Sports Perspective NBA Playoffs: Clear picture being painted - The Explorer: Columns

Sports Perspective NBA Playoffs: Clear picture being painted

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 4:00 am

As the first round of the NBA playoffs are coming to an end, the picture of who will play in the finals is becoming remarkably clearer. With a few teams dominantly prevailing in the preliminary round, there is no doubt which teams are on a mission and which teams are just fighting to play another day.

It’s simply not a post-season of stiff competition. Yes, game four of the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets series went to triple-overtime. The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers had their series tied at two games each. However, those exciting story lines are simply irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. 

The main reason for that is evident: the Miami Heat. Although it may get annoying that nearly every sports journalist praises the Heat, there is a good explanation for that. Nothing truly proves them otherwise, leaving Miami as the clear and obvious front-runner to win the Eastern Conference and advance to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year. 

The combination of talent, chemistry and experience has created a dominant dynasty in South Beach which dares to be reckoned with.

Although no other team in the NBA quite possesses everything the Heat do, there are a few teams which have some of the same winning traits that pose a slight threat to LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Of those threats in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder are among a select few that preside on the top of that list. Finals runner-ups of only a year ago, the Thunder posses the youth and talent necessary to compete with Miami. However, with star point guard Russell Westbrook out for the rest of the playoffs due to a knee injury, Oklahoma City just doesn’t have enough pieces to compete with the Big 3 (James, Wade, Bosh). 

Arguably the best competition and most likely to face Miami in the finals, the San Antonio Spurs pose the greatest threat from the Western Conference. The mix of talent, chemistry and experience is there. Even so, the aging Spurs will either be worn out by the time they reach the finals, or unable to compete with the fast paced and physical style of play by Miami. 

The final Western Conference squad that may stand a chance against the defending champions are the Los Angeles Clippers. A lack of experience is their greatest weakness as the Clippers haven’t been legitimate title contenders since rebuilding their team. However, their exciting and youthful style of play matches that of Miami and left them splitting the regular-season series 1-1. 

Currently, the Miami Heat have advanced and look to play the Chicago Bulls as the New York Knicks advance to most likely face the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference. In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder advance to play the winner of the highly contested Clippers-Grizzlies series while the San Antonio Spurs move on to face the Golden State Warriors in all likelihood. 

When it comes down to it, the Miami Heat will yet again be battling for the prestigious Larry O’Brien trophy en route to creating a dynasty. The real question is whether or not anyone will be able to halt this dynasty, or even give them a scare.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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