If you have watched or even casually followed the NBA this season you know one thing--the Miami Heat totally rock. Winning streak aside, there is no team that has been able to go out on the court and find a way to win quite like they have this season. But does that mean they are the easy favorite to win the NBA Finals this year? Don't bet on it!
Now the easy to do would be to just bet for your favorite NBA team, right (sorry Charlotte)? At least that way you can say you were loyal to your club till the then, but when it comes to picking the NBA champion and winning that bet with you know-it-all-brother do you want to be loyal to a group of really tall dudes that do not know your name or win?
The Heat are human (yes, even the Birdman); they can be beat. Heck, they did lose 16 games after all. It is a lot harder to see them losing to any team in a best of seven series though.
Of the candidates in the East, the only two that I can see doing it are the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls (sorry Indiana; your good, but your not quite in the same stratosphere with the Big Dog's yet).
The Knicks are playing lights out ball at the perfect time of year. Carmelo Anthony is hot off a late season surge that won him the scoring title. Miami had no answer for him the last time the two met; you know, when 'Melo dropped 50 on them.
Heat fans are likely formulating their rants right now--hold on folks. I know that the Heat were not playing their A team. The Knicks also happen to have beaten the Heat on two other occasions and took the season series with Miami 3-1.
Doing it each night is another matter all together of course...
Chicago has to be thrown into the mix because they ended the streak. The season series was split between the two with each team winning a pair of games each. For the Bulls to actually win a series they are going to have to figure out how to be more consistent. They can't afford to make as many mistakes as they did in the last game between them when they had more fouls (30) then field goals (29).
As for the Western Conference--I think whoever wins it is going to be a long shot to take down the Heat.
Oklahoma City has to be the popular favorite, but I don't think these guys are any better than the group that Miami beat last season. San Antonio could, but I think the would be a little too banged up by time they got to the Finals to get it done.
If the Nuggets were 100 percent healthy I think they could make it a fun series, but alas they are not. You can't leave the Clippers out of the conversation, but I think the Heat are technically sound enough (not to mention talented) to deal with Lob City.
So there you have it people--a FatMan's take on the NBA postseason. Next time I think I'll make my predictions according to food and beer common to the region (mmm...Sam Adams and Shiner....BBQ and clam chowder....).