NBA Playoff Schedule 2013: Breaking Down Best Potential 2nd-Round Matchups
We need the second round of the 2013 NBA playoffs to bring the intensity that has largely been lacking in the first round.
Other than the Grizzlies and Clippers matchup, which is tied 2-2, there isn't one series that looks like it will go the distance.
I don't expect this to become a trend. Here are three potential second-round matchups that will thrill us from start to finish.
*Check out the playoff schedule on NBA.com.
Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
Jan. 4: Chicago Bulls 96, Miami Heat 89
Feb. 21: Miami Heat 86, Chicago Bulls 67
Mar. 27: Chicago Bulls 101, Miami Heat 97
Apr. 14: Miami Heat 105, Chicago Bulls 93
So, just when it seemed safe to assume Derrick Rose would not be back at anytime this season, his brother Reggie sent us all down that trodden path when he told the Chicago Tribune (via NBC Sports' Rotoworld) that Rose could be back for the second round.
Obviously, if Rose does come back, this series takes center stage for so many reasons I'm trying not to think about it. I don't want to get my hopes up waiting for something I'm skeptical will happen.
However, Rose or not, this series will be a blast. I don't think the Bulls have it in them to take down the Heat without Rose, but I do think they will make them work for it.
It was the Bulls, after all, that ended the Heat's epic win streak at 27 games. And, as you may recall, things got a little testy in that one as the Bulls were not going to give LeBron James a clear path to the basket.
Whatever happens, this one will be a war.
New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers
Nov. 18: New York Knicks 88, Indiana Pacers 76
Jan. 10: Indiana Pacers 81, New York Knicks 76
Feb. 20: Indiana Pacers 125, New York Knicks 91
Apr. 14: New York Knicks 90, Indiana Pacers 80
If Reggie Miller gets hot from a distance, he will silence Spike Lee and the Madison Square Garden crowd. Wait, what year is this? I don't see one Davis on the Pacers roster.
This series will be a blast as we all get transported back to the magical time in NBA history when basketball resembled MMA.
While those days and players may be gone, this would still be a physical and well-played series.
The Pacers have Team Rankings' most efficient defense, while the Knicks have the third-most efficient offense.
Carmelo Anthony is at the heart of the Knicks' offensive attack, but the Pacers have good defenders all over the court and will do a solid job of forcing the ball out of Anthony's hands.
This will lead to a constant stream of adjustments by both coaches and an epic series.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Nov. 21: Oklahoma City Thunder 117, Los Angeles Clippers 111 (OT)
Jan. 22: Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Los Angeles Clippers 97
Mar. 3: Oklahoma City Thunder 108, Los Angeles Clippers 104
This potential showdown was supposed to be a showcase of dynamic point guards. Unfortunately, it will now be the Thunder trying to deal with being at a huge disadvantage at the position due to Russell Westbrook's lateral meniscus tear.
However, it's not like playing point guard for the Thunder is all that hard. "Hey, look, it's Kevin Durant standing behind the three-point line waiting for the ball."
As long as the Thunder have Durant, they have a chance.
While the injury to Westbrook has robbed us all of the opportunity to watch him flash his amazing athleticism, it opened up the door for Lob City to dazzle.
With Westbrook out, Derek Fisher has to play a larger role for the Thunder, and apparently, intangibles don't help all that much on defense.
Chris Paul would be free to showcase his fabulous skill set in this series.
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