Saturday, June 14, 2014

NBA Finals Chronicles, Saturday June 14

Photo from
I'm back from the Mets game and postgame 50 Cent concert, so it's time to bring you today's column. I'm already depressed because the Rangers are finished and the Mets managed only two hits today, but now it looks like my pick for the Finals is going to be wrong.

First of all, take some time to appreciate that segue.

As for the series itself, with this night off it's time to not only look ahead to Game 5, and (potentially) the remaining game(s), but to reflect on what has happened so far.

The Spurs have controlled the series thoroughly. Night by night it hasn't seemed so, other than in Game 4, but overall, San Antonio has dominated the Heat. Their ball movement is great and it has been tough for Miami to keep up with them as the ball was being whipped around. On defense, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, and Boris Diaw have been clogging the paint, forcing the Heat into taking jumpers or contesting them well at the hoop.

There's two ways I think this series could finish. Either the Spurs win in 6 games, or the Heat win in 7, as I predicted before the Finals began. There's simply no way that LeBron James will allow his team to be embarrassed in 5 games. Even if they end up dropping the series, it will certainly not be tomorrow night. More on that tomorrow.

What's interesting is the follow up to that game. It's possible that the Spurs respond with another unstoppable offensive show and close it out on the road. It's also possible that the Heat will put it together, and led by James, save their lives one more time at home in front of an energized crowd, much like last year's Game 6.

Should that happen, I see the Heat taking Game 7 in San Antonio. The reason why I picked the Heat to prevail in 7 games was because I didn't see any way that James would let his team lose a Game 7 on the road, as it would end up being the most important game of his career.

And that's exactly what I'm predicting. The Heat will still win in 7 games. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm putting all of my faith in the greatest player of this generation. He's stepped up at times before, but now it's time for him to make history, and make his team the first to return from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. If he plays like he's capable of playing at his very best, it's possible. At the same time, I obviously won't be surprised at all if the Spurs end it before Game 7 even rolls around. In that case, there will be a major shakeup of some sorts involving Miami's roster. Whether it be the departure of one of their stars, or the arrival of another great player, such as Carmelo Anthony, something will happen. But if LeBron lets the Heat pull out the victory, he'll earn some serious points in the conversation of the greatest players ever. I already give him the respect that he deserves, but now all of the "haters" must as well.

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