Heat in 5
In the regular season, the Pacers actually won two of three games against the Heat, as the home team in the won all three match ups. One of the Pacers wins was the last loss for the Heat before their 27-game winning streak. A playoff game is a different game than a Friday Night in Indiana on February 1st and for that anything Indiana did to stop the Heat should be disregarded. The Heat are strong, talented and nearly impossible to beat. This is a team on a mission and short of an injury to LeBron James they are going to continue to roll their way to a second straight NBA Championship. Through the first two rounds, the Heat have crushed the competition, losing just one game on the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers have ruled their home court, winning all six games played in Indiana. I can see the Pacers winning on their home court, but to make it a series they must win both, and I just can’t see the Heat losing two games in a row and I don’t see the Pacers winning a game in Indiana. This is another quick knock out for Miami, as the Heat reach the NBA Finals for the third year in a row, needing just five games.
Grizzlies in 6
Two years ago the Grizzlies came out of nowhere and stunned the Spurs in the first round, after slipping into the playoffs as the eighth seed. The Spurs looked old in that series as the Grizzlies ran them up and down the court. It was a coming out party for Memphis, as the Grizzlies went from an irrelevant team to a team that was quietly one of the best in the west. Since that victory the Grizzlies have become the hottest ticket in Memphis and now after beating the Thunder without Russell Westbrook they are in the Conference Finals for the first time. The Spurs meanwhile looked shaky at times against the Warriors, as they were lucky not to lose the first two games at home. Defense the Grizzlies have perhaps the best in the NBA, led by Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. Meanwhile, Zach Randolph who exploded in that series two years ago is still the gunner the Grizzlies need from the outside. The Spurs will need a big series from Marc Gasol and Tony Parker to keep pace. However, in the end the younger legs of the Grizzlies and the more physical defense will bring the NBA Finals to the Volunteer state, as the Grizzlies go on to be the sacrificial lambs against the Heat.