Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Doesn't it feel a whole lot different than
it did last June?
Sure, the willingness and the hope that they'll lose is still there, but the
venom has been diluted.
Of course, we're talking about the Miami Heat and their second straight trip to
the NBA Finals.
Last year, they were the villains. There were only a few out there who actually
wanted to see LeBron James and his mates win a title.
The rest of us, boy, did we pull for the Oklahoma City Thunder. We didn't pull
for long because the Thunder went away in five games, but pull we did.
This time around? Sure, the San Antonio Spurs seem likeable. Tim Duncan, while
he moans and groans too much on the court, has been a class act his entire
career - one spent entirely in San Antonio.
For that reason alone, seeing the Spurs win another championship, and perhaps
seeing Duncan walk away from the game with a final ring, would be storybook
But if that doesn't happen, and I don't think it will (more on that later), it
will be a lot easier to swallow now.
Why? Because LeBron, truly the leader of the band, is not as bad a guy as we
believed 12 months ago. Jeez, the guy, today, just seems like a nice guy. He's
all but washed away "The Decision" mess - no easy task - and has risen to near
In other words, he doesn't make us angry anymore.
Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen? They don't anger us, either, because
they're not good enough to do so.
LeBron did because he was good enough, great enough, to do it, but now he's
He won a title and was humble about it. That's goes a long way to repairing
And if, when, he wins a second title, the few remaining cynics will likely
slide away. Hard to believe, in so short a time, but true.
NBA aside, aren't you pumped to see Orb and Oxbow duke it out at Saturday's
Oh, you forgot the Belmont was Saturday? I don't think you're alone.
Thoroughbred racing's third leg of the Triple Crown is just a footnote, again,
this year as no horse is going to win all three races.
But for horse racing purists, Orb and Oxbow are both pretty good horses and it
will only be the 21st time the Kentucky Derby winner (Orb) and the Preakness
Stakes winner (Oxbow) have faced each other in the Belmont?
Still not excited? Well, I had to try.
Now back to basketball.
I keep telling myself I'll stop putting predictions in this space because I
keep making myself look bad.
However, making myself look bad isn't hard anyway, and making predictions is
That said, here's one (bad) guess at how things will turn out.
First off, the Indiana Pacers are better than the Spurs and when the Heat
really need to, they were able to crunch Indiana.
Same goes for the Finals. Maybe the Spurs can steal a game at home, but that's
just a maybe.
Miami, when pressed, seems inspired and if the Heat can't be inspired at this
point, they never will be.
Part of me wants to call it a Heat sweep, but we'll give San Antonio one game
(at home) because the crowd will carry them. But only for a game. The Heat win
another championship and they do it in five games (this time, darn it, I'm
going to be right).
One final NBA note: Hard as it is to believe, it's been over a year since I
typed the name Jeremy Lin. From Linsanity to anonymity in 12 months.
Funny how much things can change in a year. That's what happens when you leave
the Big Apple.
Speaking of the Big Apple, do you think the Knicks could have used Lin this
Well, I guess not, they did fine without him. Oh, that's right, they didn't.