2013 NBA Playoffs: The Eastern Conference Finals

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 with 1 comment
Was this matchup destiny, it sure appears so.  The Miami Heat and the Indiana will clash for the right to  represent the Eastern Conference in the 2013 NBA Finals.  These two proud franchises met last season in the Eastern Conference Semi's and the Pacers gave an injured Heat team all they could handle but this time may be different.  Despite the fact that the Miami Heat are more healthy entering this series than they were last season, the Pacers are a better unit than last season's squad.

In losing Danny Granger, the Pacers have gained a confident Paul George, a first time All-Star and current NBA Most Improved Player of the Year.  For George, guarding Carmelo Anthony is one thing but guarding LeBron James is on a completely different level.  George Hill has been an exceptional floor general for the Pacers and has a knack for creating open shots for his teammates but when necessary he is fearless when it comes to attacking the rim.  The biggest advantage that the Pacers will have in their battle against the Heat will be David West and Roy Hibbert.  The Pacers will try to use their size to wear down the Miami Heat and create foul havoc.  

The Miami Heat have one thing on their mind and that's repeating as NBA Champions.  The Chicago Bulls did a great job preparing the Miami Heat for another tough round of play and the dangers of the Pacers due to the Bulls being so "big".  The Heat have made being out rebounded but still winning a habit, one of the few teams that has ever accomplished this feat.  Despite the versatility of the Pacers, the Heat have more and this series will be one of the rare match-ups where one will see LeBron James play all five positions on the court.  Since last season's playoffs, Heat G Dwyane Wade has average 28 ppg versus the Pacers but his scoring output may be drastically different with his recurring knee issues.  I have a sense that the Heat will utilize Wade more on the defensive end and let James and Chris Bosh carry the load offensively.

The Pacers have taken the traditional Championship steps the last few years to reach their destination this season but sadly it will come to an end.  The defending NBA Champion Miami Heat will move on in 6 games and participate in their 3rd straight NBA Finals.  With that being said, this will not be the last of the Indiana Pacers and they have one more step to take in their journey.........2014