There is still a lot of basketball to be played in the 2012 Conference Finals, but with the favorite Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs up 2-0, they are certainly looking like the odds on favorites to reach the NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder will be enjoying their first home games of the series in the upcoming game three, and the results of that game will go a long way towards telling us if either team is going to be able to make a series of this, or if they will go quietly. Either way, it is a good bet we will be seeing Heat versus Spurs in a week or so.
The Spurs have continued to play their no nonsense brand of basketball, and the Thunder have had spurts in some of the games where they have played well and been in the lead. But the Spurs are strong closers and they have owned the forth quarters.
The Celtics were able to push the Heat into OT in their game 2 loss, on the strength of a massive statistical line from Rajon Rondo that included 44 points. The buzz coming after their game one loss was that Rondo had to carry them, and but the rest of the team has to come up with some help as well.
The Heat will apparently be with power forward Chris Bosh until at least the finals, so he will not be a factor in the Boston series.
Bringing a player that is a top three option back into the lineup after a layoff, in a playoff series against a well oiled machine like the Spurs is easier said than done, but look for Bosh to return for the finals.
Boston is going to win one or maybe two games against the Heat before succumbing. It will be interesting to see how far the Thunder can take the Spurs, or if the Spurs will have a few days to rest up for the finals.
Position wise, with Duncan playing excellent, and Tony Parker the team MVP (and 4th overall MVP in the league), the Spurs are strong right where the Heat are vulnerable, and the Spurs have a deep team to constantly keep bodies on Wade and James.
I’m going to go on record and state the winner of the championship will be the winner of Heat-Spurs, Game 1. You don’t want the Heat building momentum right away, you want them down 1-0 and questioning themselves. And the Spurs are good enough to do that.