NBA predictions – Experts’ picks for East finals, West finals, NBA Finals and LeBron’s pursuit of history

The NBA season wraps up tonight, but we’re already looking forward to the postseason — and an important milestone for a great player of all time.

Four months ago, the Golden State Warriors started their dynasty with a six-game Finals win over the Boston Celtics. And while our panel of experts ranks the defending champions among the contenders to reach the Finals again in 2023, we haven’t been kind to the Celtics.

Many of the votes were cast for the Boston team who were ousted in last season’s epic seven-game Eastern Conference semifinals series: the Milwaukee Bucks.

In the Western Conference, the LA Clippers were a trendy pick on our panel, and rightly so. Elite two-way duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy and leading one of the deepest teams in the league.

What about LeBron James’ hunt for the all-time title? James is 1,325 points adrift of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s mark, so we should expect the record to be broken sometime in the second half of the 2022-23 season.

Our experts crunch the numbers and open their calendars to predict when history will be made, revealing their picks for East Finals, West Finals and NBA Finals champions.

MORE: Things to know for ’22-23 | LeBron’s journey to becoming the record goalscorer

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east finals


Jerry Bembry: Bucks over nets in 6

Tim Bontemps: Bucks over Celtics in 6th

Yamal Collier: Bucks over 76s in 6

Nick DePaula: Bucks over 76s in 6

Nick Friedell: Bucks over Celtics in 7th

Kirk Goldberry: Bucks over heat in 6

Israel Gutierrez: Heat over 76ers in 6

Tim Legler: Bucks over 76s in 7th

Andrew Lopez: Bucks over 76s in 6

Tim MacMahon: Bucks over 76s in 7th

Bobby Marks: 76ers over Bucks in 7th

Dave McMenamine: Bucks over 76s in 6

Kevin Pelton: Bucks over Celtics in 6th

Jorg Sedano: Bucks over heat in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Bucks over 76s in 7th

Andre Snellings: Bucks over 76s in 7th

Marc J Spears: Nets over 76s in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Bucks over 76s in 6


Closing Balance: Bucks 15, 76ers 1, Heat 1, Nets 1.

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west finals


Jerry Bembry: Clippers over Warriors in 7th

Tim Bontemps: Clippers over Warriors in 6

Yamal Collier: Clippers over Warriors in 7th

Nick DePaula: Warriors over Clippers in 6th

Nick Friedell: Warriors over nuggets in 6th

Kirk Goldberry: Warriors over Clippers in 7th

Israel Gutierrez: Nuggets over Mavericks in 7th

Tim Legler: Warriors over Suns in 6th

Andrew Lopez: Clippers over Warriors in 7th

Tim MacMahon: Warriors over Clippers in 6th

Bobby Marks: Clippers over Warriors in 6

Dave McMenamine: Clippers over Nuggets in 5

Kevin Pelton: Clippers over Warriors in 7th

Jorg Sedano: Warriors over Clippers in 7th

Ramona Shelburne: Grizzlies over Clippers in 7th

Andre Snellings: Warriors over Lakers in 6th

Marc J Spears: Warriors over Clippers in 7th

Ohm Youngmisuk: Clippers over Warriors in 7th


Closing Balance: Clippers 8, Warriors 8, Grizzlies 1, Nuggets 1.

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NBA Finals


Jerry Bembry: Bucks over Clippers in 6th

Tim Bontemps: Bucks over Clippers in 6th

Yamal Collier: Bucks over Clippers in 7th

Nick DePaula: Bucks over Warriors in 6

Nick Friedell: Bucks over Warriors in 7

Kirk Goldberry: Bucks over Warriors in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Heat over nuggets in 7

Tim Legler: Warriors over Bucks in 6th

Andrew Lopez: Bucks over Clippers in 6th

Tim MacMahon: Bucks over Warriors in 6

Bobby Marks: Clipper over 76s in 6

Dave McMenamine: Clippers over Milwaukee in the 6th

Kevin Pelton: Bucks over Clippers in 6th

Jorg Sedano: Bucks over Warriors in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Dollars over Grizzlies in 6th

Andre Snellings: Bucks over Warriors in 7

Marc J Spears: Warriors over webs in 6th

Ohm Youngmisuk: Clippers over Bucks in 7th


Closing Balance: Bucks 12, Clippers 3, Warriors 2, Heat 1.

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When will LeBron break the all-time record?


Jerry Bembry: March 17 against Mavericks

Tim Bontemps: January 28 at Celtics

Yamal Collier: February 11 at Warriors

Nick DePaula: January 31 at Knicks

Nick Friedell: February 11 at Warriors

Kirk Goldberry: February 9 against Bucks

Israel Gutierrez: March 5 against warriors

Tim Legler: February 26 at Mavericks

Andrew Lopez: February 15 against Pelicans

Tim MacMahon: February 26 at Mavericks

Bobby Marks: February 11 at Warriors

Dave McMenamine: March 5 against warriors

Kevin Pelton: March 12 vs. Knicks

Jorg Sedano: February 9 against Bucks

Ramona Shelburne: March 31 at Timberwolves

Andre Snellings: January 31 at Knicks

Marc J Spears: February 9 against Bucks

Ohm Youngmisuk: February 9 against Bucks

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34817879/nba-predictions-experts-picks-east-finals-west-finals-nba-finals-lebron-pursuit-history NBA predictions – Experts’ picks for East finals, West finals, NBA Finals and LeBron’s pursuit of history

Emma Bowman

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