Here goes, the 2013 NBA Championship.
I’ll say it once, I’ll say it a million times, “Ultimately it comes down to the same thing it always does: fundamentals.” Right now the Spurs are doing that the best, but there are other factors against them. Age being the prominent one. They seem to have found the fountain of youth, and consistently do well, but transition defense is what will hurt them the most. They don’t have the youth and speed to transition well against the leagues best players. However, play good perimeter defense and force them to the inside to give yourself time to transition. Thunder have Youth, size, scheme and a multitude of talent; however, we see the gap that Harden leaves, and I would expect that to be a big factor down the road. If that is exploited, they can still win obviously, but against the premier teams in the league, it will be difficult. Finally the Rockets. They need to stay hot, and not Peak too early. I see them making a long run in the playoffs, but for right now, my pick as the Best in the West is the Spurs. We saw them fall short last year against the Thunder in the CC, but look for a different ending (Ravens v Pats ring a bell?). However, they need to step it up on shot blocking. That is their biggest recordable issue.
In the East, I’m picking the obvious favorites: The Heat. They’ve just got it right now, and LeBron has hit his stride. Look for them to be the Beast of the East. The Pacers are making a good run and show themselves as serious contenders in the East. They’re first in their division, and 8-2 during the last ten. A title run is not impossible, but it isn’t to be expected. Hibbert needs to step it up in the paint. At 7’2″ and his athleticism, he needs to perform. Danny Granger’s presence has electrified Indiana, so it will be interesting to see how they handle the sure-to-come drought that every team faces in the stretch. Last bone to pick with the Pacer’s is bench play. SCORE WITH THE BENCH! This same issue plagued the Heat two years ago, and their ability to fix this problem led to their rings last year. Fix it now, while you still can.
Running late here, I’m going to give a quick pick and I’ll return to it later. The Heat. They’ve got it going right now in almost every department, but they must fix the issue of size/power play. Go out and get Curry or O’Neal. Play fundamentals, stay strong in the Fourth, and play power Basketball, and the series is theirs.