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Playoff Prospectus column archives.

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June 22, 2012

Playoff Prospectus: Crowning the Heat

by Kevin Pelton

The Miami Heat closed out the NBA Finals and the path to a championship with a dominant performance from beyond the arc in Thursday's Game 5, all set up by LeBron James controlling the offense from the low post.

June 20, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: On the Verge

by Kevin Pelton

By using LeBron James' post-up game to rally from an early deficit and making the big plays down the stretch, the Miami Heat overcame a huge effort from Russell Westbrook and moved within a game of a championship.

June 18, 2012

Playoff Prospectus: Upper Hand

by Bradford Doolittle

The Heat won a second straight nail-biter on Sunday, taking command in a series that looks like a classic, though the Thunder's loss leaves OKC in a precarious position.

June 15, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: The Beginning is the End

by Kevin Pelton

While all eyes were on the endgame, including a controversial no-call, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost Game 2 of the NBA Finals because of its big starting lineup's inability to match up with the Miami Heat's small unit.

June 13, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Halftime Switch

by Kevin Pelton

The Miami Heat's decision to switch pick-and-rolls in the second half helped the Oklahoma City Thunder's offense dominate the second half of a come-from-behind win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

June 10, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: The Blueprint

by Dan Feldman

During the fourth quarter of Saturday's Game 7, the Miami Heat's Big Three dominated as anticipated to lead Miami past the Boston Celtics and back to the NBA Finals.

June 8, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: LeBronned

by Dan Feldman

The Boston Celtics were overwhelmed by a historic performance by LeBron James that helped the Miami Heat force a deciding Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

June 7, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Thunderstruck

by Kevin Pelton

After winning 20 games in a row, the San Antonio Spurs could not find an answer to the Oklahoma City Thunder's adjustments, length and athleticism, allowing the Thunder to win four consecutive games and the Western Conference Finals.

June 6, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Every Play Counts

by Kevin Pelton

The Boston Celtics valued every possession more than the Miami Heat, and that extra effort made a difference in a narrow road win to take command of the series.

June 5, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: On the Ropes

by Kevin Pelton

After winning Monday in San Antonio, the Oklahoma City Thunder is on the verge of overcoming a 2-0 deficit to eliminate the Spurs and advance to the NBA Finals.

June 4, 2012

Playoff Prospectus: Four-on-Four

by Dan Feldman

Without go-to scorers LeBron James and Paul Pierce, both the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat struggled to score in the extra session, but the Celtics handled it better and evened the series.

June 3, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Efficient Thunder

by Kevin Pelton

Thanks to impressive performances by all three big men and Kevin Durant's dominant fourth quarter, the Oklahoma City Thunder shot 56.4 percent from the field in Saturday's Game 4 victory that squared the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece.

June 2, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Unlikely Heroes

by Dan Feldman

While the Boston Celtics' stars played like it, little-used reserves Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels keyed Boston's victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

June 1, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: At Last, the Spurs Lose

by Kevin Pelton

After starting the postseason with 10 consecutive wins, the San Antonio Spurs finally suffered a loss after the Oklahoma City Thunder made a key defensive switch for Game 3.

May 31, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Close Margin

by Kevin Pelton

The Boston Celtics found a gameplan for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals that was good enough to win, but the Miami Heat still triumphed due to offensive efficiency down the stretch, putting the Celtics in trouble in this series.

May 30, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: High Level

by Kevin Pelton

The Oklahoma City Thunder was able to rally after going small, but wasn't able to overcome the incredible stretch of offensive basketball the San Antonio Spurs put together in the third quarter.

May 29, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: In Control

by Dan Feldman

In an impressive Game 1 performance, the Miami Heat showed the Boston Celtics will have a tough time keeping up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the Eastern Conference Finals.

May 28, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Going Small

by Kevin Pelton

By matching up small with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs dominated the fourth quarter of Sunday's Western Conference Finals opener.

May 27, 2012

Playoff Prospectus: Survive and Advance

by Bradford Doolittle

Rajon Rondo's late burst lifts the Celtics into the Eastern Conference Finals.

May 25, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Too Good

by Dan Feldman

The Indiana Pacers--or at least their starting five--played well, but that only brought out the best in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in six games.

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