Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat - Am I the only one suffering from a bit of Heat exhaustion lately? I get that the Miami Heat are the biggest story of these NBA Playoffs. What I don't get is why everybody was so skeptical of them before the playoffs started, but are now convinced they are invincible. What exactly have they done to impress everybody so much? They took care of the 76ers (who nobody would mistake as a good team), but not in overly impressive fashion (only dominating one game of the series - Game 2). But the real overreaction came after defeating the Celtics in the first two games in the next round. But why? Both games were at home. They did nothing but hold serve. Then they got slaughtered in Game 3 at Boston. Then Rajon Rondo got hurt. I'm not completely convinced that the Heat were winning that series if Rondo hadn't got hurt. Even without Rondo, the Celtics led throughout most of Games 4 & 5. Now you might say I'm being nitpicky at this point, but I'm not arguing that the Heat aren't playing well. I'm arguing against the popular belief that they are the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA Title right now.
Chicago Bulls - The least impressive team of the NBA Playoffs up until their Game 6 beatdown of the ATLiens. But seriously, The Pacers? The Hawks? The Bulls may just be a grind it out type of team, but they've had to work way too hard to beat these two chumps. But not only have they failed to impress, they're also a pretty boring team to watch because of their reliance on D-Rose getting to the foul line time and time again (and if he ain't gettin calls, they ain't winning). It'll be interesting to note the progress of Carlos Boozer, who was the Bulls choice for a max contract last offseason, and has been sucking it up this postseason. For fun, imagine who else that money could've been spent on, and what the Bulls might look like right now. Yes, they very easily could've won the Lebronathon and would be waltzing towards an NBA Title right now (this is why it's tough to take LeBron's claim seriously that he wanted to win as many championships as possible).
LeBron James - He finally closed out a game, giving most of the NBA world a gi-massive LeBoner. However, look at how he did it. With jumpshots. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: LeBron's downfall will continue to be his jumpshot. He's not good at them, and he can't say no to them. I don't think he'll be able to win an NBA Title until he's fully committed to driving to the basket. I see little reason why he should ever shoot a 3 pointer. He's too unstoppable on the move. In fact, if I were guarding him (always loved bangin' with bigger bodies), I would play off of him ala Rajon Rondo. Let him shoot all the jumpers he wants. However, given that this was one of his first closeouts of the season, and that he has been unsuccessfully driving to the basket on most of his opportunities this season, I have almost zero tangible evidence to back up this claim. That doesn't make me believe it any less.
Bulls sweep Heat - No this isn't a prediction. It was the fact of the matter from the regular season this year (although LeBron was LeLong Duck Dong for 1 of the 3). Normally, this would hold very little significance with me. Howeverrrrrrrrrr, the Miami Heat treated this NBA regular season like no team has since the Jordan days. So maybe there is something there. A matchup, a nuance, a hatred. Something. So is it a factor? More than it normally would be, but definitely not the decider.
PreDirktion: We have yet to see a truly great series in these NBA Playoffs. The Grizzlies over the Spurs was one of the better upsets of all time, but not impactful enough to define these 'offs. The Thunder and Grizz are going to 7 (which might elevate its' status), but hasn't been well played thus far. I think this series is it. The Bulls will win games by dominating the boards and wearing D-Wade out on the defensive end by guarding D-Rose (already phoning my nickname squad). The Heat will win games when both LeBron and Wade go off in the same game or when D-Rose isn't getting to the foul line. I think this one's going the distance. Maybe, even, going for speed?