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NBA Playoffs 2013: Assessing Every Team's Chances of Reaching Finals

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NBA Playoffs 2013: Assessing Every Team's Chances of Reaching Finals
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
LeBron James gets the one-handed dunk in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Chicago.

The NBA playoffs determine which team is the ultimate champion, and there are a number of teams who have a good chance of calling themselves just that.

By now, certain teams have separated themselves from the rest of the field. They’ve dominated and pummeled their opponents so far, and will look to continue that trend until the very end.

 

Miami Heat

The Heat won it all last season, and are looking to repeat this summer. They didn’t break a sweat against Milwaukee, sweeping them in four games, and took out Chicago in five games in the second round. 

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League MVP LeBron James continues to dazzle on the court. James has cruised through this postseason with ease. He’s averaged over 24 points per contest and is sinking over 53 percent of his shots from the field. He’s scored 22 or more points in all but two of Miami’s playoff games thus far.

The Heat should have no problem vying for their second straight title.

 

New York Knicks

New York eliminated an aging Boston Celtics club in six games, but finds itself down 3-1 against the rugged Indiana Pacers.

The Knicks have been held in check offensively, scoring 82 or fewer points in three straight games.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Carlos Boozer dunks the ball against Miami in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Carmelo Anthony has scored over a third of the New York’s total points thus far, a trend that must change if the Knicks want to get back into this series.

The Knicks are on the verge of taking their last breath in this year's postseason. 

 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are on fire, thanks to Paul George, who has played the best playoff basketball of his career.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Carmelo Anthony goes for the dunk in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Indiana.

George is only averaging just over 18 points per game, but that hasn’t stopped him from heading the Pacers to a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

If George maintains his high level of play, the Pacers will reach the NBA finals.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies were near the bottom of the league in points per game, but topped it in points allowed.

That, by itself, has enabled them to take a five-game series win in the conference semifinals over Oklahoma City.

After dropping the first two games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the quarterfinals, the Grizzlies have won eight of their last nine games. They’ve dominated offensively and defensively.

Most importantly, they held Kevin Durant in check over the last two games.

The Grizzlies’ confidence keeps building with every win.

 

San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio made easy work of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, sweeping them out of the playoffs.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Russell Westbrook hurts his knee against Houston in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

However, the conference semifinals have proved to be an all-out bear fight with Golden State.

Up 3-2 in the series, the Spurs have a shot at reaching the conference finals. They cannot let Game 6 slip away.

It’s hard to imagine San Antonio taking down Memphis to reach the NBA Finals.

 

Golden State Warriors

Golden State made the playoffs for the first time in five years and defeated Denver in the first round.

The Warriors finished the season in the top 10 in points per game and rebounds per game, but finds themselves down 3-2 in the conference semifinals to the Spurs.

Experience is always key as the playoffs move on. Lack of wisdom might catch up to the Warriors, who haven’t been this far in the postseason in a while.

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