Blogtable: Who Can Beat The Heat?




Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 29: What to make of OKC? | Who can beat the Heat? | The Bulls’ future


Let’s assume that the Heat are the best team in the league. Pick another team, either conference: Who’s second-best?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Tempted here to say Indiana, because a Pacers-Heat series for the Eastern Conference title could be dynamite, especially if Dwyane Wade’s sore right knee brings Miami back to the pack a little. And this is with Indiana spotting them Danny Granger. Paul George’s ascendancy, Roy Hibbert’s confidence and height, the X factor of Lance StephensonThing is, my head says that San Antonio is the more complete and mature team at this point, edging ahead of the Pacers in the battle for No. 2. Now that both Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra are done with their personnel gamesmanship (no one would be skipping road games in a Spurs-Heat Finals), I think San Antonio would command the most respect from Miami’s stars. (And yes, I acknowledge Memphis might be better right now than either the Pacers or the Spurs.)

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: It might be hard to believe considering they’re in a struggle with the Warriors, but I’m going with the Spurs. They’re experienced, they’re deep, they’re balanced and I believe that if they’re still healthy in June, they could give the Heat the best run in The Finals.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: I don’t have to assume that Miami is the best team. They just are. A healthy Oklahoma City is second-best. But since they’re not healthy, San Antonio is next. Tim  Duncan is in remarkable shape and Tony Parker, when he’s healthy, and he seems to be getting better and better, is an MVP-type player. The supporting cast is excellent, they are disciplined, proficient and can beat you in a number of ways.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: At the moment? The Grizzlies. I would not have made the case at the start of the playoffs, but the answer of the moment is that not only is Memphis playing at a high level, but it has the best chance to give Miami a hard shove. The Grizz strength (inside game) against the Heat weakness (the same), plus Tony Allen as the first line of defense against LeBron James, would be an interesting watch.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Oh, man. That’s a tough call. The Pacers’ defense is the best in the league. The Grizzlies are also great on that end and seem to be getting better offensively every week. But I’m going to stick with the Spurs, who were a great team on both ends of the floor in the regular season. They’ve obviously struggled to slow down Stephen Curry at times in the semifinals, but they’ve survived the toughest test that any of the aforementioned teams have faced in this round, and they’re still the most complete team outside of Miami.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Let’s wade into the deep end of the pool and do that with the Heat. The second-best team, just as I predicted on The Hang Time Podcast weeks ago, is the Memphis Grizzlies. The ability to play at an elite level inside and out and on both ends of the floor sets this Grizzlies team apart from the pack. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph bring the pain every night. And Mike Conley, Tony Allen and the rest of an underrated crew on the perimeter have me skipping a few steps (it’s a foolish thing to do, I know, but  cannot help it) and thinking about the matchups in a Heat-Grizzlies Finals scrap. I’d love to see how LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh try to deal with the Grizzlies’ frontline.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com: In the East, Indiana, and in the West, Memphis. Both teams have several similarities: Size and strength in the post (Hibbert/West and Gasol/Randolph); underrated point guards who can knock down jumpers or get to the rim (Hill and Conley); elite wing defenders (George and Allen). They also both could use an outside shooter and a little more depth, although I don’t think the lack of a bench really works against either team in the playoffs when the rotations are shortened.

Hanson Guan, NBA.com/china: The Grizzlies, definitely. Some see parallels between the Grizzlies and that 2004 Pistons team (and the common link of Tayshaun Prince helps). They are a chain without a weak link, their tactics are working well and the atmosphere in the locker room is perfect. As opposed to those Pistons, the Grizzlies rely on post players, but Conley has been showing a big heart as the playoffs have unfolded. If Memphis elbows its way to The Finals, the Grizz would be a great threat to Heat. They may even emerge the dark horse to replicate the unlikely feat of the Pistons, who, in 2004, came out on top at the expense of the Lakers. [Hanson Guan is an editor for NBA China (china.nba.com)]

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA.com/greece: No room for surprises in this one. The Pacers are playing like the best team right now, but is this truly what the question is all about? The Heat are the bullies of the NBA — the team with the MVP, the defending champions, the squad that everyone is afraid of. But if opponents’ fear is the one way to measure how good a team is, the other one is respect. And the prize for that one goes, without saying, to the San Antonio Spurs, the old dogs that tend to learn new tricks every now and then. They are at the edge of eliminating the “young guns” of the West and are ready to put all that experience-armor on for The Finals. No, I cannot avoid quoting the most important words that came out of a basketball coach in the last 20 years. As Rudy Tomjanovich once said: “Don’t EVER underestimate the heart of a champion.” And the Big-Three have won three in the post-David Robinson era. [Stefanos Triantafyllos is the editor of NBA Greece. (nba.com/greece)]

Akshay Manwani, NBA.com/india: It’s between the Spurs, the Pacers and Memphis — teams that are ahead in their series at this stage. A look at NBA.com’s advanced stats for teams in the postseason also puts these three teams among the top five in the Net Rating category, with Miami at No. 1. However, while San Antonio comes in at No. 2 here, with a net rating of 10.3, owing to a couple of blowout games against the Lakers, I’ll go with Memphis as the next best team in the league. They have the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the year in Gasol, two players among the top 10 in the postseason scoring category and Gasol and Z-Bo and get to the free throw line more than any other team. Memphis is also a younger and a more physical team than the Spurs and since they don’t have to play the Heat in the next round (unlike Indiana), they are most likely to represent the West in The Finals. [Akshay Manwani is a blogger for NBA India (nba.com/india)]

135 Comments

  1. travious says:

    Who can beat the heat get ready pacers

  2. Bu says:

    I’m siding with Memphis as they hv great D (same level as Pacers) & better Off than Pacers as the team that is 2nd best now & has some chance to upset the Heat.

    If the Spurs does beat the Griz for some reason (well, Griz too hyped out in game 1, as Hollins said), they’ll likely lose to the Heat as their D is no where near the top levels of Pacers & Griz. Actually, with Prince together with Allen & Gasol this yr, who are 3 top D guys in the whole league, Griz’ D is really outstanding both individually & collectively. They also dominate inside. The question is how well can the Heat stop the ball feeding inside, while, like another fan said here, how much Bosh et al can stretch out Randolph to create space for LBJ & Wade to slash in.

