Finally We are Getting Some Closure
By tophatal ……… 06/09/2012 02:04 AM (EST)
Well as the landscape seems to be setting for the NBA Playoffs where we have one contestant known for this season’s NBA Finals . From the Western Conference we have the Oklahoma City Thunder , who await the outright winners of the series between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat . As we know the Thunder came through a hard-fought series during which they prevailed over the San Antonio Spurs (4-2).
Slide show for your perusal.
For Scott Brooks and the players of the Oklahoma City Thunder this was their coming out part y , as they announced themselves to the NBA environment and the nation at large . Kevin Durant has pretty much stepped into the role as “the leader “ of this team , while he is ably supported by teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden . But not to be overlooked has been the contributions of Thabo Sefalosha and Serge Ibaka , who by themselves have seen fit to be role players under Brooks’ schemes during his tenure. For the fans who attended at the Chesapeake Energy Center as Oklahoma closed out the series in front of a sold-out arena . This was pretty much a night for a great deal of euphoria for all . The heartache for the city of Seattle cannot be overlooked but I see this as being nothing more than sour grapes on their part ! That asides , the city’s lack of really being thorough in their dealings with the NBA hierarchy led by David Stern and the prospective buyer of the franchise at the time , Clay Bennett , would suggest that the city government was very naïve. As we, all know Bennett and his partners purchased the Seattle Supersonics with a view to keeping the franchise in the city of Seattle but instead they reneged on that deal and relocated the basketball team to Oklahoma City . David Stern was unapologetic , even though he gave the impression that he , Bennett and his partners acted in good faith . Howard Schultz , the owner of the Sonics and the founder of the Starbucks’ coffee-house chain , was pretty much sold on the idea of the franchise being in good hands , and the fact that promises were made that the team would remain in Seattle long-term . Boy was he wrong , and the sheer gullibility on his part and that of the city’s council must come into question . In the end , a $25 million payoff by Bennett and the NBA hierarchy pretty much avoided a civil suit in US Federal Court . Therein , the Sonics relocated and the city was left without basketball team .
Over the ensuing the years the Oklahoma City Thunder has pretty much moved up the pecking order of relevance within the NBA and the Western Conference . Moreover, this was very much an indictment of that fact with the team’s performances over the course of the season . Now all that awaits this organization would be an emphatic triumph in the NBA Finals .
Well , the excitement provided by LeBron James in-game six of the Eastern Conference Finals has pretty much brought us to the position where there will be finality in this series. It is either “ win “ or “ go home “ for either team . The Boston Celtics under the tutelage of their head coach Doc Rivers have pretty much given it their all but they will have to give it one more shot , if they are to prevail over their Eastern Conference rivals .
For the Celtics’ veteran trio of Kevin Garnett , Ray Allen and Paul Pierce this will definitely be their last stand as teammates in such an event . The situation almost predicts that whatever the outcome at the end of the postseason , there will be an upheaval within the player personnel . Certainly, team GM Danny Ainge and owner Wyc Grousbeck must know that if the franchise is to look forward to its long-term future , then changes will have to be made . Garnett , Allen and Pierce , collectively have over forty years of NBA experience and a great deal of basketball acumen . It will that experience and the tenacity shown by Rajon Rondo that could very much determine the outcome of this series . While no one is denying that the Celtics were unable to corral LeBron James , I have to believe that Doc Rivers will not let his team be stung twice under such a premise !
On the other side of the coin, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows that he is now under a great deal of pressure to succeed . After the team’s triumph in-game six , it is now or never to finally put away the events of last season’s NBA Finals . A victory in-game seven casts away that dark shadow and places the Heat in what will be a highly anticipated showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder . With several days in between the Thunder’s series victory over the San Antonio Spurs, will be looked upon as the prohibitive favorites in this match up. And while the Miami Heat may well have other ideas as that outcome there is the likelihood with the Thunder’s inexperience in the postseason what might be seen as favorable for the Western Conference team could well end up being a disadvantage . Given the tenacity shown by Kevin Durant and his teammates in the dismantling of the Spurs , I am not so sure that premise will hold true !
Heat team President Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison having engineered the deal that saw the arrival of Chris Bosh and LeBron James was meant to assure immediate success for the franchise and financial viability . Arison has seen his team’s value rise , that places it amongst the top ten most valuable franchises in the NBA . And the very fact that the Miami Heat now has the drawing power that rivals the Los Angeles Lakers , Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks , augurs well for the franchise and its long-term future .
Perhaps the most intriguing matchup has to now be that of LeBron James and Kevin Garnett . Both have been multiple All Stars as well as league MVP’s who have climbed to unprecedented heights within the game . The duo this postseason have been two of the most productive players during the showcase for its finale . In addition, with that anticipated matchup and the possibility that Bosh and Wade , will have to play their part if the Heat are to win the second NBA title in the past five years .
Doc Rivers will be chasing his second title as an NBA coach and I am sure that he will be looking to his front line players as he seeks to garner further success for the Celtics’ franchise . The role players such as Marquis Daniels and Mikael Pietrus will also have to step up to the plate in order to support the roles that will undoubtedly be played by Kevin Garnett Ray Allen and Paul Pierce . The Celtics’ defense also will have to be more resolute if they are to stymie the offensive prowess shown by the Miami Heat . We can only hope that game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals provides with a great deal of excitement , with the added anticipation that the Finals itself up to the expectations the NBA has come to known for .
Picture gallery .
Having witnessed the events of events of the NBA Playoffs which results or teams have been the biggest surprise to you during this postseason ? In addition, which team do you believe will prevail in the series between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat . Simply leave a comment on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slide show details
(1) 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 ..
(2) In this photo taken Thursday, June 7, 2012, Miami Heat forward LeBron James works the ball against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter of Game 6 in their NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series in Boston. James scored 45 points to lead Miami to a 98-79 win . Game 7 is scheduled for Saturday night in Miami. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …
(3) BOSTON, MA – JUNE 07: Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics reacts against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 7, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Jared Wickham/Getty Images …
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