All quiet on the Raptors front as we await the NBA Finals to begin. Jay Triano has yet to get his official stamp of approval but the Raptors have until June 15th to decide on his option. Andrea Bargnani has shut up for now and is still a Raptor the last we checked. While the Raptors still hold the 5th pick in the draft and no one seems to have a consensus on what they will do at the 5th spot if they in fact stay there. But the focus of the NBA is on the NBA Finals starting tonight.
The Miami Heat are in fact what we thought they were at the end of the day. Almost everyone picked them to be in the spot they are now in the NBA Finals. On the other hand beyond Mark Cuban and Mavs fans I am not sure how many people thought the Mavericks would be here in the NBA Finals. They face the same franchise that they blew a 2-0 lead to in the 2006 Final. Aside from D-Wade and Dirk almost everything has changed for these franchises. Dallas is a much better defensive team than they were back in 2006. Pat Riley is no longer on the bench for the Heat.
It may not be popular to say it but Miami is likely going to win this series. Dallas does not really have a scoring threat in the middle and that is something you need to attack a weak point of the Heat. Dirk has been fantastic in these playoffs but he is just one guy he will need help if Dallas is going to pull off the upset. Dallas does have a chance at winning if they can get looks from three point range and stick them. Miami has improved on defence a lot over this year. How they rotate and cover the three point line will be vital in this series.
All the talk in this series will be about Dirk and Lebron both seeking their first title but Jason Kidd has had several chances to win a title and come up short as well. If he can turn back the clock and have a great series he could be an X-Factor for the Mavericks.
But realistically I can't imagine the Heat losing this series. But I did not imagine the Mavericks sweeping the Lakers for what it is worth.
Heat in 6 is my pick.
Also speaking of the Lakers, I am stunned and confused at how the Lakers could hire Mike Brown to replace Phil Jackson. This is actually happening? The guy Cleveland fired because Lebron James wanted no part of him? Kobe Bryant seems as stunned as all of us. I sense this being a huge mistake for the L.A Lakers and this is not going to be a long or happy marriage between Brown and Bryant.
In other coaching news Kevin Mchale is expected to be the new coach in Houston. When you look at some of the hirings this off-season it makes me wonder despite my objections to it that if the Raptors choosing to stick with Jay Triano was unfortunately their best option. I would not hire Mike Brown or Mchale to coach the Raptors. No chance in hell. It would appear that Jeff Van Gundy is happy to stay in broadcasting for now. I would consider him the top candidate without a job right now in the NBA. When the dust clears I am not convinced Triano will last any longer than the option on his contract. But it would appear this off-season was slim pickings and that might have to do with the impending lockout as well.
Speaking of which we are rapidly approaching that lockout becoming reality. In just over a month this will be reality. The last image we may have of basketball is Miami Heat celebrating an NBA Championship that is something that will only add to the pain of a lockout for most.