After a fun first two rounds of the playoffs and here are, down to 4 teams. Out West you’ve for last years runner-up San Antonio Spurs, and MVP Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder. And of course in the East you have a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The top-seeded Indiana Pacers, and the 2-time reigning World Champion Miami heat. After a 5 1st round series going 7, the top 2 seeds in each conference have advanced, show just how hard it is for low seeds to make it through all 3 rounds of the playoffs leading up til the finals.
So here’s what I see happening we march one step closer to determining this years champion.
Eastern Conference Finals
(2) Miami Heat vs (1) Indiana Pacers
- It’s the match-up we all predicted back when they were the only two East teams over .500. It’s the rematch the Pacers worked so hard to ensure would happen with home-court advantage after losing game 7 in Miami a year ago. Despite a bad 2nd half to the season, and a strange post-season, Indiana is here. Miami had a fairly easy road here in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and you know they don’t care if they have to go into Indy and win. They did show some stretches that could be concerning in their match-up against the Brooklyn Nets, but showed they still know how to execute late game situations better than most teams. So what happens? The Pacers biggest advantage comes in the front-court, if and only if, Roy Hibbert plays closer to his 28 point performance, and not his 0 point playoff performance. But LeBron James is the biggest advantage of them all, and to that how well Ray Allen has looked, and how healthy Dwyane Wade has looked, I’m not sure home-court comes into play here. So give me the Heat in 6.
Western Conference Finals
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs (1) San Antonio Spurs
- In a super talented, hotly contested West, the top 2 seeds found a way to get it done and advance again. OKC’s defense has been spotty at times this postseason, but they’ve come up big when needed. The same can be said for San Antonio, though I think the Spurs look like the best team of the 4 left standing after shutting down the up-and-coming Portland Trailblazers squad. I’m most looking forward to the point-guard match-up in this one. Tony Parker has carried this team throughout the playoffs, and Russell Westbrook has been dominant offensively. It’ll be interesting to see which bench provides the most consistent spark. I picked the Thunder to win it all before the playoffs began, and I think OKC wins it in 7.
So that it, I think we’ve got a 2012 NBA Finals rematch on top, pitting the two best players on the planet and their deep teams against each other.