My takeaways from the third round series:
San Antonio beats Memphis 4-0
Doesn't this series feel like it concluded a long time ago? That's because it did. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 24.5 points and 9.5 assists per game in the series, including 37 points in the series clinching game. Tim Duncan, the ageless wonder, helped neutralize the Memphis bigs (which had appeared to be an advantage for the Grizzlies going into the series) and San Antonio was able to rise to the occasion with games on the line. The Spurs beat Memphis twice in overtime on their way to wielding the broom.
Miami beats Indiana 4-3
The Heat were able to overcome the Pacers in a competitive and wildly entertaining series despite Dwyane Wade struggling due to
a failing body injuries and Chris Bosh playing like an absolute scrub. Having the best player on the planet helps. Bosh was exposed by Indiana's bigs (and his overall lack of talent), going a combined 8-34 from the field in the final four games while pouring down 7 (yes, 7) points per game. LeBron was LeBron. The Pacers dominated the painted area with Roy Hibbert playing like the best center in basketball (which makes his lack of regular season production discomfiting). Paul George further cemented himself as a true gamechanger in the league.
My Finals Pick:
San Antonio over Miami 4-2
I didn't think Miami was nearly as dominant going into this year's playoffs as most. Early discussion from
people who think they know basketball national pundits portrayed the Heat as not only a juggernaut that wouldn't be tested, but also a team that may not lose a game while skipping along to their second consecutive title. After last round's vanishing act left LeBron as the "big one" I don't think people are overestimating the Heat anymore. The Spurs main strengths at the point (Parker) and in the middle (Duncan) are the Heat's main weaknesses. San Antonio's role players are also better across the board. Still, the Cleveland Cavaliers Miami Heat have James, which is absolutely huge.
And the third round standings...
It's a two man race now, folks. Since both contestants at the top of the heap have the same winner and number of games... the contest will be decided by a gladiator style battle to the death. Or a tiebreaker where Eric and Mike will give a new Finals prediction consisting of the winner, number of games and total points in the decisive contest.
Everyone else feel free to give your revised Finals predictions as well, since damn near all of us had OKC in this matchup.
Thanks to everyone for participating! I hope you all had fun
handing my ass to me.