    Coach: Spoestra is more experienced in the finals, so Heat has advantage here.

    Lastly, it comes down the how the refs will call the games. If it’s mainly a grind, refs will side with Heat.

  3. kenny says:

    if the reffs don’t screw the pacers they could beat the heat because there big and gave the heat there best match until the finals last year but don’t worry heat fans the reffs will help the heat like thay did in the finals against the thunder

    • reynaldo says:

      100% agreed, check those stupid NBA refs most calls will be against Pacers and they will call all Lebron flops.
      If Wade is not around Miami will lose because Lebron can’t win in a championship by himself.

      • Mike says:

        LOL. The Pacers is who gets the favorable calls. Check the numbers. Last game against the Knicks was BS. Knicks get called for 34 fouls and lose to centers, while the Pacers get called for 18 and lose nobody. Common man.
        “there big and gave the heat there best match until the finals last year” forreal. LOL. in the finals last year there was no competition OKC took game 1 and then the Heat destroyed them winning the series 4-1.
        The Miami Heat are much better than the 90’s Bulls and LBJ is much batter then MJ. Best Player on the best team… Past, Present, Future.

  4. bill says:

    Pacers going to take it do to payback from lat time we played pacers was up n let down n let Miami come back take series

  5. bill says:

    Pacers will give Miami a run n maybe knock them out because payback from last time they me pacers let down when they had Miami down on series

  6. Jeff says:

    It’s amusing to read all the comments about the Grizzlies beating Miami–I think the Spurs are the perfect team to defeat the Grizzlies. I expect Duncan to degrade Zack Randolph’s production enough to allow the Spurs to win.

    Miami against Indiana will be interesting. I see a lot of turnovers in Indiana’s future being turned into baskets. I did not think they took care of the ball very well. Miami puts a lot of pressure on the ball, without allowing drives to the hoop.

    So I expect a Miami Spurs match up in the finals. Spurs can win if they shoot well and Miami does not–the whole team. Miami has already won with both James and Wade having poor shooting games. I’d say Miami has a 65-35 chance of winning it all, again.

  7. EDDI says:

    bla bla bla !!!!!!!!!!!just worries me Dwyane knee. if he was well forget it. there is no team that wins the heat 4 games of 7. AAAAAAA HHHHHHH only lost three games after the all-star game.

  8. Duer says:

    @Stefanos Triantafyllos of NBA.com/Greece,
    I believe the Spurs only won twice post David Robinson-era. They won two titles with the twin towers; once in 1999 and once in 2003.
    As for the question, “Who can beat the heat?”, the answer is simple: the Vancouver Grizzlies!!

  9. JC says:

    Allen will shotdown Parker, and Gasol and Z-Bo will bully Duncan on the post. Having said that, I think the Heat will have a hard time against the Grizzlies (they are the only team that could came close to beating the defending champs).

    Heat vs Grizzlies are 2 and 3 respectivly in the Big 3 era. But in the first 4 games the Grizzlies had Rudy Gay leading the way.

    I think their last game (12 and 8 games winning streaks respectivly) was a Finals preview were James and Wade commanded the fourth quarter.

    Heat wins the Finals in 6.

  10. Mario T says:

    Everyone saying Memphis is the better match up and i believe so but one big and most important problem they will have against the heats is when Miami lock down on their big men and conley is not making anything who will they go to for scoring and then the Rudy gaye trade will come back to bite them like OKC and the harden trade. Big mens in the nba is attached to foul trouble and with lebron and wade driving the lanes all the time the defense cant help but foul and thats where the heats will win at the foul line and the 3pt line beacuse almost everyone on the memphis starting line up is a step slower than the starters they will have to guard when playing the heat at that 3pt line i believe the memphis wont make it out the west finals any way due to the lack of scoring and the inability to stop the 3pt line HEAT REPEAT

  11. Earl says:

    Miami. They are a very difficult offense to contain when they are clicking on all cylinders. When they are Heat Hot on offense, it fuels there defense. I say this to say, only Miami can beat themselves.

  12. Phil-ly-fer says:

    I actually feel that if Rondo was available, Boston would’ve met up with the Heat (and WON).

  13. LoveThisGame says:

    To be completely honest, I dun think there’s a team right now on the earth can beat the Heat. I am definitely not a Heat fan, never, cuz I dun like the way they form a roster by simply getting the best players to the group. They have too many scoring spots and they are experienced yet not an old team, so this year championship belongs to them.

  14. Cedrick Labbe says:

    Now looking at the Heats’ strengths and weaknesses, Memphis looks like a team to knock over that crutch since Miami doesn’t have such a big inside game. While Memphis has Marc Gasol & Zach Randolph tearing the paint up. Now is the Grizzlies able to withstand Miami’s offense? It would be nice to see Tony Allen vs. Lebron James. But I do think Spurs’ defense has done good this season. Also Tony Parker & Tim Duncan leading the offense. With Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobli as go-to guys. So I’ll say San Antonio for No. 2 right now.

  15. Elijah says:

    Definitely the bulls at full health. Nate Robinson is too much of a wild card for the heat. The heat and bulls are polar opposites the heat are more of a smooth finesse team, get to the basket and do it cleanly. The bulls don’t care who they’re playing the come at you with a ferocity, they arnt afraid to foul or take charges. So like I said the bulls.

  16. Benjy says:

    Believe it or not the team most capable of beating the heat are on the verge of elimination. I think its the New York Knicks! They match up really well against the heat. If memory serves me right the knicks blew them out twice in the regular season and they didn’t even have their best player. If knicks can survive Indiana, then the heat will have their work cut out for them. New York just needs to do exactly what they did in the regular season

  17. Mark says:

    Memphis wold be the team to give the Heat the toughest playoff they ever had.. But heat will still win in 6

  18. GSG says:

    As an avid spurs fan, i’d really want the spurs to battle the heat in the finals.
    But, for the sake of eliminating the heat, i’d choose the grizz over spurs.
    They’re much capable of beating the heat down and put james into crutches. nuff said.

  19. BullsFan says:

    Memphis would be the best bet. The key to that series would Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Randolph would destory Haslem, or Bosh, or even Lebron at the post. Marc Gasol plays like a Joakim Noah, if Noah was healthy, but Gasol is better offensively. The main weak point in the Miami Heat are the bigs. If Randolph and Gasol can produce enough points and grab enough boards on the Heat. Then they have a chance on winning. With that being said. Miami’s bench is better than the grizzle’s bench, so it’ll come down to if Randolph and Gasol can help produce a big enough lead to out last that bench team.

  20. Rbzl says:

    Heat dominate all. You guys argue about heats inside game but who will guard bosh outside the paint where he thrives? Zach, Tim and Hibbert playing D at the 3 point line only benefits the heats inside game.

    • NBA NUT says:

      Well with Zach defending the three it still leaves the defensive player of the year Marc Gasol in the middle to dominate the paint
      you must of forgot about that Memphis front line.

  21. Woffie says:

    No one will. If anything, this season’s playoffs have shown us the heat are on a gorup of their own in this season’s league. The closest team was the Thunder and look what happended to them without Westbrook; and they were still going to loose in the finals give them all the Westbrook you want. And I’m not even a Heat fan at all; it’s just that it’s evident the big three formula has finally started to function as it should even when I don’t like teams built the way the heat are…And maybe the Heat wouldn’t be so dominant if it wasn’t for the fact the rest of the teams are kind of soft.

    In paper the best team left aside of the Heat are the spurs, and everybody knows they’ll loose in the finals if they ever get to past the Grizzlies in the western conf championship. And no, the Grizzlies don’t stand a chance against the Heat neither.

  22. NBA NUT says:

    Come on let’s be serious the Heat beat a under .500 Bucks team and a injured Bulls team they have not played a team yet in the playoffs that is healthy or over .500 I think they are in for a big surprise if they make it to the finals whether it be Memphis, San Antonio. I like Golden State but I don’t think they will make it. Miami is overrated in my book besides Lebron the rest of the team is very streaky. Remember that they have to beat a west coast team 4 times for that trophy they wont be playing a east coast team that they see 3 or 4 times in the season I guess we will have to see what happens but I don’t think they are going to get the trophy this season.

    • Lebronster says:

      66:16 regular season, 8:1 post-season (so far). if anything, heat are probably underrated.

      • NBA NUT says:

        We have seen multiple times it doesn’t matter how well you end the season it doesn’t dictate how well you will do in the post season. Yes they are 8-1 in the post season against opponents that are unhealthy or under .500 all I am saying is they will be in for a dogfight and more then Lebron is going to have to play very well. The Heat underrated yeah right Miami fans will say the most ridiculous stuff.

  23. christian says:

    wow..compairing the Heat(recent) and that 2004 lakers huh..bad theory

  24. El Ueapo says:

    Hahahaha. Someone (Manny said 4 good runners beat UsainBolt) Hahahahaha.
    SAS are old
    GS not experienced
    NY gone
    Indiana are filth defensively but under pressure, can they perform?
    Memphis for the chip!!
    GO GRIZZ

  25. Dave says:

    Knicks anyone? hahaha

  26. Lance says:

    Memphis. Not that they can actually win a series against Miami, but they can put up a good fight. If the Grizzlies control the paint (especially the rebounds), then the Heat would have a hard time playing their transition game. And unlike the Spurs, Miami’s half-court offense is dependent on James/Wade. Conley and Allen are legitimate perimeter defenders, so that would really be a test for Miami. On the other end, I think Miami also has two of the best perimeter defenders (in James and Wade) who are also good rebounders; and we all know how Memphis can struggle in the half-court at times, considering that they don’t really have that marquee go-to-guy like a James or Wade. Heat-Grizz, it’s really an interesting match-up to see. But we’ll have to wait come June.

  27. Richard says:

    I am tempted to say Spurs, because of the more complete lineup from starters to the bench, and has the most experience, I’m sure they’ll put up a good fight, but I am interested with the Heat go against the Grizzlies defense. Yeah, SAS plays weel on both ends but apparently has tough time to cover or close out on shooters (obvious with OKC series last year and GSW presently). Faring with the Heat, Memphis has a better perimeter defense (Tony Allen, Prince, Conely..)and great Post offense and defense as well, which will really give Miami headaches on both ends. The mismatch will fall largely on the front court match up where Miami is thin. Miami has the best Back court so as well as the Grizz got the best defense against that as of the moment. But still I go for Spurs vs Heat Finals, want to see how Lebron redeems himself against the team who swept them in the finals back in his Cleveland days.

  28. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    In my opinion, Miami will win it all. Yes, Wade is dealing with a minor injury or whatever and Ray Allen is only good for stretches. But the Heat will win it all. I don’t know what will happen next season, but the Heat looked primed to repeat.

    Memphis is on fire right now and appear to be the most likely Finals matchup against the Heat. If you can beat the Thunder (even if Westbrook did not play), you’re guaranteed a spot in the Finals.

    But winning the Finals against the Heat??? I don’t know about that.

    This day and age you win the most with speed and athleticism. Memphis has 2 great bigs (Gasol, Randolph), but they only average 17 – 18 PPG, each. Or somewhere around there. There are no more Patrick Ewings, Shaqs, Olajuwons, David Robinsons, etc., in the league. Memphis got lucky to catch the Thunder without Westbrook, but I give Memphis credit. 2013 is Memphis’ year to go for it all. Cause in 2014, the Thunder will return to the Finals.

    The Heat will repeat. Tony Allen is a great defender, but Kevin Durant missed a lot of shots he normally makes. So I wouldn’t credit Tony Allen that much. He could contain Lebron or Wade … but Memphis doesn’t have enough firepower to match the Heat. In a dreamworld, if Memphis had this current roster and still had Rudy Gay … I”ll tell you what … they would then have enough firepower to possibly beat the Heat. Tayshaun Prince is still good, but it’s just not enough to beat Miami.

    However, since Memphis defeated my favorite team — the Thunder — I will be rooting for the Grizzlies to win the NBA Title.

