MMD May 20, 2014 0

Surprise! The top two seeds in each conference made the final. If you’ve been reading our NBA columns at mensmagdaily or watching the NBA at any point in the last half-century you know this is a SHOCKER.

The Eastern Conference Final tips off today at 3:30 (Eastern) on ABC. All the games for the rest of the series are scheduled for 8:30 on ESPN. Game 2 is Tuesday, but game 3 is not until Saturday. They play every other day after that.

We will have our West preview up tomorrow, now let’s break down today’s matchup.


INDIANA (record to date is 64-31)
1- George Hill
2- Lance Stephenson
3- Paul George
4- David West
5- Roy Hibbert

G/F- Evan Turner
PF- Luis Scola
C- Ian Mahinmi
PG- C.J. Watson

F- Chris Copeland
G/F- Rasual Butler
PG- Donald Sloan
F/C- LaVoy Allen
F- Solomon Hill

MIAMI (62-29)
1- Mario Chalmers
2- Dwyane Wade
3- LeBron James
4- Shane Battier
5- Chris Bosh

PG- Norris Cole
SG- Ray Allen
F/C- Chris Andersen
F- Rashard Lewis
PF- Udonis Haslem

G/F- James Jones
F- Michael Beasley
G- Toney Douglas
C- Greg Oden


Obviously this is the primary matchup of the series, and the stats show just how great The King really is. George is an excellent player, one of the best in the league at his (and LeBron’s) position. George is also a better than average defender. George has no chance against LeBron.

They have played about 37 minutes versus each other in 4 regular season games this season. George is 6/20 (30%) for 17pts. LeBron is 17/35 (49%) for 45pts. Let’s just call this advantage Heat.

These guys guarded each other for about half of their minutes on the floor together. Indiana used Hibbert versus Bosh the rest of the time while a combo of Battier and Lewis spent the other minutes guarding West.

Both Bosh and West had very similar production regardless of who was guarding them. Bosh was 16/27 (59%) and West was 18/34 (53%) – this matchup would appear to be a wash.

This duo only spent about 18 minutes against each other this year and it would appear to be even-steven. D-Wade was 7/13 and Lance 7/12. Could this continue over the course of the series? Is Wade that diminished plus Stephenson that improved that the once great D-Wade is now of the same skill level as Stephenson? (I mean no offense to Stephenson – who I think is awesome – but never has or will play at the level of Wade in his prime.)

LeBron is unstoppable. The stats show that the Pacers feel George is their best bet to guard him. But George also spent a significant amount of time on Wade. This suggests that once LeBron starts dominating George, they put George on Wade and guard LeBron by committee (like most teams.) The problem is George doesn’t fair that great against Wade either. Wade was able to get into the paint 8 times this season against George. He drove 7 times on Stephenson in more minutes. Neither of them can stop Wade from getting into the paint, so Hibbert is going to be a key here with help defense. If Hibbert can’t deter Wade from scoring inside this series will be over quick, but it’s not just Wade.

LeBron drove 19 times on George while George only got to the paint 8 times versus James. As we said Wade made a combined 15 drives against Stephenson and George but Stephenson only recorded one drive on Wade. Mario Chalmers penetrated 16 times on George Hill, Hill 5 times versus Chalmers. Norris Cole took C.J. Watson there 9 times. See a pattern here?

Roy Hibbert is going to have to stop the Heat from waltzing into the lane and scoring easy buckets because other than LeBron, the Pacers match up pretty well with Miami. They split the season series 2-2, and are 7-7 in their last 14 games against each other. Indiana pushed Miami to 7 in the same round last year and took them to 6 in round 2 of 2012. So if Hibbert can slide over with the help D and stop the Heat from getting into the paint whenever they want, they just might have a chance.

Donald Sterling releases a sex tape of him watching a threesome involving Roy Hibbert’s wife, LeBron’s mom, and Arvydas Sabonis in which Sterling can be heard saying “See I just like to watch” – O sorry prediction for the SERIES – right…um…Despite how poorly Indiana has played of late (20-18 in their last 38 games) they match up well with the Heat and are going to give them all they can handle. Still, I’ll evoke the Jordan Rule here: I’ll believe someone can beat LeBron when I see it. Heat in 7.

Article By: Anthony Schiano

Leave A Response »