3pt Play: The Heat Are Still Winning the Finals (but I’m a Little Nervous)

Posted: April 4, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NBA

First of all, congratulations to the Kentucky Wildcats and Baylor Bears for winning their respective championships this year in college football.  Amazingly, the best team won in both of these tournaments, which rarely happens in these single-elimination tournaments.  What makes the NBA great is that the best team always wins.  The 7 game series makes the upset a rare thing to behold, which makes the phenomena mystifying and gratifying at the same time.  Let’s be real, last year’s NBA Finals was an upset.  The Heat were the best team in that playoffs by far, despite the better record than Chicago.  Dallas was a chic pick to make the Finals much less win it.  But it took 6 games for the Mavericks to dismantle the Heat and send Chris Bosh home crying.

Where Would the Heat Be Without Wade's Play?

Now in 2012, the Heat were back to playing dominate ball early in the season.   LeBron James played like a sure MVP.  Dwyane Wade did Superman-like things.  You couldn’t talk trash about Bosh (well yeah you could but he knew his role and did it well).  And the ManCave declared the result of this season to be a done deal.  And we still hold to that.  But, color us a little nervous because the Heat have not been playing as the NBA Champs as of late.  The Heat are 11-7 since the All-Star Break, going 4-7 on the road.  The Heat have been drubbed on the road in games against the Thunder, Pacers, and the AARP Celtics.  LeBron had gone 10 straight game without scoring 30 points until Tuesday night vs Philadelphia.  Not only have the Heat struggled, but other teams are starting to show that they can hang with Big Three, which is the subject of the rest of the 3-point play.

2. Well at least the Heat only have to worry about the Bulls in the East.  The Knicks, if they even had a chance, lost it when Jeremy Lin went down.  The Pacers are too young, the Celtics are too old, and the Magic and Hawks are too goofy.  But the Bulls?  Somehow they have kept their lead in the East without Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton. In fact, the Bulls are 14-7 without Rose this season.  They beat the Heat at home without the MVP just a couple of weeks ago behind John Lucas III’s best impersonation of Rose.  But weren’t the Bulls dominant last year before they fell apart in the Eastern Conference Finals?  Why are things different this year?

I think the confidence that has been instilled in this team, winning without Rose is what sets these guys apart.  Last year, only Rose and Taj Gibson (to an extent) showed up for the series.  Kyle Korver was nowhere to be found.  Carlos Boozer proved he was a loser.  Loul Deng had his hands full guarding LeBron and he really didn’t even do that.  And the burden of having to be the entire team’s offense finally broke down Rose.  I don’t see that happening this year unless injury hampers Rose.  The team has confidence in their own skills.  They can carry themselves for short spells in the playoffs.  They already beat the Heat at home.  As long as hold onto home-court advantage, they have a great shot.  Of course, I believe the Heat could win a game in Chicago more than the Bulls can win in Miami.  But this is a series that will not be for the faint of heart.

3. The West could be even more interesting because I count 3 teams that could upend the Heat.  First off, the Thunder are scary good.  That blow out win last week Sunday vs the Heat was no fluke.  When they are going, the Thunder may have two of the most unstoppable offensive forces in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.  The Thunder have the size to destroy the Heat on the glass and stymie our friend Bosh.  But the Thunder may not even make the Finals…

The Memphis Grizzlies have come on lately and look like the chic pick Dallas was last year.  Now I am bias because my favorite player, Gilbert Arenas is on the squad.  But the Grizzlies are a load to handle on the block with Marc Gasol, Marreese Speights, and Zach Randolph coming off the bench!.  Tony Allen can channel his work on LeBron in 2008 if they meet in the finals.  Rudy Gay is as good a go-to guy as any.  O.J. Mayo and Arenas can contribute off the bench.  And Mike Conley can give Miami fits because he is a competent point guard, a Heat bugaboo.

Speaking of competent PGs, Tony Parker’s Spurs are a team that nobody talks about that can make the Finals.  Parker has been playing on another level this year.  Manu Ginobili is still playing on a Hall of Fame level.  Tim Duncan still ain’t fronting.  Their role players may be the best in the league.  That’s because they have the best coach in the league.  Even though nobody talks about them, do know that the Spurs have the ingredients to beat the Heat this June.

So, yes we are a little worried about our prediction from earlier this year.  But the thing that is most disappointing about the Heat is that they act like they can turn on the switch, like the squad has been there, done that.  I’m sorry, but what has the Heat won?  They choked away a sure Finals victory after the 4th quarter of Game 2.  Dwyane Wade never got past the 1st round of the playoffs between his stints with Shaq and LeBron.  LeBron’s ailments in the playoffs go without saying.  It actually makes me mad that this team is arrogant enough to think that they can turn on the switch in the playoffs.  You guys aren’t the 2001 Lakers!  You aren’t the 1996 Bulls!  The Heat played like there was something to prove early in the season with wins against the Mavs, Celtics, Spurs, and Lakers.  Now, on Wednesday vs the Thunder at home and for the rest of the 14 games this season, I hope the Heat play like the champions they are destined to be this year.  Because the Finals are anything but a foregone conclusion.

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Comments
  1. LBC says:

    The reason the Heat seem like who GAF with the rest of this NBA season is because of what you stated in point 1. The 7 game series. They have solidified their spot in the post season. Who cares about seeding. It’s a 7 game series and honestly no one will beat these hit 4 out of 7 this year.

    I am nervous because they got manhandles by OKC and Bodie is a serious problem!!!!

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