The NBA Playoffs

by Monchi Ampil

During the Conference Finals of NBA 2020-2021 season, four teams remained. We asked our NLEX colleagues during that time to give their predictions for teams who will advance in The Finals and will take home the Larry O’ Brien trophy: Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks in the East, and the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers from the West. Two franchises have not won a championship (Clippers and Phoenix) while the other teams last won in 1958 (Hawks) and 1971 (Bucks). It is a new era for NBA fans as we’ll be crowning a new champion.

Now that the Milwaukee Bucks have won the NBA Finals, let’s look back on who from our colleagues have correctly guessed who will be this year’s champions.

Photo courtesy of ESPN.com (From L-R: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

Legal Manager Atty. Erwin Bautista believes that Milwaukee’s height advantage over Atlanta would be a factor, and defenders like Jrue Holiday could defend the three-point shooting of Trae Young. These insights are echoed by Environmental Safety and Health (ESH) Specialist Jerome Caronongan, who is actually a Jazz fan, said that Bucks’ defense would be a key in defeating the Hawks. Corporate Finance Senior Manager Nikko Larin and IT Sr. Manager Tom Flores think that Giannis would take over the series and help the Bucks advance in the Finals. Nikko also prefers to root for the smaller market team which is Milwaukee. 

Then again, Roadway Assistant Manager Raymond Derla believes that Giannis’ health would be a concern since they had a brutal 7-game series with Brooklyn Nets in the second round. He thinks that Atlanta is more complete and equipped to advance in the finals unless Khris Middleton would give them spark and give Giannis his needed support.

In the Western Conference, all respondents believed that Phoenix would eliminate the Clippers. Atty. Erwin, Nikko, and Jerome think that the Suns’ players are more talented than the Clippers’ players. On the other hand, IT Senior Manager Tom Flores pointed out that the Suns have more offensive firepower, while Raymond reiterated that Paul George tends to underperform during crunch time. 

To sum it up, all of the respondents predicted a Suns vs. Bucks match up except for Raymond, who believes that the Atlanta Hawks could upset Milwaukee. In terms of winning the championship, four of them predicted that the Milwaukee Bucks would win this year’s NBA championship. They think that the talent of Middleton, Holiday, and Giannis would be a factor to get that elusive championship for Milwaukee. Tom also added that as LeBron and Kevin Durant are already eliminated, it’s Giannis’ time to take over. As for Raymond, he believes that Phoenix would win it all against Atlanta. In his opinion, Booker could outperform and defend Trae Young and carry the Phoenix Suns to its first ever championship.

With all the speculated outcomes, it is not a wonder whether our colleagues love the NBA or not. Now that the Bucks have won the NBA championship, it is a joy to ask, whose fan-colleague speculation came true?

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