With just four teams remaining in the 2014 NBA playoffs, the outlook for the NBA Finals is becoming clearer and clearer by the game.
The San Antonio Spurs have dominated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals through two games, but OKC is far from dead. All the team needs is a spark from NBA MVP Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to get back on track.
The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are locked at one game apiece in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat have shown some inconsistencies in the series, but the Pacers have been more inconsistent than any other team in the league this season.
Which teams will make it to the Finals? There's still plenty of time for these series to go either way. Below, you'll find updated odds for each team along with a link to an updated NBA playoffs bracket.
An updated bracket for the NBA playoffs can be found here.
The latest NBA Finals odds are courtesy of Odds Shark from May 23, 2014.
|NBA Finals Odds|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+1625|
|San Antonio Spurs||-115|
|OddsShark.com, May 23|
Eastern Conference Finals
Turn back the clocks.
LeBron James—the best player in the world—isn't leading the Heat in scoring. Instead, Dwyane Wade has shouldered the load offensively. Zach Harper of CBS Sports broke down Wade's performance through two games:
Throughout the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals redux against the Indiana Pacers, Wade has been the team's best scoring option. He's averaging a team high 25 points and shooting 64.7 percent. This is coming after he made a career-best 54.5 percent over the course of the season. He became such an efficient scorer in terms of field goal percentage because he understands his weaknesses. He's abandoned the 3-point shot almost entirely. He took only 32 attempts in 54 games. It's a good idea considering he's made only 28.9 percent of his career attempts.
Wade isn't the same explosive shooting guard that he was when he came out of Marquette in 2003. His knees have limited his ability to cut, and his playing time has decreased as a result. It appears as if Wade is adapting to these new limits, and the Heat are benefiting as a result.
Wade will need to continue asserting himself offensively if Miami is going to win the series.
Pacers star Paul George has been cleared to play in Game 3, reports the Pacers' official Twitter account, despite suffering a concussion in Game 2. Despite his "active" status, George may not be able to deliver a ton of minutes.
If he struggles in any capacity, the Heat will have to jump all over Indiana.
Western Conference Finals
The Spurs have dominated OKC thus far, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the series. The Thunder have been without rim-protector and paint-scorer Serge Ibaka for both contests, but Ken Berger of CBS Sports tweets that Ibaka might play in the series after all:
Ibaka is crucial to OKC's strategy on both offense and defense. Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison are far from the defensive talent that Ibaka is. Neither is particularly good at redirecting shots or bumping bodies and rebounding.
Offensively, Ibaka uses his length and body to finish at the rim. While he has been out, Tim Duncan has taken advantage down low.
Of course, even with Ibaka in the game, Duncan might still be able to find success:
OKC is far from out of it, but the Spurs are playing at a dominant level right now. After losing in the NBA Finals last season to the Heat, the Spurs appear destined for a rematch.
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