Two unlikely teams are making a strong case for themselves in the two opposing conferences. One is a Cinderella story from out west, while the other is a team that annually disappoints given the amount of talent that they have.
These two teams are the Memphis Grizzles and the Atlanta Hawks, and they have David Stern pulling his hair out.
These teams represent two small markets in the NBA, with the Atlanta Hawks coming in around the middle of the pack, while the Memphis Grizzlies are in the bottom three. These teams did not use promises of extensive media coverage and exorbitant contracts (with the exception of Joe Johnson's signing) to attract players. They made smart moves, building up to the point they are at now.
Now that they have reached this point, it seems likely that they will be heading at least to their respective conferences' finals. Each team stole a game in enemy territory when the odds were stacked against them, showing their perseverance and courage.
What is responsible for these wins? Their new and constantly improving line ups.
Both of these upstart teams have very intriguing combinations of players, with Memphis developing possibly the best front court in the NBA, consisting of Rudy Gay, Zach "Z-Bo" Randolph, and Marc Gasol, while Atlanta has put together one of the most well-balanced offensive attacks in the NBA.
The direction that each team has been working in is beginning to pay off, as each team's respective strength has proved too much for their opposition to handle thus far in the postseason. Hopefully, these two teams can continue their success all the way into June. It would prove to be a very exciting match up.
In short, these two teams are actually fairly likely to butt heads in the NBA Finals.
While this would be a great series for fans to watch, David Stern will be hating every second of it. This year seemed like the year that he would finally get his dream match up of Kobe vs. LeBron, so you can bet that he won't be happy about this.
Don't be surprised if he brings back Tim Donaghy to ref a few of these games. After all, Stern loves his money and a Miami-LA series would surely pay the bills.