Mitch Lawrence Gives NBA Finals Prediction

The NBA Radio host believes there are two clear favorites this season – and the Lakers aren't one of them

Ferrall On The Bench
October 22, 2019 - 9:30 am
Kawhi Clippers

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The Lakers and Clippers square off in their regular-season opener Tuesday, but regardless of who wins, one team has a clear advantage heading into this season.

“I like the Clippers overall,” NBA Radio host Mitch Lawrence said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think the Clippers are going to win their first NBA title because they’re going to be relentless, great defensive team with Kawhi, Paul George. No load management for Kawhi compared to what he did last year, and the Lakers are going to be a terrible defensive team. They got a lot of names but guys who are way over the hill, and LeBron doesn’t like to play defense, either. I think it’s going to be a longer year for the Lakers than people think. The Clippers, to me, are the team to go with. I think Doc Rivers has the much better team.”

The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, likely won’t advance to their sixth consecutive NBA Finals.

“They’re going to be seventh or eighth, if that,” Lawrence said. “They just lost too much talent. You lose Durant, you lost Iguodala, you don’t have Klay and you lost Shaun Livingston. How can you be that good, especially in the West?”

Steph Curry is still one of the best players in basketball, sure, but after five deep playoff runs, he might not be able to give the Warriors what they need over 82 games to truly contend.

“I think he can win a scoring title because he’s going to have to shoot about 35 times a game for them to win,” Lawrence said. “I just think Golden State is gong to take a big-time step back – and it makes sense when you look at the talent that they lost.”

As for the East, Lawrence expects big things from the Bucks.

“This is a Bucks team that doesn’t have a No. 2 star, in my mind,” he said. “Khris Middleton is a nice player, but if he’s on a championship team, I think he’d be your third guy. But Giannis, I’m looking at him to actually be better than last year and be not satisfied with being an MVP – taking his game to another level and getting the Bucks to the Finals. I have the Clippers and the Bucks, if you can believe that, playing for the NBA Finals in June. Call me crazy, but I think those are going to be the two best teams.”

Click below to listen to Lawrence’s interview in its entirety.