Contact Us

NBA Playoffs Report: Eastern Conference Semifinals Preview

Eastern Conference NBA
Marc Serota, Mike Zarrilli, Drew Hallowell / Getty Images

After the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics each won Thursday night to close out their first round NBA playoff series, the next round of the NBA playoffs is set to begin this weekend. Meanwhile, two Western Conference first-round series (Clippers-Grizzlies and Lakers-Nuggets) have yet to be decided. Here’s a preview of the NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinals:

(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) Indiana Pacers

Heat-Pacers NBA
Marc Serota / Getty Images

As evidenced by their near-sweep of the New York Knicks in the first round, the Miami Heat are among the best teams in the NBA. Miami’s LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh knocked out the Knicks in five games with a stifling defense that never allowed New York to score more than 94 points in a game. The Heat will need that defense against a younger and very athletic Indiana team, led by Danny Granger and Paul George. The Pacers, who rolled over a depleted Orlando team 4-1 in the first round, will use All-Star center Roy Hibbert and forward David West to chip away defensively at Miami’s superstars. Indiana is 16-4 since April 1, but Miami went 3-1 against the Pacers during the regular season. The best-of-seven series starts Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EDT in Miami.

See the full series schedule.

(4) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers

Celtics-Sixers NBA
Mike Zarrilli, Drew Hallowell / Getty Images

Becoming just the fifth No. 8 seed in NBA history to defeat a No. 1 seed, the Philadelphia 76ers eliminated the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls 4-2 in the first-round of the NBA playoffs. 76ers’ point guard Jrue Holiday took full advantage of the absence of injured Chicago point guard Derek Rose in the final five games of the series, as he fueled the Philadelphia attack. Holiday will need to step up his game further against talented Boston point guard Rajon Rondo, who can stretch any defense. 76ers’ defenders Andre Iguodala and Spencer Hawes must contain Celtics’ scorers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and force them to work hard on both ends of the floor. Philadelphia is more athletic and deeper than Boston, and the 76ers won the season series between the teams 2-1. However, the Atlanta Hawks were young and athletic, but Boston defeated them 4-2 in their first-round series. The Celtics also have home court advantage. The best-of-seven series starts Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT in Boston.

See the full series schedule.


Best of 1470 KYYW

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for All Access VIPs quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive All Access VIPs contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.