NBA Playoffs

After much moaning and complaining my NBA team, the Miami Heat improved their win total from the year before from 43 wins to 47 while maintaining the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. But just like Jerry Garcia I find every silver lining has a touch of gray.

If the Heat would have lost their last game they could have fallen to the sixth seed and played an extremely flawed Atlantic Hawks team. But as the Heat won they get the Boston Celtics who two years ago won the championship. Basketball analysts claim the Celtics are old and on their last legs, but they are filled with veterans who know how to execute a play when the game is on the line.

In January the Heat were playing the Celtics to a tie deep into the fourth quarter. Dwyane Wade seemingly won the game for the Heat when he made a remarkable steal and coasted for an unobstructed dunk that gave the Heat a two point lead with .6 seconds left. Unfortunately this gave the Celtics enough time to diagram a play where Rajon Rondo could tip in a perfect pass to send the game into overtime where the Celtics kicked the Heat to the curb.

The NBA playoffs are unique from major league baseball and the NFL in that upsets are rare. Teams play 82 games to achieve their playoff seeding. This is a large enough sample size so that every bad bounce of a ball is at some point made up for with a pleasant bounce.  Your record is an accurate representation of your team.  The Celtics only won three more games this year than the Heat, but all three games between the squads were won by the Celtics. After witnessing game 1 I can not realistically believe the Heat can advance. Our coach is clueless in how to make adjustments and the only offensive diagram in his playbook is give the ball to Wade and have everyone else get out of the way.

So without my Heat having a chance to win the championship who do I think will be celebrating in May?

The Orlando Magic have the greatest center in the game in Dwight Howard. They play very tough defense, but they have a supreme choker in Vince Carter and a coach in Stan Van Gundy who makes questionable substitutions when the game is on the line.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had the best record in the league. They also feature the most valuable player in Lebron James.  James is six foot ten and quite possibly the strongest player in the game. Instead of posting up like a latter day Karl Malone he’d rather dance around the perimeter and hoist up a long distance shot. Until he realizes the closer he is to the basket, the easier it is to score I can not see a team of his winning a championship.

So in this war of attrition that leaves the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.  Many people think the weak link in the team is their point guard, Derek Fisher, who is old and slow. This may be the case, but the man is clutch and has tall teammates to help him out when the man he is guarding passes by. The Lakers feature two seven footers in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol who make it hard to score inside and impossible to defend. They also of course star Kobe Bryant, who has learned to pass the ball and not be as egocentric on the court. But the greatest reason for their success will be head coach Phil Jackson. He has won ten championships in a league where over the last twenty-five years only seven different coaches have won. Jackson knows which players need to be in the game and which need to be taken out. People say coaches can’t win the game, but they can find a way to lose it.

More Sports Writing- If you enjoyed this you can read some of my thoughts on the Miami Dolphins on

2 thoughts on “NBA Playoffs

  1. I hate Spoelstra. Just to put that out there. Also, I disagree with the Stan V G comment slightly because if Courtney Lee would have made a layup he may have been the 8th coach on that list.

    • Stan Van Gundy is a great regular season coach, but you know too well he doesn’t believe in sticking with a player who’s playing well. Last year he played Jameer Nelson instead of Rafer Alston. When he coached the Heat he would sit Wade at crucial moments in the playoffs. He obviously never played NBA Jams and never learned that players can get so streaky that the basketball can spontaneously light up on fire.
      Hate to say I told you so, but Coach Spo gots to go!

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