NBA Playoffs 2013: Predicting Tuesday's Semifinal Matchups
Through Monday's games, the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies are one win away from advancing to the conference finals.
Meanwhile, we have some electric matchups set for Tuesday, as the New York Knicks try to even up the series against the Indiana Pacers and the Golden State Warriors try to steal one from the Spurs in San Antonio.
Here's a look at my predictions for Tuesday's games (series wins in parentheses).
*Stats via ESPN.com unless otherwise noted
New York Knicks (1) at Indiana Pacers (2)
Indiana's offense was hardly anything to gloat about during the regular season, and that has extended to the postseason. The Pacers rank 14th in field-goal percentage out of the 16 teams that made the playoffs this season.
Of course, the Knicks have shot 41.8 percent from the floor (ranked 15th in the playoffs). New York's top two scorers in the regular season, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, have gone a combined 40-of-112 in the series against Indiana.
Offense isn't the only thing that needs to get going for the Knicks, however. They were out-rebounded in Game 3, 53-40, allowing 18 offensive rebounds in the process. They were out-scored in second-chance points, 20-10. Roy Hibbert was fantastic, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds (eight offensive).
The Knicks must return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, which isn't a good sign. They are 0-3 at the arena this season.
Carmelo has the ability to light it up out of nowhere, but Indiana's defense is no fluke. The Pacers limited opponents to 42 percent shooting in the regular season, including 52.4 percent from inside five feet, via NBA.com. Both of those marks ranked first in the league.
The Pacers take a 3-1 advantage and force the Knicks to win three straight to advance.
Golden State Warriors (2) at San Antonio Spurs (2)
The Warriors are shooting 43.6 percent in this series against the Spurs. The Spurs are shooting 42.1 percent. It's no wonder why the series has been close.
But Golden State's rebounding has also hurt the Spurs. San Antonio ranked 19th in rebounding differential during the regular season, while the Warriors ranked eighth. Even without David Lee for most of Game 4, the Warriors out-rebounded the Spurs in Game 4's overtime victory, 65-51, as center Andrew Bogut gobbled up 18 rebounds himself.
Who will win on Tuesday?
Also, San Antonio's home-court advantage isn't what it once was following Golden State's 100-91 victory in Game 2. The Warriors broke a 30-game losing streak in San Antonio with the win.
Ultimately, it comes down to turnovers and shooting if the Spurs are to beat the Warriors. They ranked second in the NBA in field-goal percentage during the regular season, but the bucket hasn't been kind to them against the Warriors.
San Antonio also has the best turnover ratio in the playoffs this season, while Golden State ranks 12th in the category, via NBA.com.
In the end, I like the Spurs defense to come through at home and their offense to do just enough to pull it off.
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