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The opening games of the Conference Finals in both the East and the West provided plenty of excitement and drama. The Lakers nearly completed an incredible comeback against the Nuggets while the Heat continued their improbable postseason by handling the Celtics in their own Game 1.
Both series are set up to be fantastic battles that feel like either team could win. However, according to our latest SB Nation Reacts survey, there are pretty heavy consensus favorites in both series.
While the Lakers are seen as the underdogs, it’s not been quite this extreme anywhere else. And to the credit of Denver, they became the first team to hand the Lakers a Game 1 loss this postseason so far, but it wasn’t a particularly convincing victory and the Lakers should feel pretty confident heading forward.
On the other side, the Celtics, who are now down 1-0 in the series, were seen as even heavier favorites to make the Finals.
That feels like a...generous prediction for the Celtics considering they were one quarter away from losing to the Sixers in Game 6 of the second round. It’s even more disrespectful to a Heat side that has been fantastic in the playoffs up to this point.
To be fair, this poll was taken before their Game 1 loss, but it was still pretty wild even before that Boston loss.
For the Lakers, either matchup in the Finals would be a fun series, whether it be another Lakers-Celtics battle with the winner taking the all-time lead in titles or it’ll be a 2020 Finals rematch against Jimmy Butler and the Heat.
But if NBA fans are right, it’ll be a Nuggets-Celtics Finals that would just be zero fun for Lakers fans.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.