The conference finals matchups are set, and I’m here break down the two series and give my predictions for who will play in the 2014 NBA Finals.
Eastern Conference Finals: #2 Miami Heat vs. #1 Indiana Pacers
For the second consecutive year, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will face off in the Eastern Conference Finals. The difference is that this time Indiana has home court advantage. The Pacers have been remarkably inconsistent in their first two series against inferior teams, but have shown signs that they are pulling it together in the Washington series. In order for the Pacers to have a chance in this series, they are absolutely going to need consistently good efforts from Paul George and Roy Hibbert on a nightly basis. They cannot afford a 4-17 shooting night from George or a zero rebound game from Hibbert. In contrast, Miami has been playing consistent basketball, posting an 8-1 record to begin the playoffs. Dwayne Wade looks healthy and is playing very well, and the Heat are playing good basketball. The matchup to watch in this series is going to be Paul George vs. Lebron James. Unlike the Nets, who had to use several players to guard James, the Pacers have had success with George guarding James. Paul has the edge defensively while Lebron has the edge offensively, so it should be fun to watch. The Pacers are more than capable of winning this series, but they just haven’t shown enough consistency in the second half of the season and early in the playoffs. Heat win the Eastern Conference in six games.
Western Conference Finals: #2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #1 San Antonio Spurs
These two teams will clash again in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years. MVP Kevin Durant and the Thunder will face defending Western Conference Champs Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Two years ago, the Spurs took a 2-0 lead before the Thunder won 4 straight to advance to the Finals. Both teams are desperate for a shot to get revenge at Lebron and the Heat in the Finals. Both teams are battle tested and have proven themselves as the league’s best in a very competitive Western Conference. I expect this to be a very hard-fought series. I’m looking forward to future Hall of Famers Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook match up against each other, as well as Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan. The Spurs might have the all around better team, but I think Kevin Durant is on a mission this year. He is tired of always being second, being called unreliable, and many other criticisms in recent years. I think he puts the team on his back this series and explodes in Game 7 to upset the Spurs and reach the Finals.
Who do you guys think will win the NBA Finals? Let me know in the poll down below.
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