The 2014 NBA playoffs begin in exactly 15 days. The race for one of the West’s last few playoff spots has been more like an arms race for nuclear weapons and Phil Jackson‘s New York Knicks battling for a spot in the East is enthralling, but with the postseason closing in it’s important we take a step back and remember that neither the Knicks, nor the Atlanta Hawks, nor the Dallas Mavericks, nor the Memphis Grizzlies, nor the Phoenix Suns will be contending for a championship in 2014.
The drama at the edge of the playoff borders is fascinating, but a few weeks from now there are exactly six teams that we’ll be focusing our preemptive title talks on: the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers in the East and the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets in the West. These have been the consensus six elite teams for awhile now that most would agree have the best shot at winning it all this year. From LeBron James and company seeking the three-peat to Kevin Durant on the verge of winning his first MVP Award to the Spurs continuing to do what they do, the 2014 NBA Playoffs are set to be a bloodbath of “Red Wedding” meets “Ozymandias” proportions.
But how are we to know who will rise from the rubble to take the NBA crown? With so many elite teams killing each other off (particularly in the West), what can we expect come playoff time? To try and make some sense of it all, here are the reasons why each of the six NBA title favorites could win the whole thing…or why they could very easily fall short.