One team has punched their ticket to the NBA Finals, while another in the Miami Heat has their opportunity tonight in Chicago.
For Dallas, despite Dirk’s continued brilliance, it wasn’t just the Nowitski show last night. Shawn Marion had a Playoff-high 26 points to go along with his energetic defense and eight rebounds. It was a complete team effort, on both ends of the floor that did in Oklahoma City.
If you are a fan of the Thunder, don’t despair too much. Yes, the late game collapses were tough to watch, even painful in the case of game four, but the seismic step forward this young basketball team took in 2011 has to bode well for a great future in OKC.
Let’s move on to tonight’s free pick…
Check this out: Computer based betting system is 1-0 today and has 2 night plays… click here to get them 8)
Today’s Free NBA Picks:
Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls -3 (Total: 179)
The Heat have been fantastic in the fourth quarter the last three games (all wins), while the Bulls, and especially their MVP Derrick Rose, have not. In fact, Rose is 4 of 19 from the floor in the final five minutes and overtime periods from the last three games. Hardly an “MVP-like” performance.
Meanwhile, LeBron James has been a dominant closer – on both ends of the floor. The way he and Dwayne Wade put a defensive iron clamp on the Bulls at the end of Game 4 was about as good a defensive five-minute spurt as I can recall seeing in the last ten years. The Bulls defense came in with the headlines; the Heat defense has risen to the occasion and trumped them.
The Bulls still have the faith of Vegas, who likes them by a narrow three point margin at home. I have to disagree. I’m 3-1 in this series. Coincidentally, the Heat are 3-1 also. We’ve been getting pretty good results relying on the obvious truths that have become evident over the last week; the Heat re more diverse offensively, more physically gifted at vital positions, and do not have the “huge bench issues” that many pundits rushed to conclude after game 1. In fact, one could make a compelling argument that Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller and crew have done every bit as much to influence this series as Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.
I like LeBron’s intensity over the last week. I love his ability to physically impose his will and rip a win from a tight situation. At his best, there is no one currently playing in the NBA who is his equal. Rose might be the MVP, Kobe might have the rings, and Durant might be the scoring champ – but LeBron is the best player on the planet; and apologies to Dwight Howard – but he’s the best player on the planet for all 94-feet of the court.
Give me the Heat to close out a good series tonight, and set up a great NBA Finals matchup between wildly different superstars playing at the height of their game’s.