    But we’ll see. :-)

  29. eycee says:

    Experience will be a factor for this:) post season is all about experience, adjusting and team play.. Heat vs Spurs in the finals. Heat will have a repeat!!

  30. eycee says:

    Let us all remember that “EXPERIENCE” is one great factor in the POSTSEASON. The team that has the experience on both conference and nba finals will win the championship:) I’ll go with the HEAT.. No doubt about it.

  31. SwizzFlo says:

    Honestly i be very impressed by the grizzlies. They the only Team right now, besides Miami, who play very well on booth ends of the floor. i think the Pacers play Championship-worth Defense, but the Offense is sometimes pretty inconsistent. and the spurs are too fragile.

    The spurs get too less production from the bench and have to rely too much on they’re Big 3 + 1 (Leonard)! Thats not gonna work against miami, or even the grizzlies in the next round. Green, Diaw, Neal and Bonner have to step up. Another Problem i see, is that the spurs rely right now too much on Ginobilli. Because of less Production from the Role Players! Not that he is not capable of big nights anymore, but Pop can’t ride him like in the old Days, same with Duncan! And besides that, the spurs have the longest way to go for the finals.

    For the Pacers, i think the problems are on the offensive end. Against miami they have to make around 90 points every game in order to win! They play terrific Defense right now but the Heat are a different caliber as the Knicks offensively. (No Offense to the Knicks, they play a great season, but learn now on the hard way that Championship teams have to play championship defense! )
    The Heat will score around 90 Points no matter what you will bring on the defensive end, they are that good and motivated once comes the finals. So the Pacers have to play every game in a good offensive rhythm and need everybody to be productive in order to win against miami. Hibbert, George, West, Hill, Hansbrough and Stephenson have to be around 10+ Points in every game in order to have a chance to win.

    So thats makes the grizzlies the only left on the table. They play very good defense as well right now, but unless the Pacers they got no problems offensive. Z-Bo and Gasol play so good right now on booth ends, they be the only contender to me for miami.
    .

  32. realist2013 says:

    Seriously? Spurs or Memphis either will give Miami a run. Memphis doesnt double team as they dont have to. Underestimating elite professionals no matter who you root for is a no no. Bosh will be worn out and you cant compare noah and boozer to gasol and zbo. Zbo comes to work every day Boozer is Sporatic. If miami gets past Indiana that is. The Spurs are a Machine and their bench is a starting line up so their intensity is always on both ends of the floor. Pop has like an 11 man rotation because he can. Every player hits the court as if they never lost a stride. All in all these remaining games will be fun to watch and some people will be wowwed :-)

  33. Who? says:

    I don’t know what all the hype is about. Yeah the Heat are a great team but come on they beat the Bulls by 3 points people. A Bulls squad that was without a number of it’s best players. Rose, Deng, Hinrich. Noah playing on a bad foot.
    It’s not a done deal Heat fans.

  34. Pawapski says:

    All i can say the ball is round predictions are 100% probable, thats why I LOVE THIS GAME by: NBA

  35. Jet Black says:

    An ice cube has a better chance of standing the heat in hell, than the Grizzles do withstanding the Heat in Miami.

  36. Juan Pablo says:

    I think the Heat are the best team in the NBA in this moment. Their offense with a complete LeBron James, s good shooter like Shane Battier, Chris Bosh doing amazing performances in the series, Norris Cole taking himself into the starting lineup, Chris Andersen doing the birdman style dunking everywhere, Ray Allen and the 3-point love story. Dwyane Wade showed in game 5 that he is injured but he still managed to score 18 points, so with this Miami Heat, its very hard to beat them, they know how to cross difficult defenses like the Grizzlies and the Pacers and also have good defense to stop the Spurs great shooters. I think the Eastern Conference Finals end Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers, and the Heat win 4-2, and in the finals, they will meet the Spurs and will win 4-2

  37. larry says:

    Honestly many people say its the grizzleys but think they almost lost the okc series if a healthy westbrook was there and almost lost the first series against the clippers its physically impossible to stop lebron,wade,allen,bosh,battier, Norris Cole

    For the grizlleys with there big men in the box wat about the perimeter ? i dont think they can keep up with the heat considering its the grizzleys first time also they pacers would be a better match up remember last year the pacers took them to game six with out there stars and now its pacers turn to beat the heat does that ring a bell remember back when the lakers beat the rising thunders? yep the next year they came out and beat the lakers look out because heat isnt going to finals this year grizzle vs pacers with the pacers coming out top

  38. WOOPS I MEANT 10 MEDWAY STREET!

  39. Luke says:

    U know what?? Memphis got chance on beating the heat but thats it/// The heat is currently the best team in NBA… Heat is gonna win the championship lol.. No doubt about it

  40. Just Basketball says:

    I SAY SPURS AND MEMPHIS ON WF and HEAT AND INDIANA ON EF… FINALS WOULD BE MEMPHIS AND HEAT? What do you guys think?

  41. Freida says:

    As long as Bosh steps up and he has in the playoff they can win another championship. They have Ray Allen, Battier, Miller, Cole who can hit 3’s. Allen is working with LeBron. I think LeBron is just too determined not to win another championship and even Wade is playing in pain fantastic. Go Miami Heat!!!

  42. Giuseppe says:

    In the last 22 years only two franchises make it 3 consecutive NBA Finals, Chicago (’91-’93, ’96-’98) in the 1990’s and LA Lakers (’00-’02, ’08-’10) in the 2000’s.Miami’s way to the NBA Finals defends on who will win the Pacers/Knicks match up. And winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy defends who will win Memphis vs Spurs/Warriors.

  43. HEATFAN says:

    Are people really expecting either of these teams to upset the HEAT? Lots of wishful thinking going on around here… Miami are simply the better team hands down… Memphis or Spurs might take 1 or 2 games but that’s it.. And please stop saying that Indiana has a chance against the HEAT. They couldn’t put the HEAY away last year when they were a WAY worse team and DID NOT HAVE Bosh playing… PLEEEEEEEASE….

