Fact or Fiction
May 19, 2014
By Mike Rose
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And then there were four… The conference finals are underway, and today, we're going to be looking at some of what is the truth and some of what is a lie about the four teams which are left standing.
The Spurs are the deserving favorites to win it all: It's all really coming together for the Spurs. They are playing against a scrambling Oklahoma City team in the Western Conference Finals, and they have had a history of finishing matters off when they smell blood in the water against good teams. On top of that, we just aren't all that sure that either of these teams in the East are anywhere near as good as they were in the regular season. Things are setting up well for San Antonio now that it looks like it will be the surviving team in the brutal West.
Sticking with Roy Hibbert will pay off for Indiana: There are going to be games where Hibbert is off, and we have just come to accept the fact that he is one of the most inconsistent players on the planet at the moment. He'll inevitably have one of those games in this series where he is just completely MIA, and the Heat will win that one going away. But we were right at the start of the postseason when we said that Hibbert was the only shot that the Pacers had, and though it hasn't been pretty sticking with him, the Pacers are just three wins away from the NBA Finals.
The Heat have to find an answer for David West: Sort of piggybacking off of what was just said, the Heat have no answers whatsoever for West and the rest of the size for the Pacers. When LeBron James is guarding West, Paul George has a mismatch. When Shane Battier is guarding West, there's a tremendous amount of muscle in the post for Indiana. Many said that the bugaboo in this series for Miami was its lack of size, and through one game, that's surely playing out.
The Pacers are set for a collapse of epic proportions: We've all been waiting for this all postseason long. The Atlanta Hawks should have had the Pacers down and out, but in truth, the Dallas Mavericks were just as close to eliminating San Antonio. The Wizards had every shot to put the Pacers down early as well. Now, most expected the Heat to sweep Indiana. And look what we have here… Maybe it really did just take getting interested for Indiana to wake up. This is the series that the Pacers wanted all along, and now that it is here, they look like they're going to give Miami everything it can handle.
The Serge Ibaka injury spells the end for Oklahoma City: It's very possible that the Thunder are going to end up losing to the Spurs, but we don't think it's going to be because of Ibaka not being in the lineup. The fact of the matter is that Oklahoma City is probably a better offensive team with Nick Collison out there instead, and don't be stunned if we see an oddball lineup out there with both Reggie Jackson and Russell Westbrook on the court at the same time, too. It could be a matchup which gives the Spurs all sorts of trouble.
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