NBA Conference Finals Preview

With the Indiana Pacers defeating the New York Knicks on Saturday night we are down to the NBA’s version of the Final 4. Here’s a look at the remaining teams fighting for the title.

Miami Heat - The defending champs come into their matchup with the Pacers well rested to say the least. The entire regular season for Miami seemed like practice before they inevitably represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. The remaining question marks for this team are Dwyane Wade‘s health and the front court of Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen, and Udonis Haslem. Wade hasn’t been his usual self due to a right knee injury which has caused pain throughout the season. He struggled at times against Chicago but finished the series on a high note scoring 18 in the clinching game. If Miami loses this series their front court will more than likely be the reason why. The Pacers are a big, physical, and solid rebounding team. If they Heat choose to start Bosh at the 5, it should be an area the Pacers exploit. LeBron James would love to finish his MVP season holding the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.

Indiana Pacers - The Paul George led Pacers are not short of confidence as they head to Miami to take on the Heat. If they have any chance of advancing to the Finals they cannot turn the ball over and need to destroy the Heat on the glass. Roy Hibbert, David West, Ian Mahinmi, and Tyler Hansbrough should have no problem controlling the paint over the undersized Heat frontcourt. However the Pacers do not have a go-to scorer or great ball handlers and can get lost at times offensively without a pure go-to scorer. George has the potential to be that guy one day, but his offensive game isn’t there quite there yet.

San Antonio Spurs - David Stern’s nightmare has the San Antonio Spurs emerging as the NBA Champions over the Miami Heat in June. The trio of Tony Parker,  Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobli are use to being overlooked and 2013 was no exception. Kawhi Leonard’s emergence has given this team another dimension offensively and has fit in seemlessly.Without much fanfare throughout the season, the Spurs are 3 wins away from reaching the NBA Finals yet again.  The Spurs defeated the Grizzlies in Game 1 Sunday night 105-83 shooting 48% from 3.

Memphis Grizzlies - Memphis has an uphill climb already down a game in their series with the Spurs. Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Mike Conley have had fantastic seasons but must get back on track fast if they have any chance of defeating the Spurs. Randolph struggled mightily against the Spurs defense in Game 1 and must become a factor offensively if the Grizzlies are going to beat the Spurs. The Grizzlies have not been good defending the pick and roll this postseason which doesn’t bode well against one teams that does it the best in the NBA.


Prediction: Spurs over Grizzlies in 6, Heat over Pacers in 6.

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