NBA Finals 2024 Predictions: What Should Fans Expect?

May 08, 2024

TD Garden, home stadium of the Boston Celtics

As an Amazon Associate, Modded gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

June is the most critical time of the year for professional basketball as fans gather to watch the NBA Finals. The playoffs are well underway, but plenty of games remain before the championship round arrives. Who will make and win the NBA Finals? Some teams have what it takes, whereas others will fall by the wayside. Here’s what you should expect for the rest of the NBA Playoffs.

The Road to the NBA Finals

The NBA Playoffs started with the veterans showing their skills, although some fell flat early. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James all went home early, with only the Los Angeles Lakers winning a single game. All three are among the best NBA players, but is the next generation taking over?

This year’s playoffs are another reminder the guard is changing in the NBA as younger superstars are taking over. Here are a few emerging superstars from round one: 

  • Anthony Edwards: Ant-Man is young but he’s emerged as the face of the Timberwolves. He averaged 31 points against the Phoenix Suns and posted 40 points in the close-out game. 
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: At just 25 years old, SGA is the undisputed leader of the top-seeded Thunder. He averaged an excellent 27 points while sweeping the Pelicans.
  • Jalen Brunson: The injury-riddled Knicks play through Jalen Brunson, who averaged 34 points against the Sixers. The New Jersey native has shown no fear despite fierce competition. 
Jalen Brunson going for a dunk
The New York Knicks’ Jalen Brunson (Wikimedia Commons)

Predicting the Second Round

The competition gets tougher in each round, so the stars must show poise and composure in each game. What will happen in the second round? Here are the expectations for the quarterfinals. 

Celtics Defeat the Cavaliers

The Celtics will likely be without Kristaps Porzingis for this round, so will the Cavaliers get a boost? No, because the Celtics are immensely talented despite losing their Latvian star. While the Cavs will make some noise, the Celtics will win in five games. 

Pacers Defeat the Knicks

The Indiana Pacers took down an injury-plagued Milwaukee Bucks and will do the same against the Knicks. Indiana will turn each game into a track meet and ultimately win the series in six games.

Timberwolves Defeat the Nuggets

This series will be one for the ages, with the defending champions facing the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves. Will Edwards and Co. have enough to take down Nikola Jokić? This series will be close, but the Nuggets will win in seven games. 

Thunder Defeat the Mavericks

Oklahoma City is the youngest team in the NBA, with an average age of 24.1 years old. How much will that matter against Dallas? The Mavericks have a legitimate shot because of Luka and Kyrie’s playoff experience, but the Thunder will prevail in six games. 

The Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum
The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum (Wikimedia Commons)

Conference Finals Conjecture

The final four teams will be the Celtics, Pacers, Nuggets and Thunder. Will the East see an upset or will the young guns win the West? Here’s the semifinal preview. 

Celtics Defeat the Pacers

The Pacers may have the best offense in the NBA, but it will come to a grinding halt against the Celtics. Conversely, Tatum will put on a show and launch his team to the Finals. This series will be over in a gentleman’s sweep. 

Nuggets Defeat the Thunder

The Thunder are ready for the spotlight but are a year or two away from true success. Jokić and the Nuggets have too much experience and will take full advantage of Oklahoma City. Expect Denver to win in six games. 

What Will Happen in the NBA Finals?

Expect an outstanding series if the Celtics and Nuggets meet in the NBA Finals. Here are the five most important factors for a Boston vs. Denver championship round.  

Big Man Battles

Jokić is the best basketball player in the world right now, but the Celtics have a big man of their own. How will the big men battle in the paint? Porzingis and Horford may give the Joker some fits, but the MVP from Serbia will prevail. You can’t stop him from getting his numbers, so you must stop the other guys. 

Perimeter Warfare

This NBA Finals matchup will come down to the Celtics’ ability to guard the perimeter. The Celtics had five top-40 players in defensive win shares during the regular season, and Jokić was the only Nugget in the top 40.

Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have to lock down Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. or else they’ll lose. White is among the best three-and-D players in the NBA, so the Celtics need his poise to win. 

Injury Reports

One important factor in the Finals won’t be as much in the teams’ control. Porzingis and Murray have dealt with injuries during the playoffs, and their presence will significantly affect this year’s outcome. 

Denver’s point guard only played in 59 games this season due to lower-body injuries and nearly missed games against the Los Angeles Lakers. Porzingis only played in 57 games due to regular season and playoff injuries against the Miami Heat. Both players are dealing with calf injuries that will determine their playoff fates. 

Nikola Jokic and Kelly Oubre Jr.
Nikola Jokić and Kelly Oubre Jr. facing off (Wikimedia Commons)

Clutch Baskets

The NBA Finals is the most pressure you’ll face in your NBA career. Your performance in the final few minutes of games will affect who hoists the Larry O’Brien Trophy. How do the Celtics and Nuggets stack up in the clutch? Advanced metrics say the Nuggets have the best net rating in the clutch, while the Celtics rank fourth in the league. 

Jokić and Murray are two of the most clutch players in the league, with the latter making huge shots against the Lakers in the first round. Who takes the last shot for the Celtics? While Tatum is the team leader, don’t count out guys like White or Holiday. 

New Year, Different Rosters

Each team carries over a reputation from past seasons. The Celtics have been close to the mountaintop since 2017 but can’t get over the hump, whereas the Nuggets are the reigning champions. Will the teams stay consistent in the Finals?

These Celtics aren’t the same squads from past years. Porzingis and Holiday are the new additions and Head Coach Joe Mazzulla has unleashed the team’s offensive potential. One thing to remember about the Nuggets is they lost Jeff Green and Bruce Brown — two clutch performers in last year’s Finals — to free agency. Thus, their bench production has become a liability.

Declaring a Winner

The Boston Celtics will win the NBA championship in six games. This team is ready for the spotlight and will be on top if Porzingis is healthy. While the Nuggets are great, they’re not as stellar as last season. Additionally, Murray’s injury status is too much of a liability.

Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Stay up to date with the latest by subscribing to Modded Minute.


Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.