By Robert Woolf

With the first two rounds over, a team only needs 8 more wins to give themselves a title.  In the West, the San Antonio Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich take on Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies. While in the East, the red-hot Miami Heat take on the Indiana Pacers led by big-man Roy Hibbert. Can Miami repeat? or will Indiana knock the king off his throne? All signs point to two great series, en route to a great NBA Championship.


1. Miami Heat vs. 3. Indiana Pacers

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers









The Miami Heat are scalding hot. They have won 45 of their last 48 games, including their historic 27 game win streak that lasted one month and 24 days. Since February, MVP LeBron James averages over 30 points per game. Combine his play with the play of All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat are basically unbeatable. In the first round they swept Milwaukee and in the second round they lost the 1st game before winning 4 in a row and eliminating the Chicago Bulls. Indiana’s road here has been a little different. In the first round, they were at one point tied 2-2 in the series vs. the Hawks. Then David West got hot, scoring 24 in Game 5 and 21 in Game 6. After Atlanta, they moved on to the New York Knicks to renew an old rivalry. The series was split 1-1 after the first two games heading to New York. This is where the series shifted in Indiana’s favor. They won both Game 3 and Game 4 in New York, taking a 3-1 series lead. They couldn’t close the door in Game 5, but a late run in Game 6, put them into the Eastern Conference Finals. This series is a rematch of the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season, where the Heat pulled out a 4-2 victory. In the 6 games, LeBron dominated the Pacers. He put up 30 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in the series. Along with some new players, such as Ray Allen and Chris Anderson, I see history repeating itself in this series.



2. San Antonio Spurs vs. 5. Memphis Grizzlies

grizzlies vs spurs









In the West, we have two teams each with their own “Big 3”. Memphis has Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph, while the Spurs have Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and of course, Tim Duncan. On January 30, 2013, the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors. This move came as a surprise to many because at the time it seemed Gay was their best chance for success in the playoffs. But GM Chris Wallace was right, as the Grizzlies are now in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. In the first round, Memphis defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in 6, after losing the first 2 games. They played the #1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder in their second straight Western Conference Semifinals. Without point guard Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant’s Thunder were extremely outmatched. In the series, the Grizzlies Big 3 each put up big numbers on a daily basis, including Game 4 where they were all over 20 points. On the other hand, San Antonio has been dominant in this postseason. In the first round, they swept the shorthanded Lakers who were missing their star and leader, Kobe Bryant. In the next round, they had a very tough match-up. The Golden State Warriors were a dangerous force this season. The key word in that sentence was were because it only took the Spurs 6 games to knock them out. Even though the season series was split 2-2, I see a close series with San Antonio coming out victorious to face the Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals.

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