NBA playoff matchup

May 06, 2004|By Milton Kent

NBA playoff matchup

Eastern Conference semifinals

No. 1 Indiana (61-21) vs. No. 4 Miami (42-40)

Season series: Indiana 3-0

How they got here: Indiana swept Boston, 4-0, in the first round. Miami beat New Orleans, 4-3, in the first round.

Pacers outlook: Indiana has won nine straight going back to the regular season, but will have had 11 days off when the series opens. Ron Artest, the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, led the Pacers in scoring during the sweep of Boston. Indiana is 18-3 this season when Artest and Jermaine O'Neal both score 20 points in the same game.

Heat outlook: Miami has won 16 straight home games. Stan Van Gundy became only the fourth NBA coach to win a Game 7 in his first season. Miami has advanced to the second round of the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history. The Heat averaged 18 fast-break points in its four wins over New Orleans and only eight in the three losses.

Prediction: The Heat forced Indiana to shoot 36 percent in their three meetings this season, so Miami is capable of shutting the Pacers down. But the home court, the inspired play of Artest and O'Neal and the Pacers' playoff experience add up to a short series. Indiana in five.

NBA playoffs

Conference semifinals

(Best of seven; *-if necessary)

Eastern Conference

Indiana vs. Miami

Today-at Indiana, 9 p.m. Saturday-at Indiana, 7 p.m. Monday-at Miami, 8 p.m. Wednesday-at Miami, 8 p.m. *May 15-at Indiana, TBA *May 18-at Miami, 8 p.m. *May 20-at Indiana, TBA

New Jersey vs. Detroit

(Detroit leads series 1-0) Game 1-Detroit 78, New Jersey 56 Tomorrow- at Detroit, 8 p.m. Sunday-at New Jersey, 8 p.m. Tuesday-at New Jersey, 8 p.m. *May 14-at Detroit, TBA *May 16-at New Jersey, TBA *May 20-at Detroit, TBA

Western Conference

Minnesota vs. Sacramento

(Sacramento leads series 1-0) Game 1-Sacramento 104, Minnesota 98 Saturday-at Minnesota, 9:30 p.m. Monday-at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m. Wednesday-at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m. *May 14-at Minnesota, TBA *May 16-at Sacramento, 3:30 p.m. *May 19-at Minnesota, TBA

L.A. Lakers vs. San Antonio

(San Antonio leads series 2-0) Game 1-San Antonio 88, L.A. Lakers 78 Yesterday-San Antonio 95, L.A. Lakers 85 Sunday-at L.A. Lakers, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m. *May 13-at San Antonio, 8 p.m. *May 15-at L.A. Lakers, TBA *May 19-at San Antonio, TBA

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.