There is only one relevant question to be asked about the Eastern Conference now that the playoffs are before us: Is there a single team in that conference capable of beating the Miami Heat in a seven-game series?
There are two legitimate answers to that question. The sexy answer is the sexy team, the New York Knicks. They have Carmelo Anthony, who claimed the league's scoring title this week to cap a season that again thrusts him into the conversation as a top-three superstar. They also have the third-best offense in the NBA, the bright lights of the Big Apple and a No. 2 seed that says they're a very real threat.
The other answer - the boring one, fashionable six weeks ago but now passe - is the Indiana Pacers. They are everything the Knicks are not: A defensive machine that rebounds, a team in a city as far removed in style points and big-city buzz as you can find from New York City, and a club whose star, Paul George, is as under-heralded as Melo is over-hyped.
So can anyone ...