  44. travis says:

    you see Spurs are struggling against GSW now.. what makes anyone think they can beat the Heat? MEM might have a chance. Indiana not even close, pacers are such a mediocre team just like the clippers, if you want to beat the defending champs youll have to a consistent team, just like memphis, with 2 dominating big mans. but never under estimate what bosh and lebron can do inside the paint. the better TEAM wins it, so far i still believe miami is the better TEAM.

  45. JCsavior says:

    My vote goes to Memphis Grizzlies as well, and I’ve been saying this before they beat OKC. Not saying Spurs is no good, they’re the most experienced team and might even beat Grizzlies to contend with the Heat. But I think the question here is who will be the BEST competitor against Miami Heat? In Playoffs where match-ups were magnified 10x, Grizzlies have solid match-ups in each position against Heat. Tony Allen against Wade, Tayshaun against Lebron, Z-bo and Gasol will take turns slowing down Bosh, making the Miami Heat into a jump-shooting teams, the best way to beat the Heat, because there’s no way to beat them if Heat gets the transition games going.
    That’s why the Spurs might not be the best fit. I think Danny Green will have a tough time guarding Wade. I’m interested to see how Leonard gets on Lebron, but I have a feeling he’s going to get into foul troubles early the way Lebron attacks the rim. Miami’s ability on 3 point shooting (42%) relies heavily on Lebron and Wade’s dribble penetration to lure the perimeter defenders to help. If you take away their presence in the paint by clogging the lane, Heat’s 3-pt % will go down.
    As for Pacers, they’re a solid team. But how far can they get is depending on if Paul George could be a leader for his team. I don’t see them winning more than 2 games against Miami.

  46. Jaime says:

    I think the Memphis Grizzlies have the best shot at it because they are the only NBA team with an interior duo that can play at a high level both offensively and defensively. That said, they’d have a really hard time offensively against a good defensive team as Miami, basically because they don’t have any reliable shooter. Gasol/Z-Bo can put up 60 points in a reaaaaaally good night, but you’re not gonna win any game in the NBA scoring just that. That’s why without a 3-pt menace that spreads the floor and makes life even easier for Gasol/Z-Bo it would be really hard to overcome the Heat. But it gets IMPOSSIBLE when you realize that you’d also have to stop Lebron and Wade. Not even Tony Allen can stop that. And that’s saying a lot.

    Anyway, I’m Spanish, so I’m gonna be rooting for Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies to death. GO GRIZZ!!! Grit and grind!

  47. Nugs says:

    No one will beat the heat, unfortunately

  48. Look out for the bleh bleh bleh says:

    Heat is probably the 5th or 6th best team in the league. The Knicks are better than the Heat as they defeated the Heat 3-1 this season. Beating them by 20 pts in two games and Carmelo scored 50pts on Miami’s own home floor in another victory game. Indiana is also better than the Heat beating them 2-1 this season.

    Doesn’t matter who gets there, but either one can take out the Heat in the ECF. If IND makes it, I say IND in 6 games. If NYK make it, I say NYK in 5.

    Heat matches up better against any Western team. If the Heat make the finals it doesn’t matter who gets there from the West, the Heat would take it. If SAS, Heat win in 6. If MEM, Heat win in 6. If GSW, Heat win in 5.

  49. djles73 says:

    Some people just forget that a team needs to win 4 times to get rings.I just cannot see any team doing so against the Heat.Of course any of those can win games against Miami,but a series…My money on them defending their title,and who could argue that after a 66-16 season,27-game winning streak and 8-1 in PO so far…

  50. kevin says:

    just because memphis beet the under manned thunder, dont mean they have a chance with lebron( the best player in the world)

  51. SomeGuy says:

    Gotta go with the Spurs. They aren’t as strong as the Grizz or the Pacers in the post, but against the Heat, they’re good enough. The Heat don’t have anyone to shut down Parker, and the Heat are going to have a tough time with a not-so-100% Dwyane Wade. That being said, the Grizz and Pacers would both be tough matchups for the Heat.

  52. OC says:

    The best team that can stop the Heat are the Spurs.

  53. Dave says:

    Understandably Heat are the best team right now, with one of the best players ever to play the game in Lebron. But I think it’s disrespectful to some of the other teams and even kind of ignorant to think that you can’t say with 100% that another team can beat the Heat. Lets be honest Heat without Lebron is Chicago without Jordan. Yeah they’ll get to the finals and so forth but take Lebron out of the picture what then? You can’t say wade and bosh can make the same plays for others like Lebron can. And to say Lebron is Unguardable is not entirely true. One thing all the greats like Jordan, Kobe etc can’t handle (including Lebron) is up in your face D. Allen (Tony) is the best at that. Just get physical with Lebron take him out of his rhythm, Marion did it 2 years ago i’m sure anyone else can. Memphis is the team that can beat heat. They have a no fear factor about them like the 04 Pistons. And lets be real all the 3 point shooters on the Heat are spot up shooters these days. Take out the one person who can create for them and whos gonna make the plays Chalmers? Cole? Wade?(Maybe, but not as good as Lebron). It’s naive to think that no one can go with the Heat but like the saying goes “it takes a bold man to bet against the favorites”. <—– I think thats the saying LOL.

  54. king says:

    nobody in memphis can guard or match the strength of LBJ when he plays small forward… keep dreaming y’all

  55. Drago says:

    Miami is not at their 100% right now but the other teams pretty much are.Temping form is what wins titles.Last year everyone thought tat the West Champ wins the title but Miami killed reason with a strong and focused presence.That showing evolved them in to the best team in this league and i just don’t believe that any team right now has what it takes plain and simple.,My pick would be San Antonio as far as the second best is concerned but they have as much chance as Boston had last year in an eventual final.

  56. coach says:

    everyone’s talking how strong miami is but infact they’re the same level as pacers or just a little bit above pacers, people praising miami so much on how strong they’ are coz of the most common reason, they have “superstars (eg.james,wade,bosh,allen,) compare to pacers which who most people say they dont have a superstar caliber on the team,
    it’ll be hella funny if miami lose to either pacers or knicks and people gonna react like “wade is down, pacers are too physical blah blah blah and just cant accept that there’ll always be someone better than your team. lol

  57. nba eagle eye says:

    Memphis will for sure give it to Miami and it will be a great finals. Of course I would never rule out spurs at all, they have champ. exp., unbelievable coach, great supporting players , and future HoF (Duncan,parker,ginobli maybe) but this old and well rounded team will lose to Memphis out of exhaustion. Memphis jus cleared out thunders while spurs are still in their 2nd round series and possibly will go to game 7 depending on warriors motivation. So hands down Memphis v. Miami in the finals.

