The Conference Finals begin Monday morning as the Memphis Grizzlies play the Spurs in San Antonio and Thursday see's the Miami Heat host the Indiana Pacers![caption id="attachment_16074" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS MEMPHIS GRIZZLIESTime and Date: Monday 20th of May from The AT&T Center Coverage: LIVE at 5:30 am AEST This series starts off with plenty of unpredictability. How can we measure the Memphis Grizzlies when they beat the Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games? Or how about the San Antonio Spurs, who managed to beat the Golden State Warriors in 6 games with thanks to some nagging injuries that Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes all played through? The Playoffs in the Western Conference are about to go up another gear entirely as we have two healthy, gritty, physical and clinical squads battling each other in a best of 7 series to determine who makes the NBA Finals. There's the current Defensive Player Of The Year Marc Gasol on one end and an 8 Time All-Defensive First Team player by the name of Tim Duncan on the other end. Don't forget 2012-13 MVP candidate Tony Parker, former 6th Man Of The Year Manu Ginobili and double-double machine Zach Randolph. Defense, you can tell by the accolades, will be where this series is won and lost. Don't forget their benches either, Jerryd Bayless can provide a spark off the bench just as well as Ginobili can. Watch For: A Tony Parker struggle? Parker lives in the paint but so does Gasol and Randolph. If the Grizzlies can make Parker settle for a mid range jumper, it takes away the Spurs entire penetrate and kick strategy which limits the ball movement and three's.
MIAMI HEAT VS INDIANA PACERSTime and Date: Thursday 23rd of May from The American Airlines Arena Coverage: LIVE at 10:30 am AEST The Indiana Pacers have just left their Semi-Final series with the New York Knicks a little shaky, they let Game 5 slip away and almost lost Game 6 on their home floor. Their dominating big men will have to be geared up and ready to go, making sure that when the Miami Heat enter the paint its a nightmare. The emergence of Roy Hibbert has to be concerning for Chris Bosh and Miami, as he was a non-factor last season. Even after a defensive slug with the Chicago Bulls, a refreshed ball club should be waiting to fulfil their home court advantage and send the Pacers back to Indiana 2-0 down. Last year when these two battled in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, Miami got up in 6. Dwyane Wade had a blinder of a game with 41 points and 10 rebounds. With some added time off, hopefully we see Wade back at his slashing best. If LeBron James' vaulting ambition makes a display before the NBA Finals, is there any stopping the 4 time MVP? Watch For: Paul George vs LeBron James. Coming off facing Carmelo Anthony, George gets tested once again as he'll find himself guarding LeBron James. His defense this series will be much more important than his scoring.
Who's getting up from these series to meet in the NBA Finals?