Fact or Fiction
May 5, 2014
By Mike Rose
We're now into the second round of the playoffs, and that means we're down to just eight teams, five of which had to fight through seven-game series to get into this stage. Join us as we break down which teams are fact and which teams are fiction from an NBA betting standpoint.
The Wizards are going to the Eastern Conference Finals: And believe it or not, they might have a chance to get to the NBA Finals as well. Washington watched that Atlanta series for the Pacers and had to be smiling. The offenses which the two teams run are virtually the same, and that is going to create huge mismatches for Indiana. Unless the Pacers really get their minds right, they aren't going to have the answers here to take care of the Wizards.
Indiana has no choice now but to stick with Roy Hibbert: Head Coach Frank Vogel really screwed this one up. He had the chance to take Hibbert essentially off of his playoff roster against Atlanta, and he didn't do it. Instead, Hibbert continued to start, albeit playing limited minutes, and now, he has no choice but to leave the big man from Georgetown in there. The Pacers can't go small against a Washington team which will deploy both Nene and Marcin Gortat on a regular basis, and if that's the case, Luis Scola and David West can't be playing the center and power forward positions.
The West is clearly the best, but the Heat are the beasts: We would venture to say that the best four teams left standing in the playoffs are all in the West. It's going to make the Western Conference playoffs a heck of a lot of fun, but it's also going to leave the Miami Heat laughing their butts off. Miami is going to have to put forth very little effort to win the East this year, but out West, we wouldn't be surprised if the winning team will have had to play through 21 grueling games just to reach that point.
The Spurs are in trouble in the West: Did Dallas expose some of what the Spurs have to bring to the table? We suppose the answer to that is yes. However, we don't think the vets clad in black and silver have anything to worry about. Head Coach Gregg Popovich knows what he is doing. The Western Conference is just that good that all eight teams really had a shot to create a lot of noise. San Antonio might struggle a bit, but we think the inexperience (Portland), the sideshow (LA), and the underachievers (Oklahoma City) in the Western Conference just aren't going to be able to ultimately keep up with the Spurs.
Kevin Durant is Mr. Unreliable: How stupid does your hometown newspaper have to be to mock the man that has brought you to relevance? Alas, that's what happened in Oklahoma City when the hometown paper called Durant "Mr. Unreliable" after he missed the foul shot that cost the Thunder Game 5 against the Grizzlies. All he did in Games 6 and 7 was dominate every aspect of the game in true "KD" fashion. It's not fair to say that Durant is going to be judged on his lack of an NBA championship, because he has carried this team that far. That said, if he falls short against the Clippers, he'll be criticized for letting yet another year pass without claiming the title.
The Nets have Miami's number: Forget about all of that "season sweep" talk. The Nets aren't going to beat the Heat when it really counts in the second season. So many of those Miami losses came by a bucket, and the Heat know that they have no reason not to take down an aging team which had to play seven grueling games against Toronto ending on Sunday. Don't be shocked if this series ends in just four games once again, as the Heat might end up playing the minimum 12 games to reach the NBA Finals.
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