  58. reynol pers says:

    The only team that could beat the Heat is The Heat come on cover Lebron ?? Also Bosh in the inside ? You guys really do not know the Heat. Bosh is hot from the outside does not need to be in the inside.

  59. Heatforheat says:

    The water hahaha

  60. benjie says:

    Memphis,indiana,spurs-No one can defeat the heat in 4 games.Again 4 games.
    With an MVP caliber lebron and there role player are rolling.They are unstoppable. they will wear you down with there rotations.They got 3 pointers the best in the NBA -so they could spread the floor.And lastly Norris cole is playing better than most point guard.with deadly 3;s active penetration.I think who ever match them in the best of seven will scratch there head run there film review all night and still come up short on how to stop the heat.
    Secondly the birdman gave them an upgrade from turiaf last year. Man these guy reminds me of dennis rodman but with athletic skills.
    In the end when wade improves after one week of rest period will see. It will be 4-1 heat vs pacer.
    4-1 Heat vs Spurs/Memphis.
    The only way other team will win a championship now is when the big three split and start ageing but not in 4 years time.

  61. littleteapot says:

    I think the Pacers are the most likely team to beat them. Memphis is a great defensive team, but they don’t have a guy who can guard Lebron 1 on 1 (I guess the closest is Tayshawn Prince, and that’s a joke). If they play double and rotate, they basically have to have only 1 big on the floor, and they lose the only advantage u could really get against miami. San Antonio has a shot, but they don’t play good enough D. The Pacers can guard Lebron with Paul George, and Hibbert and West could knock them around down low, on both ends. Unfortunately, the Pacers put too many poor shooters on the floor. Throw it up and have Hibbert get offensive rebounds only works against the Knicks, against the Heat you have to knock some of those down. Also, the Spurs are not getting to the heat because Memphis is going to DESTROY them.

  62. kobe24 says:

    Lebron is trash get off the man sack and be realistic the heat arent that good . I have grizz for the championship . And winning it in 6 games .

  63. bigboy11 says:

    think the last ti mt that Indiana played Miami they got a beat down , and when was the last time a west team beaten Miami from feburary all them strong teams from the west got beat by Miami and i think the only team that gonna give them problems is the spurs pop is a genius

  64. theflowson says:

    on paper, it would seem memphis could beat the heat because their strengths are their two bigs and miami’s weakness is a lack of interior presence and rebounding. You would think that Memphis would totally exploit that but given Miami’s track record it would be foolish to bet against them rather than for them.

    Miami can completely stretch the floor against the Grizzlies, Bosh (being the best mid-range jump shooter in the league) will bring Randolph out of the paint which will leave room for Wade or James to drive the ball or perhaps run pick and pops with Bosh.

    Conley, Allen, Prince, Randolph and Gasol is a superstar defensive line up if I have ever seen one but like I said you can’t count Miami out despite their weaknesses, they also have the ability to shut down players with their team defense as well as to play very physical. And you cant forget Miami has the best player in the world by far in Lebron James, who knows how to win after getting that first championship.

  65. Mike says:

    Let’s be real guys. Beside the big three Miami has the best three point shooter in NBA (shoot more than 43%). Then you have Lebron shooting very good for the 3 points. I know the Spurs or Indiana may compete with the HEAT but would not take out Miami. When the Heat play their best no team at this could stop that train.

  66. Saeed says:

    The only team that can beat a distracted Miami is Memphis this year. I hope Miami falls in heavy trouble against the Pacers in the ECF and get focused for the heavily armed Memphis defense as No, and I mean NO team can win the focused Heat.

  67. david says:

    if anyone its memphis because of there size in the post…..but miami will probally figure them out over the series(wade and lebron are just to smart and good to lose it)

  68. keats 80 says:

    Say Miami does not make it , I have heard people say how boring a Grizzlies Vs Pacers final would be but personaly I think it would be brilliant, it would be brutal , tough , niggly the scores may not get above 80 , but you dont need lots of points to have a great game. In the whole NBA Grizzlies and Pacers are the two teams best equiped to beat heat if spurs make it sadly i think it will be walk in park for Heat

  69. gartzos21 says:

    personally, i believe Spurs have no chance winning a series against Heat, maybe one or two games at best. Now I’d Like to see Memphis against Heat because it will be really tough for both sides. Grizzles are a great , disciplined team full of talent and the only team challenging Heat for the title. BUT they will be tired after facing Spurs. Oh, and don’t forget Indiana yet…….

  70. AKA says:

    Lets keep it real, nobody. Sure Memphis and Indiana will give them a challenge but cannot beat them in a 7 game series. Anyone saying the pacers/griz will beat the heat is obviously just a hater, probably mad the lakers are bad.

  71. Leon says:

    Memphis is a more solid team than the Spurs. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are just too good for the Spurs and also the Heat.

  72. FAHD ALI says:

    I LOVE YOU LEBRON JAMES IM GONNA WATCH YOUR GAMES 247

    REMEMBER TO REPLY LEBRON OKAY

  73. KEVIN DURANT says:

    LEBRON JAMES IS THE BEST

  74. duncan21 forever says:

    really

    really? dont ever underestimate the heart of a champion! its not over. i like to see spurs vs heat in the finals. let the spurs teach lebron a lesson again like in 2007. after jordan era. duncan is the greatest player of all time! go timmy, tony and manu! go spurs go!

    • NBAFAN!!! says:

      Spurs?? They are nothing. Spurs will get sweep!!! Dunca was very good 5 year ago not anymore.

      • RG says:

        well then you must not be watching basketball this season because Duncan’s had one of his best seasons in a long time. and sorry, but the Spurs will not get swept. they have experience, depth, and the best head coach in the league right now. for you to say that they’re nothing makes you sound like a fool.

