Friday, May 29, 2015

NBA Update

As we expected, the NBA Semi-Finals weren't really worth watching.  The Hawks were the Gonzaga of the NBA, and the pretty patterns and three-point shooting that look so good in the regular season were never going to work against Cleveland.  The Hawks should have lost to Washington -- and would have, if John Wall hadn't gotten hurt.  That would have given us a showdown between Paul Pierce and Washington's Young Guns against LeBron, which would have had a certain amount of drama.  Instead, we got this (home teams listed first):

May 20:  Atlanta 89 - 97 Cleveland
May 22:  Atlanta 82 - 94 Cleveland
May 24:  Cleveland 114 - 111 Atlanta (OT)
May 26:  Cleveland 118 - 88 Atlanta

So long, thanks for playing.

Meanwhile, as we have already discussed, the Rockets should have been eliminated by the Clippers.  That would have set up a showdown between the high-powered Clippers attack and the 67-win Warriors.  Instead, the Clippers utterly collapsed, becoming only the 9th team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series lead.  Not surprisingly, Houston won only one game against Golden State:

May 19:  Golden St. 110 - 106 Houston
May 21:  Golden St. 99 - 98 Houston
May 23:  Houston 80 - 115 Golden St.
May 25:  Houston 128- 115 Golden St.
May 27:  Golden St. 104 - 90 Houston

So for the fifth time in a row, the NBA Finals will feature LeBron going up against a high-flying offense from the West.  Now history shows that unless Russell Westbrook is playing for the Western team, this matchup is an uphill battle for LeBron.  Let's look at the last four NBA Finals:

2011:  The Mavericks defeated the Heat 4 games to 2
2012:  Thanks in large part to Russell Westbrook (and the officials), the Heat beat Oklahoma City 4 games to 1.
2013:  The Spurs should have beaten Miami, but were done in by a lot of mistakes in Games 6 and 7.  The Heat won 4 games to 3.
2014:  The Spurs didn't make too many mistakes, and crushed the Heat 4 games to 1.

So in four years, LeBron's Heat went 11-12 against the West, or 7-11 against teams not starting Russell Westbrook.  These facts would seem to bode pretty well for Golden State, but of course I thought OKC was going to beat Miami three years ago.

From a history perspective, by the way, it's a remarkable match-up.  The Warriors haven't been to the Finals since 1975, and the Cavaliers have never won the NBA title.  One of those strings will be broken in a few weeks, and the NBA will enter a new era.

1 comment:

  1. This layoff between the quick semis and the finals is deadening.