NBA Conference Finals: Your Eastern Division Preview







Miami Heat Starting Five
Stats vs. Indiana

LeBron James SF 3 Games 40.3 MPG .511 FGP 7.3 RPG 4.7 APG 1.3 BLKPG 1.0 STPG 2.3 PFPG 21.0 PPG
Chris Bosh C         3 Games 34.0 MPG .583 FGP 3.3 RPG 2.3 APG  1.7 BLKPG 0.7 STPG 3.3 PFPG 17.0 PPG
Dwayne Wade SG       -        37.7 MPG  .521 FGP  4.3 RPG 3.7 APG  1 BLKPG  2.7 STPG 2.7 PFPG  23.3 PPG
Udonis Haslem PF    -          22.0 MPG .286 FGP 3.3 RPG 1.0 APG 0.3 BLKPG 0.0 STPG 2.3 PFPG  1.3 PPG
Mario Chalmers PG   -         26.7 MPG .500 FGP 3.7 RPG 2.3 APG 0.0 BLKPG 1.7 STPG 2.7 PFPG  12 PPG

Keys to victory: There’s very little you can say that hasn’t been said about this Miami team. Though there’s a home court advantage for the Heat, it’s unlikely that they’ll need it. Dwayne Wade said,  “I know I’m blessed to be going to the Eastern Conference finals for my fifth time. But I would like a lot more in my career. It’s a good thing. We’ve been very successful in my tenure here. But I want more.” The experience, combined with that level of hunger for success are what will determine the outcome of this series. And it’s all Heat.

Trivia: According to, “Indiana finished 16½ games behind Miami in the regular season, meaning this Conference Finals is the most lopsided in terms of regular-season records since 1987 when the 65-17 Lakers swept the 39-43 SuperSonics.” If the Pacers can manage to overcome the Heat, it will be the largest Conference Finals upset since 1976, when Suns beat the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

Indiana Pacers Starting Five
Stats vs. Miami

George Hill PG 3 Games 27.0 MPG .333 FG pct 1.3 RPG 3.0 APG 0.0 BLKPG 0.3 STPG 2.7 PFPG 6.3 PPG

Lance Stephenson SG 3 games 33.0 MPG .444 FG pct 3.3 RPG 2.3 APG 0.0 BLKPG 1.3 STPG 3.0 PFPG 11.3 PPG

Paul George SF 3 games 42.0 MPG .408 FG pct 7.7 RPG 4.3 APG 0.0 BLKPG 1.0 STPG 3.0 PFPG 18.0 PPG

David West PF 3 games 34.7 MPG .658 FG pc 7.7 RPG 3.0 APG 0.0 BLKPG 2.0 STPG 1.3 PFPG 22.7 PPG

Roy Hibbert C 3 games 30.7 MPG .382 FG pct 8.0 RPG 1.0 APG 0.7 BLKPG 0.0 STPG 4.3 PFPG 9.7 PPG

Keys to victory: The Eastern Conference Finals is pretty much uncharted waters for Coach Vogel’s team. Only one current Pacer has ever appeared in a conference-final game. That’s backup big man Ian Mahinmi, who played exactly 71 seconds in one game of the 2011 West title series without so much as taking a shot. Nonetheless, the Pacers seem far from bothered by the fact that this stage is a new one for them. In order for the Pacers to beat the Heat this time, they have to depend on Forward Paul George to go toe to toe with LeBron James — who Pacers coach Frank Vogel called “the best player, the best offensive player in the world” — and keep him from getting good looks at the twine. Vogel continued, “I think this will be about substance. This series has plenty to offer without hard fouls and trash-talking. It’s going to be about basketball.”

Trivia: The Pacers are set to take on the Heat just a year removed from losing to them in the Conference Semifinals. Over the last 20 years, it’s just the fourth time a team will go up against a defending champion in the Conference Finals the year after losing to that team in the postseason. Bad news for the Pacers - the reigning champ won all 3 of those times.

STAT KEY: MPG=Minutes Per Game; FG pct=Field Goal Percentage; RPG=Rebounds Per Game; APG=Assists Per Game; BLKPG=Blocks Per Game; STPG=Steals Per Game; PFPG=Personal Fouls Per Game; PPG=Points Per Game


Rick Bulow contributed to this article.

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