2014 NBA playoff schedule: Heat, Spurs could take commanding series leads

Chris Trotman

A 3-0 hole against the defending conference champions is a scary place to be in, and the Nets and Trail Blazers look to get back into the series at home.

The NBA playoffs delivered a classic, competitive first round but the conference semifinals have been the opposite through the two series featured Saturday night. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs both hold 2-0 advantages and hit the road as they attempt to build up a commanding 3-0 lead.

Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets, Game 3

8 p.m. ET, ABC

Hello, Brooklyn. The Heat head up the coast from South Beach as LeBron James looks to continue asserting sheer dominance in his fourth playoff run with the franchise. James is averaging 27.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and five assists through the postseason and the Heat have gone 6-0 so far.

The Nets found something that works in Game 2, however, as Mirza Teletovic unleashed a flurry of three-point shots to set a franchise record, The swingman drained six of his nine three-point attempts on his way to a team-high 20 points, but Brooklyn still fell short by the fourth quarter. Teletovic shooting aside, Brooklyn needs Deron Williams to step up to the plate. He went scoreless in their last contest and has been a non-factor in the series.

A 3-0 hole with two games left in Miami is a place no team wants to be trapped in.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Trail Blazers return home to the Moda Center for the first time since Damian Lillard drilled a game-winning three and knocked the Houston Rockets out of the playoffs. That moment has been the only joy fueling the many fans who will fill out the arena, however, as the Spurs have been putting on a clinic in the series thus far. The 2-0 lead San Antonio has built doesn't put justice to how dominant they've been against the Blazers thus far.

The three-point shot has escaped them and LaMarcus Aldridge no longer looks like the beater of worlds. Aldridge has connected on 18 of his 48 field-goal attempts and those back-to-back 40-point outbursts against the Rockets feel like eons ago. The Spurs have been brilliant on both sides of the floor, and Aldridge is having trouble dealing with Tiago Splitter in one-on-one situations.

Like the Heat, the Spurs trajectory is looking bright for a return to the NBA Finals. A quick series against the Blazers could be huge as they wait for the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder to finish slugging it out.

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