NBA Playoffs 2012: Ranking 5 Best Potential NBA Finals Matchups

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMay 18, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 16:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat guards Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during a game at American Airlines Arena on March 16, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NBA Finals are still a few weeks away, but it's never too early to take a look at what potentially exciting matchups could be in store for NBA fans.

With only eight teams left on the board and a few of them hanging by a string, only a few intriguing possibilities remain. Some of those potential matchups will be more exciting to the casual NBA fan than let's say a Philadelphia 76ers-Los Angeles Clippers finals.

With that being said, let's take a look at the five best potential NBA Finals matchups.

5. Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

This series would be rather exciting with two of the younger teams in the NBA fighting for the championship. It would be the skill of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James harden against the length and overall toughness of the up-and-coming Pacers.

It may not be the sexiest matchup on paper, but it could turn into some pretty exciting basketball, especially given how well Indiana is playing at the moment.

4. Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers

This one has all the storylines that would make it worth following.

Kobe Bryant looking for his sixth ring against LeBron James in search of his first. The ratings on a Miami-Los Angeles series would be through the roof, and the superstar talent level on both sides would be on display on basketball's biggest stage.

Do you think David Stern is rooting for this matchup? Of course, both teams have a ton of work to do in order for this series to become a reality.

3. Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs

For the old school basketball fan it doesn't get any better than the Celtics vs. Spurs.

It would feature two veteran teams that play good fundamental basketball, plus a couple of matchups to keep an eye on.

First, there's a big man matchup of two future Hall of Famers in Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Then, there's a matchup of possibly the two best point guards in the NBA in Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker.

This is a series that has a realistic chance of happening, and it will be a good one.

2. Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics signals as he sets up against Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 97-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There's no real explanation needed here, as it's Lakers vs. Celtics: Part Three with the current group of players.

It may not be the Lakers-Celtics rivalry of years past, but it's still Lakers-Celtics in the finals, which is a treat for basketball fans.

Would Boston's Big Three capture one more ring on the way out or will Kobe get that sixth ring?

1. Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Finally we get to the best potential NBA Finals matchup in Miami vs. Oklahoma City.

It's a matchup of the NBA's two best players of LeBron and Durant, who are both in search of their first championship. The winner not only wins a ring but likely also the title of NBA's best player.

With all the individual talent that would be on the floor in this one, it's hard to not rank Heat-Thunder as the No. 1 potential NBA Finals matchup.