NBA: Top 5 Postseason Matchups We Would Love to See

Ryan BothmannSenior Analyst IIJanuary 24, 2014

NBA: Top 5 Postseason Matchups We Would Love to See

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    The NBA season is right around the halfway point, and we are beginning to get a feel for what teams we will see in the playoffs. Every time we see a great game between two great opponents now, we can't help but think how amazing it would be to watch them duke it out in a seven-game playoff series.

    So what teams do we want to see battle it out the most come this postseason?

    Here is a look at the top five NBA postseason matchups that we could possibly see this year, excluding the NBA Finals, because we could come up with so many different scenarios for a great NBA Finals that we would love to see this season.

5) Miami Heat vs Cleveland Cavaliers

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    J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    At first thought of top playoff matchups, this game does not come to mind, but with the Cavaliers trading for Luol Deng just a few weeks ago, the organization made it clear that they are going to make a strong playoff push this season in a very watered down Eastern Conference.

    Everyone of course is going to be locked in on watching Miami this postseason. Whether you love them or hate them, the Heat are the two-time defending champions and draw more national attention then any other team in the NBA.

    What more interesting matchup could we see for the Heat presumably in the first round than against LeBron's former team. Better yet, the Cavaliers' fan base could not ask for a better return to the postseason. Can you imagine a fan base that would want to see their team knock out the Heat anymore than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Miami is pretty much locked in as at least a No. 2 seed right now, so if the Cavaliers can slide into the playoffs and end up in that No. 7 spot, we would be in for a very interesting series between these two teams.

4) Los Angeles Clippers vs Golden State Warriors

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    I was tempted to throw the Portland Trail Blazers into a matchup with one of these teams, but I could not help but think of how exciting a seven-game series between the Clippers and Warriors would be.

    Back and forth they would go on the west coast, between Staples Center and Oracle Arena, as the Clippers use their ferocious dunks and Lob City mentality, while the Warriors bring an offensive force that relies heavily on the three-point shot.

    Steph Curry vs Chris Paul would be an outstanding individual matchup to watch for seven games as well.

    Certainly there will be a lot of tired morning commuters on the east coast if this series occurs because there is no way we will be getting enough sleep as we stay up late into the night to watch these two explosive west coast teams battle it out.

3) Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    The Houston Rockets are one of those teams that is going to make it so hard to get through the Western Conference. While teams like Miami and Indiana will be on cruise control in the Eastern Conference as they play inferior competition, the top seeds in the West will be squaring off with James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

    This certainly would be the most interesting matchup we could see the Rockets have in the playoffs. If it occurs it would likely be a second-round matchup or possibly even a Western Conference Finals showdown, but regardless of the round, it is sure to make for some great playoff action.

    NBA fans got a chance to see this matchup last year in the playoffs and the Thunder were able to get by in six games, but this year's test would be even more difficult. The Rockets are a much better team than they were last year, and they are certainly capable of sending Oklahoma City home early.

2) San Antonio Spurs vs Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    If the Spurs and Thunder meet in the playoffs, it will likely be for the Western Conference title. We saw this matchup two years ago and the Thunder prevailed, but now the incentive is even higher to get back to the finals for both teams.

    The Thunder will look to go back and avenge a loss they had two years ago at the hands of the Miami Heat, while the Spurs will look to reach the finals for a second consecutive season and avenge a stunning rally from the Miami Heat that sent the Spurs packing and left the Heat alone as the champions.

    Wednesday night's battle between these two teams showed that a seven-game series between these two teams is about as good a matchup as we can get in the playoffs, but there is one more that stands alone at the top.

     

1) Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Of all the possible great playoff matchups we could see this spring, what would you want to see more then the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers for a spot in the NBA Finals?

    For Miami, it will likely be the toughest test they face on their road to a possible third straight NBA championship. For Indiana, it is a chance to avenge their last two seasons, which ended with playoff losses to the Heat and verify that they are now the elite team in basketball. For the casual fans, it is a chance to watch a great showdown between two great teams that will likely go seven games.

    The best part about this potential matchup though, is that it is extremely likely to happen. Just look at the Eastern Conference right now. There really is not any team that has a legitimate shot at beating either Indiana or Miami in a seven-game series.

    Right now, this looks like the set in stone Eastern Conference Finals matchup, and we are just counting down the days until it begins. Something strange could happen of course, but we are likely going to see a great showdown for a spot in the NBA Finals once the third round of the playoffs rolls around.