June 4, 2013

The inevitable NBA Finals

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

If you didn’t see this coming, you weren’t paying attention to basketball at all this post-season. This was one of the most predictable outcomes that, frankly, even a child could have seen coming. Yes, starting on Thursday night, it will be the Miami Heat tipping off against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs were destined to return to the final the second that Russell Westbrook went down for the rest of the seasons. The Heat, they were destined to be here the second the season tipped off back in the fall.

The biggest myth that has been played out over the past week or so was that the Superfriends of Miami were in actual trouble against the frisky Indiana Pacers.

It was always going to be a tough series – like also against the Chicago Bulls the round previous – but the final outcome was never in doubt.

There was no way that the NBA was going to allow its marquee final to be a matchup between two of the smaller markets in the league. Come on, Indiana-San Antonio wasn’t going to draw any extra eyes to the TV screens – especially with the Heat on the verge of their third final in three seasons and getting ready to enter the dynasty status debate.

If there’s one league in the world where star power truly pays and gives you a legitimate advantage, it’s the NBA.

While the refs did do an alright job at letting the teams play on Monday night, there were a few calls and non-calls that went Miami’s way, especially early on. The most noticeable was seeing “budding superstar” Paul George get whistled for a travel that looked eerily similar to LeBron James’ infamous “crab walk.”

Speaking of discipline, how relieved do you think the league is now that Roy Hibbert won’t be getting in front of a mic again for a while?

After all, Floyd Mayweather was so certain of the outcome that he reportedly wagered roughly $4.9 million on the Heat to cover the seven-point spread. That’s pretty telling about how much confidence some people had that the Heat would come through.

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