      • StupidHeatFans says:

        You obviously dont watch anyone but the heat if you said duncan is not a good player anymore

      • Tonhenx says:

        You’re drunk, go home!
        Go Spurs Go!

  75. The Spurs have no chance against the Heat plain and simple , Lebron would destroy Parker and Duncan all by his own!The Grizzlies have the best shot because they are younger than the Spurs and way more agressive on defense!

    • RG says:

      sorry, but you’re wrong. the Spurs have a shot against the Heat because they have the most experience, depth, and arguably the best coach in the league right now. LeBron would perform better than Parker and Duncan, but not destroy them.

  76. Elijah says:

    I would have to say spurs because of how ginobilli and Duncan and Parker have been playing lately I’m a golden state fan but at this point the spurs are looking like a finals team

  77. KG says:

    Lebron is such a cry baby and also the face of the NBA right now ……………..damn right no fouls.

  78. Jason says:

    Ok first off, I’d like to say to everyone that keep on saying OKC, they’ve been eliminated. And to everyone who keeps saying the SPURS are old, are you only saying that because of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili?? Just wondering because if you haven’t been watching them, They do have young players as well like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Gary Neal. But I would take the SPURS any day because they play as a team as well. And they’ve been to the playoffs a record 16th straight time. Since Duncan was drafted in 1997 they have not missed the playoffs. That’s consistency. How many times have Miami made the playoffs in the last 16 years? How many teams lost their core elements in the last 16 years? How many teams have new coaches in the last 16 years? The Spurs Organization is an amazing one where the Coach runs the show and the players respect and listen to him. Phil Jackson had this in Chicago until the Owner said things. He also had this in LA until the Kobe issues came out. But you want to talk about the second best team besides the HEAT, it’s got to be the SPURS. And for you HEAT fans, honestly who did you really beat to make it into the Eastern Conference Finals?? Milwaukee was no comparison for Miami, and The Bulls were going to run out of steam once they lost Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. The Bulls played with heart, but didn’t have the man power. Memphis and San Antonio do. So Once the SPURS are done with Golden State, it will be an interesting Western Conference Finals. After all, You gotta work hard to win in the West. It’s not a freebie like the East is. That’s my opinion and if you don’t like it that’s fine, just saying what I think.

    • Marty Chiaravalloti says:

      You make some good points, but IMO you are in denial as to how good Miami really is. There is unprecedented parity and talent in the NBA today which makes their season all the more remarkable. Their current squad may well be judged one of the best in the history of the game in the coming years. LeBron will certainly be remembered among the greatest that have ever played. Bank on that!

    • wyl says:

      I’m a die hard Bucks fan..I also work at their arena so we have inside scoop.. they laid down for miami cuz they didn’t eanna be there after all the turmoil in the locker room

      2nd in those 16 years TD is 1.000 in the nba finals. They win the west they wib the title. See what miami did against the mavs…lmao. …they beat an inexperienced okc team..

  79. GS says:

    GOLDEN STATE!

  80. Gillsy says:

    As everyone has mentioned the Pacer’s can wear the Heat down, they can rebound and even though George isn’t James he will take it to him.

    • Drich says:

      Thank you, everyone isnt talking about the pacers like they dont have a winning % against the heat this year. The pacers are the real deal. There defense and rebounding is suffocating and wins them games. Although offense puts up points, defense wins games and you can when a game with bad offense but not bad defense. GO PACERS

      • manny says:

        the pacers are great but you have to forget about regular season. We have seen The big three Boston team and Old Lakers turn into a better team during the playoffs.
        We haven’t seen in Indiana can make adjustments when the game plan is not working.

  81. Don says:

    I would agree with the spurs, they are more versatile team.

  82. sports fan says:

    Indiana will wear down Miami & then Memphis will wear them down some more in the finals. Memphis wins it in 7.

    • Marty Chiaravalloti says:

      Indiana hasn’t even beaten the Knicks yet, and Memphis hasn’t won the west. Miami has the best home record in the league (best road record too) and home court throughout the play offs. I doubt Miami will drop more than three games total the rest of the way. LeBron will get his ring(s)!

  83. JimD54 says:

    Only in the NBA can a player as physical as Lebron James, play 11 straight Quarters of Basketball and not foul anyone….That’s amazing

  84. Kimmy says:

    Nobody. This year. Go OKC!!!!!!!

  85. holyspectator says:

    ughm no one? you cant deny lebrons drive to be an all time great, hes been to the finals 3 times…got denied twice, finally won it last year, you really think hes gonna allow anyone to stop him and miaimi…miami is too deep, people think right now just cuz wade got knee problems thats gonna give them trouble…we havent even seen bosh go out and put up 20+…which you will start seein more and more now that wade is declining..you cant stop miami, they gonna win the title this year no doubt about it

  86. Cody says:

    The Pacers or the Grizzlies, simply because they can both play defense. Although, I’d put Memphis over Indiana as Memphis is a lot better offensively. The Spurs are too old, and all the Warriors seem to do is score, and even that hasn’t been going that well for them.

    • RG says:

      so Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, Cory Joseph, and DeJuan Blair are old, huh? the Spurs core might be aging, but the team, as a whole, are not old. even if the Big 3 are aging, Duncan’s been having one of his best years in a long time, Parker still looks like the MVP candidate he was during the season, and Ginobili is still providing a spark off the bench, despite his injuries.

      and it also sounds like you’re saying the Spurs can’t play defense, even though that’s been their calling card for years since Popovich took over. well, you’re wrong about that. they’ve been a good defensive team this year, and they can score too. not to mention, they have the most experience between them, the Pacers, and the Grizzlies.

      sorry, but i believe the Spurs are the team that can challenge the Heat.

  87. Sebastian says:

    Second best team in the NBA: Memphis after the trades of their two biggest scorers everyone (me included) thought they were done… but now we have 2 first def team. But again SECOND best team. Lebron is unguardable by any player, Bosh Haslem and Battier are able to open the court and don’t forget someone called Ray Allen and Cole… very deep def/off team

  88. MiamiHeats_babygirl says:

    i’ll definitely have to say SPURS. I agree that Memphis defence is tight and that they playing well but the Spurs get the upper hand right here for No. 2

  89. Fabio says:

    I think the Grizz are the toughest threat to the Heat matchup wise, but I don’t think they’ll get past the Spurs so it won’t matter.

