After two exciting rounds of NBA Playoff action, just four teams remain. While the higher-seeded Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have vast experience on this heightened stage—both teams played in the series as recently as last year—the lower-seeded Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies are young teams that feature many players experiencing the deepest playoff runs of their careers. With both Conference Finals matchups including accomplished Hall of Famers taking on young and exciting upstart squads, this round should produce the most thrilling basketball yet. Take advantage of your chance to see these teams battle with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line by purchasing NBA Playoff tickets today from the Vivid Seats marketplace.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 3 Indiana Pacers
This series pits two teams with contrasting styles against each other in a battle to represent the Eastern Conference in the finals. While the Miami Heat prefer to spread the court and score in transition via the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Indiana Pacers prefer a grind-it-out, team-oriented style of play. After surviving a physical five-game series against the Chicago Bulls, the Heat will have six full days of rest before hosting Game 1 at American Airlines Arena. The time off should benefit the Heat, especially with Wade recently showing flashes of his dominant self after battling a myriad of injuries throughout the regular season. But Miami must be careful as well, as the squad fell at home to the Bulls in the opening game after an extended break last time.
The Pacers, on the other hand, will receive only a three-day break after outlasting the New York Knicks in the thrilling Game 6-finale. Roy Hibbert figures to play a key role in the Pacers’ upset chances, as the Heat seemingly have no defensive answer for the 7’2 big man, with their tallest interior defender, Bosh, standing at only 6'11 and 235 lbs. Indiana will hope Hibbert can produce offensively and defend his position on the other end of the court, giving them a chance to steal home-court advantage with an early win in Miami.
American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla. – (Game 1: May 22; Game 2: May 24; Game 5: May 30; Game 7: June 3)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. – (Game 3: May 26; Game 4: May 28; Game 6: June 1)
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies
In a nod to the old-school days of the NBA, this series features two teams that play a half-court style of basketball with an emphasis on post play. Despite their similarities, they have one glaring difference: experience. While the San Antonio Spurs are no strangers to this stage, the Memphis Grizzlies are making the franchise’s Western Conference Finals debut. San Antonio’s experience showed in Game 1, as the squad rolled to a dominant 105-83 home victory, led by a stellar display of outside shooting. The comfortable win in the opening game is certainly encouraging for the Spurs, but they are unlikely to let their guard down just yet—they held a 2-0 lead in last year’s Western Conference Finals before losing four straight to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Although facing an early 1-0 deficit in the series, Memphis is still more than confident that it can come out victorious, as the team dropped the first game in both of its previous two series before ultimately advancing. After trading superstar Rudy Gay midseason, the Grizzlies have actually improved their offensive efficiency by balancing their attack. If Zach Randolph and Co. can find a way to win one on the road, they can take the series back to the FedExForum in Memphis, where they enjoy one of the league’s best home-court advantages.
AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas – (Game 2: May 21; Game 5: May 29; Game 7: June 2)
FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. – (Game 3: May 25; Game 4: May 27; Game 6: May 31)