Well that was one hell of a Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers really shot themselves in the foot, first by losing game 3 at home, where they have been virtually unbeatable throughout the playoffs and regular season, and then after winning the first quarter in the pivotal game 7, just flat out didn’t show up the last 3 quarters, as they struggle with turnovers, the one thing you can’t do against the Heat if you expect to win. Also, ain’t nobody going to win a playoff game, or any game for that matter, scoring just 76 points. But you gotta hand it to the Pacers. They showed for the second straight year that they are a force to be reckoned with, and with Danny Granger returning next year, they will have that extra scorer they desperately need on nights like last night, and not just some run-of-the-mill scorer, but an all star, 20 a night guy, that is also a versatile defender who knows the Pacer system. Couple that with the maturation of players like Hibbert, George, Hill, and Stevenson, and you’re looking at one scary team next year. As for the Spurs/Grizz match up, thanks for coming out Memphis. Thought you’d be able to take a game or two at home but god damn. But hey, they made a heck of a run, and showed they will also be a team to be reckoned with come next year.
But before we start talking about next year, we have one hell of a finals match up to look forward to. The Heat and the Spurs are practically polar opposites. Miami doesn’t defend the 3 particularly well, the Spurs shoot the 3 very well. Miami takes a lot of 3s, San Antonio defends the 3 very well. The Spurs have a very solid front line, though not in the same vain as the Pacers, and we all saw the trouble the Pacers big men gave Miami last series. Spurs have a quick point guard, something that has been bothersome to the Heat Lebron and Bosh came to town. The Spurs have the best coach in all of sports in Greg Popovich, the Heat have the best athlete in all of sports. The Spurs are quiet, they don’t talk to the media much, don’t flaunt their money with bling and fancy cars, they just win, and Miami, is, well, Miami. I’ll take the time to mention again that the Heat have Lebron, who has become what everyone expected him to become by the time he entered his prime, virtually unguardable and hands down the best player on the planet. But as we saw in his Cleveland days, he can’t do it all alone. Wade finally showed up in game 7 last night, but will he be able to sustain that over another possible 7 game series? I honestly don’t know. His knees are fucked. So that will remain to be seen. The X factor for the Spurs will be my favorite player on their team, Kawhi Leonard. He will take on the near-impossible task of guarding Lebron for the majority of the series. He is a terrific defender, but he has also been a huge part of that Spurs offense, shooting 56.5 percent in these playoffs, while leading the team in steals and being second in rebounds. If guarding Lebron results in a dip in those numbers, then it won’t look so good for the Spurs. But if he is take on that tough task and persevere, as he has done with every tough task he has dealt with in his 21 years on this planet, then I think the Spurs can come out on top once that is coupled with they’re perfect combination of title experience, great point guard play, effective post play, good 3-point shooting and exceptional coaching. The X Factor for the Heat, which I’m astonished to be saying since it hasn’t even been 3 full years since the new age “Big 3” came to Miami, will be the play of Wade and Bosh. Despite their supposed title of “Big 3”, it has been the Lebron show this entire playoffs. He is single handedly the reason why the Heat are back in the Finals. Wade, at 31, seems to have the knees of a 41 year old, which is more than likely a result of the hard play he was known for since his days at Marquette. Bosh has proved yet again that despite his undeniable talent, he is basically a bitch and when you get physical with him, he becomes a shell of what he should be. Back in 2007, we saw what happens when Lebron tries to beat the best “team” in the true sense of the word over the last 15 years. The Spurs swept that finals series. Granted, that was 6 years ago, and Lebron is a MUCH better player now than he was then, but the Spurs are a lot better too. They’re depth is remarkable, really. The fact that they were able to keep their own Big 3 throughout their entire careers and still manage to build a hell of a supporting cast around them speaks volumes to the Spurs’ organization. I don’t think Lebron can win against a team that plays the kind of team basketball the Spurs play without the help of Wade and Bosh. I honestly don’t have any clue who to pick in this. I don’t want to pick the Heat, for obvious hatred reasons. But it’s hard to pick against the best player in the galaxy. Again. But hey, what the fuck are we living for if we don’t take some chances. Spurs in 7.