After Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have earlier reached their conference finals, their opponents are finally known – Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Miami Heat justified the role of favorites, with an express passage to the final series of the Eastern Conference. Through short series they eliminated the Charlotte Bobcats (4-0) in the quarterfinals, and then the Brooklyn Nets (4-1) in the semifinals of the conference. As a result, the Heat had plenty of time to rest before the next series, considering that their rivals struggled in their series. Brooklyn Nets survived duel against Toronto Raptors with a lot of effort, 4-3 in the series, and they secured the passage into the semifinals of the conference virtually thanks to one ball in the seventh game played in Toronto (104-103). Miami will have a day of rest more than the Pacers, because their opponents secured placement in the finals of the conference in the sixth game (4-2).
Indiana Pacers have allowed the Atlanta Hawks to make even two breaks in the quarterfinals of the conference, so their quarterfinal series was exhausting and ended only after seven games (4-3). Semifinal series was shorter, although the Washington Wizards also made two breaks, but the Pacers responded with all three wins in Washington. The third, decisive victory was achieved thanks to excellent performances of David West (29 points) and Lance Stephenson (17 points, eight assists), while Paul George contributed to the victory with 12 points.
Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will decide the winner of the Eastern Conference for the third year in a row, and the Heat were more successful both previous times. The series begins on May 18, and the Pacers have home advantage this time. However, given their four defeats at home in the previous two series, the question is whether home ground will truly be the advantage against a team like Miami.
The Western Conference had slightly different picture, as both teams had a tough road to the finals of the conference. San Antonio Spurs eliminated Dallas Mavericks 4-3 in the series, thanks to the home advantage, even though the Mavericks made a brake. Home ground was crucial in the semi-final series with the Portland Blazers, which has ended with a total Spurs victory, 4-1, which also brought them one more day of rest.
Quarterfinal series against the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder solved much harder than expected, 4-3 in the series. Semifinal series against the Los Angeles Clippers was shorter due to win of the Thunder in the sixth game, 104-98 at the Staples Center. As usual, Kevin Durant was brilliant, scoring 39 points with 16 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 12 assists, and Reggie Jackson 14 points.
This will be the third conference finals of Oklahoma City Thunder in the last four years, and the first game has scheduled for May 19 in San Antonio.