NBA Playoff Schedule 2013: Full Preview For This Weekend's Contests
There are three playoff games on the NBA schedule this weekend, and a chance to compete for the NBA Championship is up for grabs.
The Miami Heat took Game 1 of their series against the Indiana Pacers and will face them twice this weekend—Friday in Miami and Sunday in Indiana.
The San Antonio Spurs will travel to Memphis on Saturday to face the Grizzlies after winning both home games to take a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series.
Here's a look at the details surrounding these upcoming matchups, along with a look at the top stories heading into the weekend.
Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
When: Friday, May 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Fla.
Series: Miami leads 1-0
When: Sunday, May 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
In Game 1, Pacers forward Paul George found out what it's like to be the hero one minute and the goat the next.
George saved his team by hitting a long three-point shot to send the game into overtime. He then hit three clutch free throws near the end of the overtime period to put the Pacers up by one point with 2.2 seconds remaining.
Who's more to blame for LeBron's game-winning layup?
It was one of those clutch playoff performances that can immortalize stars in the eyes of their fans, and Twitter was alive with comparisons between George and Pacers legend Reggie Miller.
Unfortunately, George then failed to guard LeBron James on the final possession of the game, and the Heat stole Game 1.
Hero to goat, in 2.2 seconds.
Many have pointed the finger at head coach Frank Vogel for keeping Roy Hibbert on the bench, but it's important to note that Chris Bosh had been abusing Hibbert in the fourth quarter with his quickness and agility.
Also, as ESPN's Mike Wilbon aptly pointed out, the foul called on Dwayne Wade that sent George to the line for three free throws was suspect, at best:
What's worse, Vogel sitting Hibbert, the rim protector, against the greatest rim attacker in NBA OR that foul call putting George on line?— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) May 23, 2013
It is going to take another amazing effort by Indiana to defeat the Heat in Game 2. Miami was rusty in its first contest against Chicago, but the Heat came to life in a major way the final four games of the series.
Will we see Miami begin to dominate, or will Indiana turn this into a dogfight?
In order for Indiana to even up the series at a game apiece on Friday night, point guard George Hill must be more effective on the offensive end of the court. Hill was brilliant on defense, logging five steals, but he managed only five points and turned the ball over three times.
Should Miami win Game 2, it's hard to see Indiana coming back and winning four out of five with three more games in Miami.
Should Indiana come back strong after such an emotional loss and knot the series at one game apiece, anything can happen.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
When: Saturday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tenn.
Series: San Antonio leads 2-0
It would be easy to think the Spurs have this series in the bag after going up two games to none, but it would be foolish to count out the Grizzlies at this point in the proceedings.
Will the Spurs run away with this one, or will Memphis find a way to turn it into a series?
The way these two teams got to this point is uncannily reminiscent of how the Grizzlies started out their series against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. In both series, Memphis lost big on the road in Game 1 and then nearly pulled off a tough road win in Game 2 only to come up just short in the end.
While it's important to note that the Spurs are much more competitive than the Clippers were, it's equally significant to know that the Grizzlies are more than capable of making this a competitive series—if not winning it outright.
One of the biggest reasons Memphis has struggled stems from the struggles of Zach Randolph, who couldn't buy a bucket in Game 1. He went one for eight from the floor, causing Project Spurs co-founder sa2ny2004 to post this amusing message on Twitter:
But Randolph got his groove back in the second half and overtime period of Game 2. He will likely continue to improve as he comes to understand how to combat what the Spurs defenders are doing to combat him on offense.
Another area of concern for Memphis that could cost the franchise this series is the fact that Tony Parker has been able to do just about anything he wants on the offensive end. He has averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 assists in this series and absolutely killed the Grizzlies with his passing in Game 2.
Should San Antonio go up three games to none, you can forget about Memphis coming back. On the other hand, if Memphis pulls off a big win at home, we'll have ourselves a nice series out West.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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