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The NBA Finals are meant to be a battle between the two best teams in the NBA.
But what if the two best teams are in the same conference?
This season in the NBA, the Eastern Conference has struggled with only five teams over the .500 mark compared to 10 in the West.
And yet, the two best teams in the NBA reside in the Eastern Conference: Indiana and Miami.
It may seem a bit early to be saying who will be the best come playoff time, but without a doubt, the Eastern Conference Finals will be the series of the 2014 NBA playoffs.
Unlike last year where the underestimated Spurs played insanely well to come seconds away from winning another championships, the team who wins the East this year will win the NBA Championships.
Indiana and Miami are both playing extremely well. At 46-13, the Pacers own the best record in the league. While most teams have transitioned to a smaller lineup, Indiana is big with Roy Hibbert and David West inside. And they’re star in Paul George is 6’8’’ and having his best year of his career. The height could be the downfall for the Miami Heat.
But then Miami has the best player in the world in LeBron James. He’s making another case for MVP and draws a lot of attention. Send a double team on him and there are plenty of weapons for the Heat: Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen, just to name a few.
The Heat have currently won their last seven games, the longest winning streak in the league right now. They’re currently 42-14, but Miami has always found a way to peak when it matters.
Both Indiana and Miami are matchup nightmares for opponents. The likeliest team to reach the NBA Finals will be the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams matchup well with the Thunder as the Pacers have the height and the Heat have the athleticism (as was seen in the Finals two years ago). James typically gets the best of the Durant v. James matchup and OKC can’t win without winning that battle.
If San Antonio were to make another run, it’s likely Miami would learn from last year’s series and Indiana would power through San Antonio.
Indiana vs. Miami will make an extremely entertaining playoff series; it just won’t be the most hyped series like the NBA Finals is.
Either way, the crown remains in the East.