Out of 16 teams that started the NBA playoffs, there are only 4 left. You have Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Boston and Miami left in the chase for the most coveted title in the realm of basketball. Many people believe these teams belong this far in the post season, but there are still some non-believers. At least, 3 out of the four definitely belong in those highly sort after spots and one step away from the big east vs. west showdown.
Oklahoma City has been a power house that has only grown these past 3 years into one of the most dominating teams in the NBA. Led by the 3 year running scoring champion, Kevin Durant dropping an astounding 30 points a game in the regular season. He is accompanied by Russel Westbrook and James Harden who round out this teams "Big 3". Westbrrok in his own right is a spectacular player and finished 5th in the season race for the scoring title. He is explosive and has amazing body control that allows him to score at will from anywhere on the floor. However, he is a little headstrong at times and as a result causes many turnovers. Harden in my opinion is like a more under control version of Westbrook. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor and can penetrate the paint at will, but his biggest asset by far is his defense. He is regarded as one of the best defenders in the NBA bar none, which is the reason they have awarded him the 6th man of the year award. As long as these three produce for their team, then i could easily see OKC going all the way to the finals.
San Antonio is probably one of the biggest sleeper teams i can remember from recent years that has somewhat quietly sneaked into the western conference finals. By sneaked i mean they haven't lost a game since before the regular season has ended. As of now, they are a perfect 9-0 in the playoffs and 19-0 in their last 19 games. Many people including myself, believe that this team is older and has seen better days, but they are putting all the doubters in their place by rolling over teams on their way towards the finals. The Spurs are probably the deepest team in the entire NBA and they show it on a nightly basis going 12 deep most of the times. No other team can reach that far into the talent they have and come out with the same results as the Spurs have this year. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with and are by no means a stepping stone for any opposing team.
Miami was the heavy favorite since before this lockout season started, but haven't really looked like it most of the year. They finished second in the east, and because of the injuries to Bulls' players Noah and Rose are now the top seeded team left in the eastern conference. Led by their big 3 of Wade, James and the now injured Bosh, they have had a decent year but no where near the kind of year they were projected to have. In my opinion they got a break by drawing Boston in the conference finals. Especially with Bosh being out, Wade and James has stepped up their game to the level that it should be played at by these players on a daily basis. As long as Miami continues to have players score off the bench and defend shots, then Boston should be just another notch on their belt onto their second NBA Finals appearance in 2 years.
Last but not least there is Boston. The Celtics are one of the older teams in the league led by the original Big 3 of Pierce, Allen and Garnett. They have had many problems throughout this shortened season with injuries to main players including some key ones. Ray Allen missed a number of games with an ankle injury which he is still fighting on a daily basis, and because of this his output has been hampered. Anyone familiar with basketball knows that if a shooter has anything wrong with any part of his legs then its not a good sign, and Allen still being bothered with his ankle after months could lead to the downfall of the Celtics in these playoffs. Pierce has put up decent numbers and is trying to be the captain that he is and lead his troops into battle, but the victory has been like the light at the end of the tunnel that cannot be reached. No matter how hard the team plays it just seems like there is always something missing that would push them over the edge and ultimately get them the victory. The only shining accomplishment thus far for the Celtics in the playoffs is KG. He has put the team on his back, and pretty much has taken them all the way to the conference finals. He has consistently shown that he is their best perimeter shooter in this years' playoffs, and also has been rebounding the basketball like a possessed man. KG has taken the Celtics this far but if they want to go any further and have their one last chance of winning a championship again then someone else needs to help bare the load and help lead the Celtics to victory.
There it is, 2 aging teams on their last legs in my mind and 2 young teams that just need to do the little things right to advance. But, who am i to decide, you be the judge!