NBA Insider: Marquis Daniels’ 2014 Conference Finals Predictions

Features

Eastern Conference Finals

Who wouldn’t want to see Miami vs Indiana after watching last year’s Eastern Conference Finals? Let’s be honest, we all lost a little confidence in Indiana after their mid-season slippage, but you can’t hold a good team down. The Pacers have proved that with their play in the postseason – after facing two tough teams to get here – Paul George and his troops are ready for the Goliath of the East, Lebron James and the Miami Heat.

While it seems Miami has had an easy road to get to the ECF, I’m sure it has been a lot tougher than it appears, especially after facing a tough veteran team from Brooklyn. Lebron has plenty of firepower to back him up, let’s not forget about Dwyane Wade as well as Ray “Sharp Shooter” Allen and the rest of the Heat. I can assure you that those guys are more than ready for combat. Should be an interesting series. If I would’ve picked who would win the NBA at the beginning of the year, I’m sure me and all you guys would’ve have favored the Indiana Pacers, but the Miami Heat has risen to the top as they normally do around this time of the year.

Western Conference Finals

You have the young guns of the wild wild West, the Oklahoma Thunder, and the old timers with savvy veteran leadership and a nice mixture of young talent in the San Antonio Spurs. When you think of the Oklahoma Thunder and the excitement they bring with the league’s MVP/leading scorer in Kevin Durant and his talented counterpart Russell Westbrook, you have one of the most exciting duos ever in the NBA to dominate and play at a high level. There is major question looming over OKC however: will Serge Ilbaka’s injury be too steep of a hill for the Thunder to climb and move on to the Finals?

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs are a well oiled machine, coached by one of the best masterminds to ever do it, Greg Poppovich. They are also led by what many argue as the league’s best point guard in Tony Parker. San Antonio are a team of great detail; every person knows their role and plays it well. From the starting five to the players coming off the bench, they are a team who makes very few mistakes and plays hard. You have to focus on more than one player when facing this team. This series should provide plenty of energy and excellent basketball with great coaches and great players. It’s hard to just say it will be a cakewalk for either team. You have athleticism and youth versus veteran leadership and unity, who would you choose?

Predictions: Heat wins in 6. Spurs win in 6.

Daniels is a 10-year NBA veteran who has played for the Mavericks, Pacers, Celtics and Bucks. He made the NBA All-Rookie team in 2004. While awaits the start of the next season, he’ll be watching the playoffs (of course), as well as promoting his new mixtape Kategory 6 under his moniker Q6.