So The Fat Lady Has Sang , It Is Over , Now What ?
By tophatal … 2012/06/10 … 10:09 AM
Now that we have our final occupants for the NBA Finals (2012) , as we now know that the Miami Heat came away with a well-deserved victory over the Boston Celtics . For Erik Spoelstra this comes as vindication after all of the criticism leveled at the second year NBA coach throughout the Eastern Conference Finals .
For the two senior executives of the Heat Pat Riley and Micky Arison this comes as an absolute relief that the > team was able to overcome their opponents . A second appearance in the NBA Finals in six years makes Arison’s decision to bring Chris Bosh and LeBron James to the organization in 2010 all the more insightful . Undoubtedly , Pat Riley also felt the same way in this transaction , which went a long way in seeing the franchise become extremely valuable .
Slide show for your perusal .
Now while the Miami Heat is on the ascent , the question now comes where do the Boston Celtics go from here ? The organization’s “Big Three” of Ray Allen , Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce after years of success , it may well be time for GM Danny Ainge and head coach Doc Rivers to make the decision to dismantle the team built around the trio and Rajon Rondo . The latter , whom , alongside Garnett , may well have been the team’s most productive player throughout the playoffs . Pierce has stated that he would like to see the return of Garnett and Allen but he knows this is a business and one of being competitive long-term . Wyc Grousbeck , the managing partner for the Celtics along with Danny Ainge has the offseason to come to decision that will have finality to it in this chapter . Paul Pierce , Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are most certainly Hall of Fame bound at the end of their respective careers . Anyone who believes to the contrary simply has no idea what the game of basketball and the NBA is meant to be about .
The Miami Heat’s opponents from the Western Conference will be the Oklahoma City Thunder . The Thunder overcame a staunchly competitive San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals coming away with a thoroughly convincing 4-2 series win . Scott Brooks leads a team that has been amongst the most productive and exciting franchise to watch throughout this season’s NBA Playoffs . In addition, for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook we have witnessed the pairing become one of the most dynamic duos in not only during the regular season and the postseason but hereto making the franchise likely favorites for the NBA title .
With Brooks’ team having almost a week’s rest in the aftermath of their thoroughly convincing game six victory over the San Antonio Spurs , leading the franchise to their first NBA Finals’ appearance. This might just be the most desirable matchup that the fans and league hierarchy could have desired , and that is with all due respect to the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs .
There is a great deal that the NBA has going for it at present and granted in the aftermath of the NBA lockout was handled by David Stern , the league hierarchy and team owners . The NBPA ( union) led Executive Director Billy Hunter and union President Derek Fisher had very contentious negotiations with the league in dealing with the labor lockout . Teams were pleading poverty while others seemed to be reluctant to discuss their business dealings . There may well have been good reason for the commissioner to take such a hardened stance but in light of the collective bargaining agreement and what the very fact teams simply choose not to abide by the “soft salary cap” ($57.5 million) which the general managers seemed so reluctant to discuss. Certainly , with owners such as Mark Cuban , James Dolan and Jerry Buss seemingly ignoring the “cap “ in order that the Mavericks , Knicks , Lakers and their teams can chase after NBA glory .
As asinine as this now appears , the NBA is no further along in being in a completely viable and sound economic enterprise . For all of the deliberations hammered out in the collective bargaining agreement and the claims made by David Stern , only an idiot would consider the NBA on a clear path to economic viability .
This NBA Finals matchup as I alluded to earlier could very well be the most deserving in terms of the two teams on display. The dynamics are there , in terms of Durant , Westbrook , James Harden , Serge Ibaka , Thabo Sefalosha , Dwyane Wade , LeBron James and Chris Bosh . High profiled stars , who on the NBA’s grandest stage will be looking to place their skills on display for the fans and the global television audience of millions who will be watching the event . Game one of the series begins on Tuesday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena , home to the Oklahoma City Thunder . That cavernous venue is one of the intimidating arenas in the NBA and it will certainly give Kevin Durant and his teammates a distinct advantage .
This will also be duel of two exceptional coaches this season with both seeking their first titles as a head coach . Scott Brooks will seek to outsmart his opposite number Erik Spoelstra , while the Thunder executives led by team owner Clay Bennett and GM Sam Presti would like nothing better than to bring a championship to the city the franchise now calls home . For Presti , having served an apprenticeship under GM RC Buford of the San Antonio Spurs , it easy to comprehend why the franchise been a success . The general manager of the Thunder has simply molded the organization upon the sound and judicious decisions made by Buford , Gregg Popovich and team owner Peter Holt for the Spurs over the past decade and a half . Four NBA titles and twelve consecutive seasons of 50 plus wins can be considered a resounding success for franchise who alongside Los Angeles Lakers are the teams against which all others should be adjudged over that timeframe .
The winner of the 2012 NBA Finals will serve notice that it will be their intent to be a dominant force on the NBA stage for a long time to come . As to whom the victor will be , that remains to be seen but there is no denying the fans will be waiting with bated breath to see the events unfold over the course of this series .
Picture gallery .
In light of the events that have taken place this postseason, do you believe this to be two best teams left at this stage of the NBA’s showcase event ? If you do not believe this to be the case then clearly state your reasons why .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) From left to right , Russell Westbrook , Derek Fisher , Kendrick Perkins , James Harden and Kevin Durant in-game six of the NBA Western Conference Finals . AP Photo / Chris Peterson ..
(2) MIAMI, FL – JUNE 09: Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat speak with the media after beating the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on June 9, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …
(3) OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – JUNE 6: Oklahoma City Thunder players Eric Maynor (6) , James Harden (13) and Kevin Durant (35) embrace following their team’s victory against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 6, 2012 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images …
(4) Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks smiles as he answers a question during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 8, 2012. The Thunder advanced to the NBA basketball finals by defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …
(5) Howard Schultz former owner of the Seattle Supersonics < is seen here with the franchise's new owner Clay Bennett . The franchise would soon be relocated to the Oklahoma City and renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder . The move drew the ire of the Seattle city council and the way that there was no plausible deniability by the Thunder ownership or the NBA hierarchy , with both having promised the municipality the franchise would remain in the city . A $25 million payout was made by the league and Thunder jointly in order to soothe the angst of the Seattle community at large . AP/Reuters / Giancarlo Massimo-Antobelli ..
(6) Pat Riley (l), Erik Spoelstra , team head coach (center) and right ,team owner , Micky Arison . Here the three are seen after the formal announcement had been made that Riley would return to the front office of the Miami Heat to resume his duties as President of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the team. Spoelstra would assume the position as coach of the Miami Heat. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Mark Thomas …………..
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