Three potential playoff spoilers
Pacers, Rockets and Grizzlies all have the components for a postseason upset
Just say it: Fans and NBA experts hardly ever agree on anything.
This season, however, they've come to a rare accord: The 2012-13 NBA champion will be one of three teams -- the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder. Certainly no other team is built to win a ring the way these three are. But some teams could pull off major upsets on their way to the conference finals or even the NBA Finals.
How these "playoff spoilers" finish the season should give us an idea of how far they might go in the postseason. Here are the three teams I'm watching closely, teams that have the goods to shock the NBA world because they have the three ingredients to do so: a superstar, a special style of play and an X factor player.
Indiana Pacers: Lone threat in East
We all remember how dejected Miami looked after Game 3 in last year's Eastern Conference semifinals. The Pacers nearly had Miami down three games to one. After eventually losing that series, the Pacers bounced back this season and recently shellacked the Heat and a few other legitimate contenders. Unlike Houston and Memphis, Indiana has known all along who it is and is supremely comfortable playing that way.
To read more about three teams David Thorpe says could be playoff spoilers, become an Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Sources: Phil signs on as Knicks president
- Nuggets hand Heat 5th loss in last 6 games
- 76ers drop 19th straight, on cusp of record
- Clips lean on defense to stretch streak to 10
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- adidas Men's Houston Rockets James Harden #13 Game Time White T-Shirt