We now know the final four teams in the NBA Playoffs. The Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The two series have seen the consensus number 1 and 2 players in a bit of trouble (LeBron James and Kevin Durant, respectively.) Miami is facing an Indiana team that did play bad early on in the playoffs and even during the end of their regular season.
But regardless of previous performance, the Heat will never have an easy run against the Pacers simply because they are deeper with their big-men. Power forward David West can attack down low where Miami is weak and Hibbert can usually be counted on as rim protector.
The Heat's only true trump card is that they have LeBron and as we have seen in Game 1, that may not be enough by itself. Game 2 will definitely be vital to both teams and give fans a clearer picture.
As for the Thunder, they are in a pool full of their troubles as well. They lost their key defensive stopper at PF in Serge Ibaka and his impact was definitely missed in Game 1.
The Spurs scored a 2014 Playoff high 66 points in the paint; a direct representation of how much this team misses Ibaka. While point guard Russell Westbrook and their best player Kevin Durant will be solid, the rest of the team has yet to pull their weight.
And San Antonio showed no mercy to a weakened gazelle so to speak. The bench was spectacular for the Spurs with the standouts being their sixth man Manu Ginobili and sharpshooter Danny Green.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan channeled his youth with a strong 27 points and 8 rebounds attacking whoever the Thunder put at the 4 spot. We will have to see how both Miami and Oklahoma respond to their Game 1 losses and if Indiana and San Antonio can keep momentum going for their teams.
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