Toronto has Kawhi Leonard and he is one of the most dominant players in the game. Yet, that’s all they have. No one else on the Raptors has shown that they can or will step up to the plate which makes Milwaukee that much more of a threat.
  • Warriors in 6. Granted, Kevin Durant’s status and return are unknown, but Stephen Curry and his team has shown in the series against Houston they can win without him.

Michael Marzacco

  • Bucks in 7. Milwaukee has been the story of the Eastern Conference all season with the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the charge. It would only be fitting that they would be the East’s first Finals representative without LeBron James since 2010.
  • Warriors in 7. I like Damien Lillard and he really carried his team past the Nuggets but I’m still not ready to pick against Steph Curry and the Warriors. Especially after how Curry took over in the fourth quarter Friday night in Houston to advance without KD.

Erwin Go

  • Bucks in 6. A team with a solid starting lineup and bench, Milwaukee’s balanced roster along with the Greek Freak will outlast Kawhi Leonard and Toronto in a close series.
  • Warriors in 5. Even though KD and Boogie are questionable to return, the main focus is back on Steph and Klay, which has always been successful for Golden State.

Brandon Murphy

  • Bucks in 6. Giannis Antetekounmpo. Is there anything else to say? Kawhi is great but he and Pascal Siakam can’t do it all. The Bucks are a more rounded team and are about to make their way to the Finals.
  • Warriors in 5. Love Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum but they won’t be able to keep up with the powerhouse in the bay.