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.
I called a rematch of last year’s finals, and I was right. On to the recaps and the pre-caps, after the jump.
Grading the Conference Finals – Eastern Conference
(1) Indiana Pacers vs. (2) Miami Heat
Prediction: Heat in 6
Actual Result: Heat in 6
Though it took the Heat six games to win, the only time this series seemed remotely in doubt was after the Pacers’ win in the first game of the series. After that, the Heat took full control in both of their home games, were the dominant team for much of the loss in Game 5 in Indiana, and left no question in Game 6. It’s kind of funny to think about how annoying and dysfunctional the Pacers are that by Game 5 of this series, they were unlikeable enough to have just about everyone online rooting for the Heat.
Eastern Conference Grade: A
Grading the Conference Finals – Western Conference
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder
Prediction: Spurs in 7
Actual Result: Spurs in 6
This was a schizophrenic series. The first two games, played in San Antonio, had the Spurs dominating the Serge Ibaka-less Thunder. Then Ibaka returned, and the Thunder dominated at home to tie the series up. Going back to San Antonio, the Spurs won again, continuing the trend of the home team taking each game, and predicting well for a seven-game series. But the Spurs managed to squeak out an overtime victory in OKC in Game 6, with Tim Duncan showing that he’s still the most impressively unimpressive superstar in league history, even as he is 457 years old.
Western Conference Grade: A-
Overall Average Grade: A-
NBA Finals Predictions
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Miami Heat
Last year’s seven-game finals between the Spurs and the Heat was one of the most closely-matched in recent memory. There were multiple moments in Games 6 and 7 when the Spurs could have taken it, and we could easily not be talking about a potential Heat threepeat. I think the Spurs look better this year, and the Heat a little worse, only because they have to depend even more on Lebron than in years past. I think the Spurs take this one, and it doesn’t even go seven games.
Prediction: Spurs in 6
Whatever happens, I imagine this will be a fun one to watch. We’ll see if I’m right, at least on that count, starting on June 5.