So far I have provided all of my previews and predictions for the 2012-13 NBA season (Atlantic Division, Central Division, Southeast Division, Southwest Division, Northwest Division, Pacific Division, Eastern Conference Playoffs and Western Conference Playoffs) which is set to begin in just a few short hours so now it’s time for me to provided my predictions for the Conference Finals and NBA Finals which is the Association’s version of the Final Four. Here is my prediction for the Eastern Conference Finals including which team I feel will win and why.
At t he conclusion of a another long and physically draining NBA season it will be two usual suspects battling it out in the Eastern Conference Finals for a shot to return to another NBA Finals and possibly earn another championship trophy for their respective franchises. These two teams are the Boston Celtics and defending champions Miami Heat who squared off in last season’s Conference Finals and at least one of the two have been in the NBA’s semi-finals four of the last five seasons.
These two rivals are scheduled to meet on opening night and will once again end the season playing versus each other yet again as well. It’s no wonder why these two teams are such great rivals not only does the other represent each team’s greatest road block in returning to the NBA Finals but they each other so often that they can’t help but to have some sort of ill feelings towards each other on the court. This season there is a little extra fire in the equation however with Ray Allen’s departure from the Celtics to the Heat.
This year in the Eastern Conference Finals it will be yet another all-out grudge match between these two teams and I don’t think its going to go any less than the full seven games. Both teams want to beat the other more than they want to beat any other team in the league which will ensure that this will be an extraordinary series as it is anytime these two meet. Allen could very well be the x-factor in the entire series because there is no telling what he is going to bring to the table for Miami. Everyone knows what LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are going to bring to the table, but what can Allen do for this team? That question will probably answered before the Conference Finals but will best be answered in that crucial series.
Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo will look to Jason Terry off of the bench to provide them with some additional assistance and make up for the void lost by Allen; but will the Jet be enough? Only time will tell in this situation, but the play of Jeff Green could be the x-factor for the C’s. Last season Green wasn’t around for the Conference Finals due to a heart condition but this time around if he’s there he could be huge with guarding James. Last year Boston didn’t have anyone close to equaling James’ size, power and speed but this year things could be different with Green who is one of the finest multi-position defending players in the Association.
In the end I think the Heat have just a bit too much for the Celtics to over take them for the Eastern Conference Title. Each game of this seven games series will be an individual battle which will provide great, must-see television for all, but the Heat will take the series and move on to their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance.