“Move upside, and let the man go through…”
Can you believe they threw Charlie Sheen out of an LA Kings game? Well—maybe they just failed to allow his reentry, but that’ll never work as an opening line, will it?
Point being, the Kings lost that game (Game Four), and then the following game in the Stanley Cup Finals, and I think there’s a reason for this: They denied LAK their shot at a celebrity mascot.
(Think this train of thought through with me—then, we’ll talk LeBron/Durant and the NBA Finals until we’re blue in the face.)
The Lakers have Jack; the Clippers have Billy Crystal; but who do the Kings have? They were barely even noticeable as a hockey team, and being in Los Angeles, you need all the help you can get to be noticed. People got 70 degree weather all year, beaches, Hollywood—they have options, so you need give them something. Charlie Sheen could’ve been that. Just saying…
(Note: I wrote this lead-like thingy on Monday, pregame—I’ll have to thank my uncle later for reminding me it was on television—but I didn’t miss anything competitive (thank goodness)—nevertheless: Congrats to the Kings, of LA.)
The Roads that got us to this Point
The Conference Finals delivered. What they delivered to me in my prognostication business was a stiff drink, a bitter pill…
Humble Pie: That’s it, for I went 0-fer. Ouch.
But enough about me, and more about the preface known as the past, because both series tell us a lot about this matchup in the 2012 NBA Finals of Miami and Oklahoma City.
The Heat needed seven to beat the Celtics, and they once again proved that coaching cannot defeat them; it just can’t. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra got it handed to him by both Doc Rivers and Frank Vogel, yet the Heat still won because you can’t coach what LeBron James does, nor can you stop it in any huddle.
James has proven you need to take your lumps, or quell the flow of the tide, maybe damning it for long enough to emerge victorious. Boston and Indiana even found ways to grind it out and make the Heat walk the ball up and down the court to eke out a few close games. Thunder take note.
OKC had a much different approach: Go down to your team 2-0 just like the Heat, yes; however, then the Thunder found a way to beat the Spurs’ system, thanks to Scott Brooks and company as much as the players on the floor, and they beat the Spurs four straight times, convincingly most times at that.
San Antonio may be many things, but versatile isn’t one of them. You can go on playing the same hand and demolish inferior teams, yet when matched or bettered—the series never had a clear better team—one must find more than one way to win.
The Thunder got many styles, many weapons, many pieces, that make them deadlier than most teams in basketball, but what has put them in the finals is that they find just the right concoction to poison even your best effort at a cure for the ails the Thunder give you.
An early Christmas-in-July Present from the NBA
The two-three-two setup of the NBA Finals makes them different from every other round of the playoffs; there’s something special about three straight games being given to any team, especially the lower seed. The NBA says it’s for travel purposes—yeah, like you’re going to penny pinch now; teams have been flying all over the country for months, so don’t ever try and give me that; they could swing it—but what this really does is give an advantage, or serve as a leveling device, for the lesser team.
Here’s what three-straight games in Miami means: We’re getting at least six games: Thank You David Stern! (Even if he didn’t mean it.)
LeBron and Durant get to duke it out enough times for our professional basketball dependencies to cause an overdose—only to have our withdrawals with which to deal for the remaining summer months—but don’t bother contemplating that know, for it’s too depressing.
OKC over Miami in Six
If I tipped my hand early, then my attempt at suspense failed, but this one I’m sure of…
Famous last words, I know, but give me a break; I throw my record out in the open for a reason: No shame. Well, that, and I’m not hiding—not anymore.
“I cannot repeal the words of the golden eel.”—Ween…
Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed