Friday, June 09, 2006

NBA Finals: Preview

I am under the impression that you are already familiar with our own Blogcritics expert picks for the NBA Finals. If you feel confused, don't take it too hard on yourself, because everyone's feeling that way.

But don't lose hope as yet because I am here to take you out of the misery of confusion as our experts are now pitted against each other.

Matt Sussman pitched whitewash of Dallas Mavericks. In a wishy-washy way I agree with the spirit although I will never know what led him to predict Heat a 4-0 favorite instead of a more conservative 4-2. Though I can think of possibilities, I would rather leave it to the comments section for you to come up with your own. But I like the way he came out aggressive.

If numbers are any indication, our own numerologist David Barbour has the number of Mark Cuban in his pocket. His clinically analyzed conclusion points towards Cuban's point of no return to sanity. Stern bless.

Unless you are from Miami or Dallas, in which case you've already made up your mind, the rest of us need to make a decision before we watch the finals with our companion grasshoppers. The call of the moment is to make up our floating minds, unlike the floaters in Florida, and it better be quick because the finals begin today. You don't want to go to a pub with your relevant body parts rooting for different teams, it hurts.

Suss is Hollywood. He's all glitz and glamor. He thinks the cast of Pat Riley's Twelve has enough star-power to take the Heat to the land of glory. David is cut and dry, more numeric and less turmeric, sheer powered by Gatorade-driven numbers.

Suss is eyeing the showtime with wrinkles, Pat Riley, whose last ring is now an antique commodity. David is all over Avery Johnson, the new generation coach, the coach who fits better in the value added world than the world of tabloids. Think of a quick tabloid heading for Avery if you can, I dare you.

While Johnson enjoys the reputation of turning a bunch of crybabies into ruthless executioners, Riley enjoys the reputation of backstabbing his loyal follower Stan Van Gundy, who took Riley's job in day's notice when Riley stepped down three seasons ago. After SVG went through last year's heartbreak, Riley asked him to spend more time with his family.

Memo to Pat: if Mavericks win, it's good karma.

Talking of Karma, Mark Cuban is finally getting the respect from the referees. If you noticed the insane number of game turning calls that went to the Mavs in the playoffs, you know Cuban has successfully got into the heads of the NBA officials. You'd think Cuban, from his courtside seat when he is not hugging his teammates, averages a solid 8 ppg.

Memo to Mark: if Miami wins, it's good karma.

So, who's going to break open the champagne? Make no mistake, Wade is not going to let this slip away and there's just enough Diesel left in Shaq's tank to win 4 games.

My prediction? Heat in six.

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