NBA Finals Prediction
For a brief moment, I actually believed the Indiana Pacers would beat the Miami Heat and advance to the NBA Finals. I should have known better. The Heat have a way of looking totally beatable and pathetic, and then getting their act together and completely dominating and absolutely crushing their opponent. I skipped going to the movies so I could stay home and watch the Heat and Pacers face off in a pivotal game 7, and immediately realized that the Heat had just been toying with me. They really were as good as I thought, and the once-threatening Pacers were quickly exposed as just another up-and-coming team with a bright future, rather than a legitimate championship threat.
Meanwhile, I picked the Spurs to beat Memphis, but thought they were in for a tough fight. Instead, the Spurs swept the Grizzlies, looking as fearsome and talented as they did during their last championship run, in 2007. As the conference finals progressed, I began to fantasize about a Spurs-Heat match-up: I picked the Heat to win it all long before the regular season ended, but maybe the Spurs were actually capable of beating the Heat. Maybe I should pick them to win it all instead.
Now I’m thinking more clearly, and I’ve realized that I cannot in good conscience pick the Spurs to win. My reason is simple: LeBron James is simply too good. He carried the Heat through some dismal stretches against the Pacers, and his teammates surfaced when he needed them most.
Even so, I think this pick is a little riskier than it would have been three months ago: Dwayne Wade is clearly banged up, and Chris Bosh continues to demonstrate that he isn’t capable of playing good basketball consistently. (Both of these guys reminded me of why I hate the Heat when they pranced around the court pounding their chests and proclaiming their awesomeness in game 7 after stinking up the joint for half the series.) However, I suspect that LeBron will be transcendant and his teammates will be just good enough to repeat as champions. And I fully expect Ray Allen to hit a pivotal three-pointer at some point, and that it will feel like a dagger entering my chest.
Prediction: Heat in 7 .
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