Roughly a month into the postseason, 12 teams who have made the playoffs are now eliminated and the four teams remaining all have different histories and styles of play that are unique to themselves.
If you were to connect each team's playoff run to a popular song on the Hot 100 billboard, which song suits each team the best?
When you're watching a certain team play, what type of music do you think fits best with that specific team?
This slideshow will illustrate my idea of a popular song that comes to my mind when I have watched the remaining playoff teams' journeys to the conference finals.
Although there have been a few Miami Heat players struggling during the postseason (i.e. Dwyane Wade), the team as a whole hasn't really experienced any bumps in the road in the 2012-13 playoffs thus far.
In the first round, they swept the Milwaukee Bucks after showing collective poise after Brandon Jennings claimed that his Bucks would win the series in six.
In the second round, the Heat were not phased after the Game 1 loss to the Chicago Bulls, and regathered themselves afterwards to win four straight games over a depleted but tough-minded Bulls squad.
So far, no team has presented even the slightest hint of competition to the Heat, and I thought the song "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line suited the team's overall persona quite nicely.
I can imagine the whole Heat team driving down a street with all their windows rolled down in the warm weather and taking a trip to the beach or the park during all their "intense" playoff series.
It just seems like no other team stands a chance anymore, and they have proved that the first-round and second-round series were complete jokes to them. Although the matchup against the Indiana Pacers will probably be their toughest before reaching the Finals, I won't be surprised if they eliminate them with a relaxed attitude as in the previous two rounds.
Imagine that the song is directed toward chasing the championship trophy instead of Foxes chasing her lover.
The San Antonio Spurs are the model franchise in the NBA, and they have won four titles in the Tim Duncan era. However, the team is led by veterans who want to have one last shot at winning the title, and this year might be their last opportunity.
They haven't won the title since 2007, and they have been relentlessly chasing the big prize for the past six years to no avail.
Perhaps this year will be the one where they finally break through once again and claim their fifth championship in the last 14 years.
However, they're just as likely to be knocked out of the playoffs once again and their dream of chasing for that fifth title (fourth in Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili's case) might never be accomplished during this era.
This postseason has been no different from last postseason. The core is the same and the rest of the role players are similar. After sweeping through the first two rounds last year, they unexpectedly ran into a more powerful and superior opponent in the Oklahoma City Thunder, where they lost four in a row and fell in six games.
There was a similar curve this year, where others thought they would be knocked out by the Golden State Warriors after the first two games clearly favored the Warriors.
But they're still here and only a championship will remedy their pain and failures in the past several seasons.
The Memphis Grizzlies are the perfect example of a small-market team with a big heart.
The song "Pirate Flag" by Kenny Chesney suits this team the best because it talks about how someone from a homegrown small town is just working hard and wandering around with no reason to be anywhere.
That's exactly what the Grizzlies have done this year.
They were mentioned as one of a few dark-horse contenders earlier in this season, but they weren't realistically expected to make it this far into the playoffs. But, they continued to work hard and improve everyday, and their Grit-n-Grind mentality has helped the team find themselves in the Western Conference Finals.
Additionally, the Grizzlies' postseason campaign has been about redemption and proving themselves capable of competing with any other team in the league.
Two years ago, they lost in the conference semifinals in a hard-fought seven-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last year, they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in a seven-game series in the first round.
This year, they've overcome both the Thunder and the Clippers and have represented all small-market franchises in the NBA by sheer work ethic and gritty play.
"Beat This Summer" is another country song that suits the Pacers very well, considering the circumstances they're in.
It was the first song that came to my mind when I thought of the Pacers-Heat series in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The lines "and the sand, the beach is like an hourglass" and "I can just feel it all slipping away" could possibly reflect the outcome of the series.
The Pacers battling the Heat will be kind of like the timer on an hourglass—you know that the Pacers could put up a fight, but sooner or later, the hourglass will run out of sand and the Heat will come out victorious.
Obviously, this doesn't mean that the Heat would actually win the series, as the Pacers have proved time after time that they could compete with every other elite team in the league. However, they're definitely not the favorites to win either.