Organized Sports: Grading the 2013 NBA Finals and Additional Thoughts

LeBron with trophy.

LeBron James: good at basketball.

Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will. 

Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to the blog here, but life gets in the way. At least now you get all of my amazingly informed perspectives on Dwight Howard’s move to the Rockets, the Nets becoming the greatest fantasy team in the history of 2008, the Warriors becoming even more potentially fun to watch with the addition of Andre Iguodala, and more.

Here are those perspectives, then on to the finals wrap-up:

Dwight Howard to the Rockets is the best basketball move, but the Rockets will still be behind the Thunder, the Spurs, the Clippers, the Grizzlies, and possibly the Warriors in the West. If they make it out of the first round, they’ll be lucky.

I understand the big splash the Nets are making, and they’ll be a better team this year than last because of the moves they’ve made, getting Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Celtics, but they’re still not going to beat the Heat to come out of the East. In fact, if Derrick Rose is indeed healthy, the most likely team to beat the Heat will be the team that beat the Nets in this year’s playoffs, the Chicago Bulls. Also, I am predicting that Rajon Rondo will do well out from under the (very slow) shadow of the two departing superstars. I too would probably have a bad attitude if I were the best player on the team, a fast-moving point guard, getting patted on the head and told what to do by aging superstars who can’t make it down the floor fast enough to catch my perfectly timed and aimed alley-oop passes.

I like Andre Iguodala, and I will enjoy seeing him defend and dunk for the Warriors, who have become even more athletic.

Now onto the Finals.

Grading the NBA Finals Prediction

(1) Miami Heat vs. (2) San Antonio Spurs
Prediction: Heat in 6
Actual Result: Heat in 7
Well that turned out to be quite a series, didn’t it? It sure did. The first game, with Tony Parker’s ridiculous dagger, seemed like it might be the instant classic of the series, especially when the next few games involved traded blowouts to keep the series at an even pace. Then came Game 6, which may be the best basketball game I’ve watched as it happened. LeBron’s three, the missed free throws, Ray Allen’s three, and more. After that game, the Spurs had nowhere to go but down, but they kept it interesting for a Game 7 that would have seemed really great too had it not followed up complete and utter insanity.
Grade: A-

The stupid thing about sports legacies is that so much hinges on bounces going one way or another, one moment that decides everything. Had Ray Allen’s three not gone in, the sports media would likely be all over LeBron, saying he didn’t bring it when he needed to, even though for most of the series he was the only reason the Heat remained competitive. When you can put up a triple-double and people are still disappointed, you’re one of the all-time greats.

And Tim Duncan is no less great for not pulling this series out. Despite the fact that Kobe has more rings, he is truly the player of his generation. He didn’t do it with flash, and maybe banked-in jumpshots aren’t exciting, but it was sure exciting to watch him play in these finals.

Other observations:

Dwyane Wade should play one more year, get another ring, and retire on top before his legs fall completely off.

Kawhi Leonard is going to be a superstar. Once he gets a little more ability to get in the lane and make decisions, he’s going to be a force, and the perfect Spurs-type player moving forward. Also, he looks like a grown-up version of Wallace from The Wire.

I don’t care that Chris Bosh didn’t contribute much to this victory (except of course for the offensive rebound and assist on Ray Allen’s game-tying three with five seconds left in Game 6) I still like him a lot.

Prediction for next year: Heat in 6 over the Thunder after getting taken to 7 by the Bulls in the Conference Finals. Don’t hold me to it.

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