NBA Finals Game 1 Reactions – “Miami Yikes”

I’m so embarrassed.

Before game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, I used my superior basketball intuition to make a bold claim:

“With this said, at this point I think I favor San Antonio in a possible Heat/Spurs final. Allowing Pop over a week to prep for Miami when the Heat are at their absolute worst? Giving rest to the Spurs’ stars? Miami’s psyche which must be damaged at this point? Yikes.”

Looks pretty good, right? You would think that I’d be feeling pretty smart after last night’s Spurs victory, but here’s the problem:

I panicked. After seeing Miami overwhelm Indy, and hearing all the talk about how San Antonio “HAS TO BE RUSTY,” I couldn’t convince myself about the Spurs anymore.

I knew the Spurs would be extraordinarily well prepared, I knew they would get the looks they wanted out of their offense, I knew Duncan would have a distinct offensive advantage inside, and I knew Tony Parker would be able to run wild against the Miami backcourt. I also knew that Miami was much more athletic than the Spurs, and would use their athleticism to blitz everything, rotate early, and force the Spurs’ role players to make tough offensive decisions. I knew Wade was showing signs of life, and I knew that LeBron James would be his usual, freakish self.

And all of that happened! The only thing I got wrong was who would actually win. Make no mistake about it, the Spurs stole this game. I’m not saying they didn’t deserve to win, but Miami clearly controlled the majority of this game. Let’s break down game one in a little more organized way: Continue reading

A Legacy at the Crossroads: What’s at Stake for the Miami Heat and LeBron James Tonight?

Four months ago, if you thought anyone but the Miami Heat was favored to win the NBA Championship, you were an idiot. The team had the most transcendent player of the generation playing at his absolute apex, an MVP-level sidekick shooting the highest percentage of his career, and an all-star third piece who had gleefully embraced his role and adjusted his game to fit his surroundings. Maybe even more important, this team had an identity: by redefining conventional NBA lineups, playing insanely aggressive trapping defense, and operating in an uber-efficient, uptempo, three-point-centric offensive attack, the Heat were innovating basketball while destroying opponents at the same time.

What a difference four months makes, eh? In that time, I’ve gained approximately seven pounds, went into a horrendous non-writing slump on my blog, scuffed my “Military Blue Jordan 4’s,” been on local radio for stopping traffic because my car broke down, and called a guy by the wrong name during a job interview. And the crazy thing is, compared to the Miami Heat, I feel pretty good right now.

In a span of six games against Indiana, this team has gone from “borderline unbeatable” to “will this group ever contend for a finals run again?” In all my years of playing/watching basketball (and YouTubing the famous games I wasn’t yet alive for), I’ve never seen anything like it.

So what’s happened to Miami? It’s pretty simple really, but for complicated reasons. Let’s start with the obvious, easy-to-notice observations and try to explain why they’re happening: Continue reading

Return from Hiatus! – NBA Playoff Predictions, Two Week Recap, and More

In case you haven’t noticed  (which is probably most of you), it’s been about 19 days since my last post, which is, ahem, quite a long time. I don’t really have a great excuse except that I’ve been interviewing for a job, which has occupied most of my attention, and then took a beach vacation where there was no wifi. Either way, it’s been way too long since I’ve put anything up, and for that I’m sorry. It’ll never happen again. It didn’t mean anything! I didn’t even know her last name! Yes I used protection! Just don’t tell the kids… Continue reading