Dave Cowens, SportsBlog.com Presents: Legends Corner- Featuring continuous and compelling blogs written by NBA veterans, Legends Corner is the content hub for some of basketball's most legendary players. on
Great players get their numbers against anybody they play against and their playoff numbers should exceed their regular-season numbers. For Roy Hibbert to post zeros in a playoff game shows that his All-Star selection last year was due to a lack of quality bigs in the East. Larry, no amount of talking or tutoring can help him get quicker. His balance is an issue and I know that he has worked very hard to make himself into the player he is today. His improvement from college to today is significant.
Lance Stephenson is a skilled player, but he is not a difference maker. Also, too much drama. He is the Miley Cyrus of the NBA. Gratuitous and inappropriate behavior gets people talking, but where is the talent to warrant that attention? Also, both Atlanta and Washington had them on the ropes but didn't know how to finish due to too many perimeter shots and needless turnovers. Gotta a lot of respect for both coaches though. Too much for Indiana to overcome against a mature and driven Miami team that knows how to win in big games.
OKC has two players that I would unapologetically pick first in a pickup game where all other NBA players are available, but even with Ibaka to man the inside, they are suspect. A very good team, but they don't have enough scoring balance to beat the best of the best. To get hammered 3 times in one series is unheard of.
The two best teams top to bottom are playing in the Finals again as it should be. Both have great leadership, talent, coaching, corporate culture and are deep. When I say deep I mean they have players who are game ready who play infrequently. I want SA to win because I worked for them and was disappointed when they didn't immediately foul the offensive rebounder twice on missed 3s last year in the playoffs. And for them to counter that missed opportunity with a dominating year says a lot about their mental toughness and love for one another. But, this series is a toss-up once again. These games will be close affairs because the system, experience, decision-making and versatility of both teams are unrivaled in the NBA. But, as it always does, the team that makes its free throws will win. Miami is the reigning Champion and this group has exceeded all of my expectations from 4 years ago. I don't know how they would have fared in the rough and tumble game of the eighties and nineties, but they have 3 All-Stars who play with a lot of courage.
I love this game! But I want to see Violet Palmer referee a Finals game. Of all the announcers, Doug Collins makes the most relevant points with the best delivery. And why aren't there more big men as head coaches in the NBA? McHale is the only one.