  90. Kamote says:

    I’d say Memphis. They have two imposing big men in Marc and ZBo, a good PG in Conley. Added to that, upon acquiring Tayshaun, they now have 2 defenders to chase Wade and LBJ around. Of course these two would still score, but at least they’ll be given a hard time doing so. I just hope the referees would allow Memphis to play its brand of defense.

  91. W/E says:

    If the Heat players play their best there is NOONE who can stop them, this year they are the best and more talented team in the league by far, they have all the pieces and they are gunna win the championship this year, if they dont it will be a huge failure.

    • Benny says:

      They won’t have their big three with Memphis shutting down Bosh and Allen shutting down Wade

      • NBAFAN!!! says:

        You are stupid!!! who will cover Lebron (the best player ever)???

      • manny says:

        Tonny allen played defense against Durant and lets be honest KD played the entire game any body would be able to slow down a tired Durant. Its Almost like putting 4 good runners against Bolt on a 400 m relay. Bolt will lose every single time
        James don’t have the pressure to shoot every single time and he can easily post tonny Allen.

      • thisguy says:

        your crazy, injury or not noone is gonna shut down wade, every now and then he has bad games and doesnt score much. but i’ve never seen wade get shut down. besides i don’t think prince is gonna be enough to shut down the king(pun intended). mark on bosh i think will neutrelize each other with mark having the better post game, and bosh having the ability to knock down the jumper from almost any range. conely will prbably give chalmers a workout,but i think when cole comes in hes gonna be a big problem defensiveley.our only true problem will be z-bo because battier and haslem aren’t really big enough to handle all that
        z-bo.

    • Tyrone says:

      Agreed.it would take a miracle to beat the Heat. Allen, Bosh, Cole, The King, D-Wade, Chalmers. What more can u ask for? If Knicks overcome the Pacers and face the Heat. I would expect it to be a 3 point shootout if NYC makes it through. NYC is the only team in the East who has a chance against the Heat considering the victories they had against Miami. Otherwise, I would expect the 2010 era to be own by Miami.

    • AL says:

      I agree at their best they are unbeatable.

  92. Shawn says:

    Memphis will win the West, and beat the Heat. They started the season ahead of everyone and have adjusted since losing Rudy Gaye. Randlolph and Gasol can stop the train (Lebron)… Tony Allen, is also playing awesome defense… Conley is playing well… the entire team is clicking and in total sync with each other… Lebron of course is sensational and deserved to be the MVP. And the Heat has a great coach and bench, but Memphis will take it this year!

    • Steve says:

      If the Grizzle were better the question would be who can beat Memphis, It’s not… It’s who can beat the Heat… Which is the same as saying…. We understand that Heat are the best, but who might be able to at least give them a little run…

      • AL says:

        Defensive teams with size advantage inside, but as Steve said if the Heat 3-point shooting is as efficient as it has been, the Heat will prevail & that has to be all of them (Allen, Battier, Chalmers, Cole, Miller, James & Bosh). If Bosh can make couple of jump shots early & draw Hibbert outside then the entire defensive scheme of the pacers will be difficult to implement. Again winning home games are critical here since the pacers have not lost at home in these playoffs or to the Heat in regular season. Also the pacers are one of two high seeded teams (3rd) to have a losing record on the road (the other of course are the Nuggets). GO HEAT . LOOKING FORWARD TO THE HEAT BEING UP 2-O.

    • Marty Chiaravalloti says:

      I think you’ll be singing a different tune when if and when they get to Miami. Miami will have home court and given their 66 wins in the regular season and their 8-1 record in the play offs so far, anyone who bets against LeBron and the Heat are not being objective.

      • manny says:

        I think the question should be who can stop the grizzles since the have had the toughest challengers.

      • Bryan Villarama says:

        Eventhough how excellent the opponent on defense, im sure Miami Heat will knock them off! they are simply UNSTOPPABLE! when it comes to experience players miami heat have a bunch of quality players that knows what to do on crucial times and im sure that they will be on the TOP. Hail to the KING of Basketball ‘LEBRON JAMES!’ — Bryan V.

      • AL says:

        yes but with a week off between rd 1 & 2 they lost game 1 to the bulls. they have a week off here. lets hope Spoelstra is on it.

    • Jet Black says:

      You smoking that stuff?

    • H E A T FAN #6, 3 &1 says:

      THE CHAMPZ ARE GOIN TO TAKE ANYONE IN THERE WAY!! The Miami Heat have shooters even Bosh knocks down 3’s (downtown) Z-Bo or Marc is goin 2 have to come out of the paint. So come on man…? U still have LBJ n D.Wade… plus R.Allen, Cole…. Shanie…. Memphis , Paces/Knickz or Spurs are goin down…

  93. Memphis says:

    Memphis. Defense will stop them. Put Bosh in a can, close up the lane, rebound rebound rebound on both ends, and actually having a bench that will allow your starters a few minutes to catch their breath. They’ll take them. I’d love to see the Spurs take one last, but I don’t think they have it in them.

    • Steve says:

      Close up the lane?????? If they stay under the hopp and CLOSE UP THE LANE… Allen, Shane, and everyother player on the Heat will scortch them with shooting… They will stretch the Bigs of memphis out… Everyone on the Heat can shoot, so the two Bigs will have to go out and guard, that will open the lane right up…. Can you say REPEAT

      • manny says:

        that’s true you cant leave ray Allen open in the corner the bucks did that and did not work. So far I thing the Memphis had the toughest challenges and the heat is looking like their are still waiting for the playoffs to come.

      • Tyrone says:

        Well Memphis too has guys who can play perimeter d like Tony Allen who would probably be guarding their shooters but toherwise, it would be a tough thing to do. SA could probably stop Miami. SA has an excellent bench, and quality players along with TD, and Tony Parker. So SA has a better chance at beating Miami than memphis overall.

    • Allan says:

      Is this similar to what the Bulls have done to the Heat? Noah, Boozer, Gibson? Remember?