NBA Playoffs: What Might, Could and Should Happen
With both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals series at 3-2, I’m here to tell you the scenarios that might possibly play out, could very likely happen, and to argue what impartial basketball fans should be rooting for.
Eastern Conference Finals
What Might Happen: Conceivably, the Pacers could beat the Heat in Miami and then return home, dig in their feet, and withstand an angry bludgeoning at the hands of the Heat before leaving with a victory – I sound optimistic, don’t I? – but I don’t see it happening. The Pacers barely won Wednesday at home, and that was with LeBron playing just 25 minutes due to foul trouble. The Pacers, mercurial team that they are, just aren’t hungry enough to win this series against the perpetually starving Heat.
What Could Happen: In a more likely scenario, the Pacers could put all their effort, all their talent into one final, unlikely win in Miami. But realize that when the Pacers return home, regardless of their home court record during the regular season, they’ll be out hustled and out maneuvered for a decisive loss. See, for the Pacers to win the series, each player would have to give 100% all the time, for both games, whereas most of them have been stuck in neutral giving 80% the rest of the playoffs. Don’t see them winning, but they could tie it up at 3-3 before falling.
What Should Happen: If I’m a basketball fan who doesn’t have a vested interest in either team and just wants the best NBA Finals possible, I’d root for the Heat to win Game 6 tonight. One, you want Wade and crew rested for a tough fight in the Finals, and two, you know that the Pacers can’t challenge the Spurs in a best of seven series. They just can’t. ‘Should-ing’ aside, the Heat will win tonight.
Western Conference Finals
What Might Happen: The Thunder win at home with Serge “Block City” Ibaka, and attack with a vengeance in San Antonio, wrong footing the Spurs at the start and clinging to a one point victory at the end. This “might” is a little less “BREAKING: Square peg fits in round hole” and a little more “BREAKING: Weather man right 11% of the time” than the last one. Meaning, you know, it might actually happen.
What Could Happen: The Thunder win at home, and then the Spurs win at home, clinching the series in Game 7. This “could” would be a “should,” except that impartial fans shouldn’t be rooting for this.
What Should Happen: The Spurs win tonight, and rest their aging and aching bodies for a hard fought Finals against the Heat. Think of it this way: could the Thunder really give the Heat a run for their money? No, not really. While LeBron and Wade vs. Durant and Westbrook looks good on paper, LeBron’s a deserving defensive MVP nearly every year, and he’d at least slow down Durant over seven games. That leave Westbrook to do all the heavy lifting, and in seven games, there’s no chance, especially when you factor in the superior Heat bench players.
NBA Finals Preview: Heat vs. Spurs
What Might Happen: The Spurs attack the Heat like a bat out of hell, still smarting from last year’s devastating Game 6, and win it in a tidy six games, exorcising their demons with a symbolic Game 6 clincher. Keep in mind, this “might” is a hell of a lot more likely than the Heat winning in six.
What Could Happen: The Heat could take it in seven games, especially if LeBron goes off in elimination games, as he’s apt to do. But make no mistake, the Spurs have the edge if these two teams meet. Like last year, the Heat have the two best players on the court, when healthy. Unlike last year, the Spurs are moving the ball better, Miami’s defense has been vulnerable, and *AND* the Spurs would have home court advantage in Game 7.
What Should Happen: The Spurs win in seven games. They have the better team this year, old as they are and sometimes look. Going into the playoffs, I had the Spurs beating the Pacers in the Finals, but I’m guessing the Spurs would prefer to play and beat the Heat – just an inkling, I don’t know. Downside for Heat/LeBron haters? If the Heat lose this year, LeBron’s out. He’s not going down with a sinking ship. Maybe he opts in for one more year, but after they lose earlier in the playoffs next year, he’ll be gone, and wherever he goes, you can bet an All-Star or two will be waiting to team-up with him.