There are a lot of great teams in the NBA right now and that makes it real hard to predict the outcome of this years playoffs…but I’ll give it a shot anyways. Everybody is hating on the Heat this year just because they ain’t at .500 and haven’t been there since they started the year 3-3 but let’s be realistic, that doesn’t mean anything. The playoffs are all about the segregation of the conferences and this year more than most provides us with one of the most lopsided divisions of power we have witnessed in a long time. Making a prediction for the NBA championship is more than just picking the best team in the NBA or the Suns would be my choice (they aren’t by the way), but it’s about realizing that the Western Conference has so many strong teams that it leaves every team in the conference at a serious disadvantage compared to the East.
You see, the West has the Mavs, Spurs, Suns, Lakers, Rockets and Jazz whom can all be considered among the top ten teams in the league and unfortunately for them, they all reside in the same conference. Anyone of those teams could probably easily win the entire Eastern Conference and make it easily to the NBA Finals this year…had they been in the East to begin with but now face their inevitable demise in the playoffs as only one team can come out to play for a championship. My pick for the Eastern Conference Champs are the reigning NBA champions as I honestly can’t see any East team beating them in a seven game series. The Heat will most likely be one of the top 3 seeds in the East at the end of the season as they finally have Shaq back (although he is over the hill), Wade is playing at such an unbelievable level (I mean did you see him singlehandedly beat the entire Spurs team in the 4th quarter on Sunday) and Riley will be back after the all star break that the fact that they are only 7.5 games back of the Eastern Conference lead with half a season to go must have Shaq salivating.
As for the West? Whatever team has the good fortune to come out of the conference will most likely have had to go through at least 2 grueling and tiring seven game series of which they will emerge so emotionally and physically exhausted that the the notion of having to defend Wade and Shaq for another series would simply crush their spirits. The Mavs, Suns or Spurs will most likely come out of the West but they will probably have to play each other to do it, resulting in 2 seven game series while the Heat probably won’t even have to play one.
It’s real simple, the West’s dominance is just going to cost them. I mean, can you imagine being Bowen, Bell or Howard (each teams best defender) and after having to defend the likes of Nash, Marion, Nowitzki, Howard, Parker or Genobli (depending on who comes through) throughout a combined 14 consecutive games, now you gotta go and defend a probably well rested and still very hungry Wade and Shaq for another seven games? I know Howard and the Mavs can and they didn’t like how it turned out.
NBA Champs: Miami Heat
Finals MVP: Dwyane Wade
And no I am not biased…I’m just smart.