Could today’s game between the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers be a preview of the NBA Finals? Why not? Both teams have a lot of talent and both are led by good coaches. Both coaches have been deep into the NBA playoffs in the past. So this could very well happen.
The Clippers will have a much tougher road to get there as the West is clearly the better of the two conferences. The San Antonio Spurs are still formidable at 14-3 so far. The surprising Portland Trail Blazers can no longer be overlooked at 13-3. Then we have the Oklahoma City Thunder at 11-3, the Houston Rockets at 12-5 and do not sleep on the Los Angeles Lakers at 9-8 with Kobe Bryant due back at any time and the Dallas Mavericks at 10-8, only three years removed from a world championship.
But the Clippers at 12-5 can play with any of them. They are off to a great start and have not exactly been fattening up on a weak schedule. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are getting better every game and newcomers such as J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley have really helped Jamal Crawford with the outside shooting. The Clippers have not missed Chauncey Billups one bit. In fact, theback court has been even better this season.
The Pacers have a much easier road, except for having the two-time defending World Champion Miami Heat on their side of the bracket. The rest of the East has really been struggling with teams like the Chicago Bulls losing Derrick Rose again, and the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets off to terrible starts. In fact, the East has the Heat and Pacers and a bunch of teams at or under .500.
There is an awful lot of basketball yet to be played between now and the playoffs, but if there was ever a season we could pencil in the Eastern Conference Finals participants this early, it looks like this would be the year. The only question is can the Pacers beat Miami?
Look no further than last year’s Eastern Finals for the answer to that question. That series went the full seven games. Last year the Pacers were not the number one or two seed in the East either, so we would have to assume they are better this year. So the answer is, yes they certainly are capable of beating the Heat.
So tune in to the Pacers and Clippers today. There is a chance we could be seeing a lot more of these two teams meeting in some huge games later on this season.