Now that Chicago is out, I'm curious to see who you guys think has the best chance of knocking out the defending champs. I know there might be a few topics touching on a similar point, but I wanted to make the subject and analysis here a bit more specific, since now things are getting pretty interesting.
Obviously the Heat are on a roll, 45-4 in their last 49 games, incredible really. They have the best player (and MVP) of the league, two other all stars, and a plethora of 3 point shooters, giving them the ability to make life miserable for you in transition or just attack and shoot you out of the game in the halfcourt.
As it stands, there are still 5 teams left in the playoffs. I'm going to leave them all in the poll but ignore New York and Golden State since I think it's pretty clear they would drop in 5 games to the Heat.
1. Indiana, the top ranked defensive team. They have Paul George who is an excellent perimeter defender and Hibbert who's a solid anchor as well. They have the right personell to pressure LeBron well and force someone else to beat them. However, the problem is that their offense is about as bad as their defense is good, so even though they might be able to make life tough for the Heat, they have to be able to put points on the board since they can only slow down that relentless attack so much.
2. Memphis, who boasts the league's DPOY and top perimeter defender (according to NBA GMs). They also have a strong frontcourt with Gasol and Randolph who can protect the paint well just with their sheer size alone, and Allen and Prince are good enough to harass enough the most skilled wing players. Memphis plays with a lot of energy and heart and is a team nobody wants to face in a 7 game series. However, they lack true superstar leadership, as while Gasol, Randolph, and Allen are all very talented players, if the game is on the line, none of them has shown the ability to consistently step up and win, while the Heat have LBJ who is both a willing passer and deadly scorer in such situations. The days of the 2011 finals are long behind him now.
3. San Antonio, the old timers with Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli. The Spurs always seem to be that dark horse contender quietly doing their thing in the playoffs. After a few tough oustings in the past few years, however, the Spurs are back just as strong as ever. Duncan is playing like he's 5 years younger, Ginobli is healthier than we all thought, and Parker has taken the keys to the offense and is driving it effectively. With the best coach in the league imo in Greg Popovich, San Antonio has that edge in experience and adjustments that may be enough to top Miami. Yet, their age isn't entirely a non issue, as they've shown difficulty at times in containing Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson in the Western Conference Semifinals. And while Curry is one thing, what are they going to do about LeBron?
With all of this in mind, who do you think can best the Heat?
Edited by bfc1125roy, May 16, 2013 - 03:20 PM.